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he sat down on the bed and looked at her.

"Well, we've got the furnace going," he said.

"Then that was the - - "

"Furnace man? Yes."

"Aren't you afraid to leave him?" queried Jane. "Won't he run off?"

"Got him locked in a padded cell," he said. "I can take him out to
coal up. The rest of the time he can sit and think of his sins. The
question is - what are we to do next?"

"I should think," ventured Jane, "that we'd better be thinking about
supper."

"The beef capsules are gone."

"But surely there must be something else about - potatoes or things
like that?"

He brightened perceptibly. "Oh, yes, carloads of potatoes, and
there's canned stuff. Higgins can pare potatoes, and there's Mary
O'Shaughnessy. We could have potatoes and canned tomatoes and eggs."

"Fine!" said Jane with her eyes gleaming, although the day before
she would have said they were her three abominations.

And with that he called Higgins and Mary O'Shaughnessy and the four
of them went to the kitchen.

Jane positively shone. She had never realised before how much she
knew about cooking. They built a fire and got kettles boiling and
everybody pared potatoes, and although in excess of zeal the eggs
were ready long before everything else and the tomatoes scorched
slightly, still they made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in
ability, and when Higgins had carried the trays to the lift and
started them on their way, Jane and the red-haired person shook
hands on it and then ate a boiled potato from the same plate,
sitting side by side on a table.

They were ravenous. They boiled one egg each and ate it, and then
boiled another and another, and when they finished they found that
Jane had eaten four potatoes, four eggs and unlimited bread and
butter, while the red-haired person had eaten six saucers of stewed
tomatoes and was starting on the seventh.

"You know," he said over the seventh, "we've got to figure this
thing out. The entire town is solid against us - no use trying to get
to a telephone. And anyhow they've got us surrounded. We're in a
state of siege."

Jane was beating up an egg in milk for the D.T. patient, the
capsules being exhausted, and the red-haired person was watching her
closely. She had the two vertical lines between her eyes, but they
looked really like lines of endeavour and not temper.

She stopped beating and looked up.

"Couldn't I go to the village?" she asked.

"They would stop you."

"Then - I think I know what we can do," she said, giving the eggnog a
final whisk. "My people have a summer place on the hill. If you
could get there you could telephone to the city."

"Could I get in?"

"I have a key."

Jane did not explain that the said key had been left by her father,
with the terse hope that if she came to her senses she could get
into the house and get her clothes.

"Good girl," said the red-headed person and patted her on the
shoulder. "We'll euchre the old skate yet." Curiously, Jane did not
resent either the speech or the pat.

He took the glass and tied on a white apron. "If our friend doesn't
drink this, I will," he continued. "If he'd seen it in the making,
as I have, he'd be crazy about it."

He opened the door and stood listening. From below floated up the
refrain:

_I - love you o - own - ly,
I love - but - you._

"Listen to that!" he said. "Stomach's gone, but still has a heart!"

Higgins came up the stairs heavily and stopped close by the
red-haired person, whispering something to him. There was a second's
pause. Then the red-haired person gave the eggnog to Higgins and
both disappeared.

Jane was puzzled. She rather thought the furnace man had got out and
listened for a scuffle, but none came. She did, however, hear the
singing cease below, and then commence with renewed vigour, and she
heard Higgins slowly remounting the stairs. He came in, with the
empty glass and a sheepish expression. Part of the eggnog was
distributed over his person.

"He wants his nurse, ma'am," said Higgins. "Wouldn't let me near
him. Flung a pillow at me."

"Where is the doctor?" demanded Jane.

"Busy," replied Higgins. "One of the women is sick."

Jane was provoked. She had put some labour into the eggnog. But it
shows the curious evolution going on in her that she got out the
eggs and milk and made another one without protest. Then with her
head up she carried it to the door.

"You might clear things away, Higgins," she said, and went down the
stairs. Her heart was going rather fast. Most of the men Jane knew
drank more or less, but this was different. She would have turned
back halfway there had it not been for Higgins and for owning
herself conquered. That was Jane's real weakness - she never owned
herself beaten.

