“Here,” he cried shrilly, offering Isabel the violin. “Take this, too!”
“What for?” she asked, curiously. “I can’t play.”
“Nevertheless, it belongs to you. Keep it, as a souvenir!”
Holding the violin awkwardly, Isabel backed out of the room, the nurse following her and closing the door. The nurse was a young woman who had not sacrificed her normal human sympathy to her chosen work, but had managed, happily, to combine the two. She watched Isabel disdainfully as she went down-stairs, very briskly for one with a sprained ankle.
“God!” said Allison, aloud. “Oh, God in Heaven!”
Then the nurse turned away in pity, for behind the closed door she heard a grown man sobbing like a hurt child.
The Crosby twins had gone home very quietly, after doing all they could to help Colonel Kent and Madame Bernard. “The Yellow Peril” chugged along at the lowest speed with all its gaudy banners torn down. Neither spoke until they passed the spot where the red touring car lay on its side in the ditch, and four or five dogs, still hungry and hopeful, wrangled over a few bare bones.
Juliet was sniffing audibly, and, as soon as she saw the wreck, burst into tears. “Oh, Romie,” she sobbed, “if he’s dead, we’ve killed him!”
Romeo swallowed a lump in his throat, winked hard, and roughly advised Juliet to “shut up.”
When the machine was safely in the barn, and all the scattered dogs collected and imprisoned, Romeo came in, ready to talk it over. “We’ve got to do something,” he said, “but I don’t know what it is.”
“Oh, Romie,” cried Juliet with a fresh burst of tears, “do you think they’ll hang us? We’re murderers!”
Romeo considered for a moment before he answered. “We aren’t murderers, because we didn’t go to do it. They won’t hang us—but they ought to,” he added, remorsefully.
“What can we do?” mourned Juliet. “Oh, what can we do?”
“Well, we can pay all the bills for one thing—that’s a good start. To-morrow, I’ll see about getting that car out of the ditch and taking care of it.”
“Somebody may steal it,” she suggested.
“Not if we guard it. One or both of us ought to sit by it until we can get it into the barn.”
Juliet wiped her eyes. “That’s right. We’ll guard it all night to-night and while we’re guarding it, we’ll talk it all over and decide what to do.”
The dinner of unwholesome delicacies which they had planned as the last feature of the day’s celebration was hesitatingly renounced. “We don’t deserve to have anything at all to eat,” said Juliet. “What is it that they feed prisoners on?”
“Bread and water—black bread?”
“Where could we get black bread?”
“I don’t know. I never saw any.”
After discussing a penitential menu for some time, they finally decided to live upon mush and milk for the present, and, if Allison should die, forever. “We can warm it in the winter,” said Romeo, “and it won’t be so bad.”