The singing had subsided to a low muttering. Jane stopped outside
the door and took a fresh grip on her courage. Then she pushed the
door open and went in.

The light was shaded, and at first the tossing figure on the bed was
only a misty outline of greys and whites. She walked over, expecting
a pillow at any moment and shielding the glass from attack with her
hand.

"I have brought you another eggnog," she began severely, "and if you
spill it - - "

Then she looked down and saw the face on the pillow.

To her everlasting credit, Jane did not faint. But in that moment,
while she stood staring down at the flushed young face with its
tumbled dark hair and deep-cut lines of dissipation, the man who had
sung to her over the piano, looking love into her eyes, died to her,
and Jane, cold and steady, sat down on the side of the bed and fed
the eggnog, spoonful by spoonful, to his corpse!

When the blank-eyed young man on the bed had swallowed it all
passively, looking at her with dull, incurious eyes, she went back
to her room and closing the door put the washstand against it. She
did nothing theatrical. She went over to the window and stood
looking out where the trees along the drive were fading in the dusk
from green to grey, from grey to black. And over the transom came
again and again monotonously the refrain:

_I - love you o - own - ly,
I love - but - you._

Jane fell on her knees beside the bed and buried her wilful head in
the hand-embroidered pillow, and said a little prayer because she
had found out in time.


III

The full realisation of their predicament came with the dusk. The
electric lights were shut off! Jane, crawling into bed tearfully at
half after eight, turned the reading light switch over her head, but
no flood of rosy radiance poured down on the hand-embroidered pillow
with the pink bow.

Jane sat up and stared round her. Already the outline of her dresser
was faint and shadowy. In half an hour black night would settle down
and she had not even a candle or a box of matches. She crawled out,
panicky, and began in the darkness to don her kimono and slippers.
As she opened the door and stepped into the hall the convalescent
typhoid heard her and set up his usual cry.

"Hey," he called, "whoever that is come in and fix the lights.
They're broken. And I want some bread and milk. I can't sleep on an
empty stomach!"

Jane padded on past the room where love lay cold and dead, down the
corridor with its alarming echoes. The house seemed very quiet. At a
corner unexpectedly she collided with some one going hastily. The
result was a crash and a deluge of hot water. Jane got a drop on her
bare ankle, and as soon as she could breathe she screamed.

"Why don't you look where you're going?" demanded the red-haired
person angrily. "I've been an hour boiling that water, and now it
has to be done over again!"

"It would do a lot of good to look!" retorted Jane. "But if you
wish I'll carry a bell!"

"The thing for you to do," said the red-haired person severely, "is
to go back to bed like a good girl and stay there until morning. The
light is cut off."

"Really!" said Jane. "I thought it had just gone out for a walk. I
daresay I may have a box of matches at least?"

He fumbled in his pockets without success.

"Not a match, of course!" he said disgustedly. "Was any one ever in
such an infernal mess? Can't you get back to your room without
matches?"

"I shan't go back at all unless I have some sort of light,"
maintained Jane. "I'm - horribly frightened!"

The break in her voice caught his attention and he put his hand out
gently and took her arm.

"Now listen," he said. "You've been brave and fine all day, and
don't stop it now. I - I've got all I can manage. Mary O'Shaughnessy
is - - " He stopped. "I'm going to be very busy," he said with half a
groan. "I surely do wish you were forty for the next few hours. But
you'll go back and stay in your room, won't you?"

He patted her arm, which Jane particularly hated generally. But Jane
had altered considerably since morning.

"Then you cannot go to the telephone?"

"Not to-night."

"And Higgins?"

"Higgins has gone," he said. "He slipped off an hour ago. We'll have
to manage to-night somehow. Now will you be a good child?"

"I'll go back," she promised meekly. "I'm sorry I'm not forty."

He turned her round and started her in the right direction with a
little push. But she had gone only a step or two when she heard him
coming after her quickly.

"Where are you?"

"Here," quavered Jane, not quite sure of him or of herself perhaps.

But when he stopped beside her he didn't try to touch her arm again.
He only said:

"I wouldn't have you forty for anything in the world. I want you to
be just as you are, very beautiful and young."

Then, as if he was afraid he would say too much, he turned on his
heel, and a moment after he kicked against the fallen pitcher in the
darkness and awoke a thousand echoes. As for Jane, she put her
fingers to her ears and ran to her room, where she slammed the door
and crawled into bed with burning cheeks.

Jane was never sure whether it was five minutes later or five
seconds when somebody in the room spoke - from a chair by the window.

"Do you think," said a mild voice - "do you think you could find me
some bread and butter? Or a glass of milk?"

Jane sat up in bed suddenly. She knew at once that she had made a
mistake, but she was quite dignified about it. She looked over at
the chair, and the convalescent typhoid was sitting in it, wrapped
in a blanket and looking wan and ghostly in the dusk.

"I'm afraid I'm in the wrong room," Jane said very stiffly, trying
to get out of the bed with dignity, which is difficult. "The hall is
dark and all the doors look so alike - - "

She made for the door at that and got out into the hall with her
heart going a thousand a minute again.

"You've forgotten your slippers," called the convalescent typhoid
after her. But nothing would have taken Jane back.

The convalescent typhoid took the slippers home later and locked
them away in an inner drawer, where he kept one or two things like
faded roses, and old gloves, and a silk necktie that a girl had made
him at college - things that are all the secrets a man keeps from his
wife and that belong in that small corner of his heart which also
he keeps from his wife. But that has nothing to do with Jane.

Jane went back to her own bed thoroughly demoralised. And sleep
being pretty well banished by that time, she sat up in bed and
thought things over. Before this she had not thought much, only
raged and sulked alternately. But now she thought. She thought about
the man in the room down the hall with the lines of dissipation on
his face. And she thought a great deal about what a silly she had
been, and that it was not too late yet, she being not forty and
"beautiful." It must be confessed that she thought a great deal
about that. Also she reflected that what she deserved was to marry
some person with even a worse temper than hers, who would bully her
at times and generally keep her straight. And from that, of course,
it was only a step to the fact that red-haired people are
proverbially bad-tempered!

She thought, too, about Mary O'Shaughnessy without another woman
near, and not even a light, except perhaps a candle. Things were
always so much worse in the darkness. And perhaps she might be going
to be very ill and ought to have another doctor!

Jane seemed to have been reflecting for a long time, when the church
clock far down in the village struck nine. And with the chiming of
the clock was born, full grown, an idea which before it was sixty
seconds of age was a determination.

In pursuance of the idea Jane once more crawled out of bed and began
to dress; she put on heavy shoes and a short skirt, a coat, and a
motor veil over her hair. The indignation at the defection of the
hospital staff, held in subjection during the day by the necessity
for doing something, now rose and lent speed and fury to her
movements. In an incredibly short time Jane was feeling her way
along the hall and down the staircase, now a well of unfathomable
blackness and incredible rustlings and creakings.

The front doors were unlocked. Outside there was faint starlight,
the chirp of a sleepy bird, and far off across the valley the
gasping and wheezing of a freight climbing the heavy grade to the
village.

Jane paused at the drive and took a breath. Then at her best
gymnasium pace, arms close to sides, head up, feet well planted, she
started to run. At the sundial she left the drive and took to the
lawn gleaming with the frost of late October. She stopped running
then and began to pick her way more cautiously. Even at that she
collided heavily with a wire fence marking the boundary, and sat on
the ground for some time after, whimpering over the outrage and
feeling her nose. It was distinctly scratched and swollen. No one
would think her beautiful with a nose like that!

She had not expected the wire fence. It was impossible to climb and
more difficult to get under. However, she found one place where the
ground dipped, and wormed her way under the fence in most
undignified fashion. It is perfectly certain that had Jane's family
seen her then and been told that she was doing this remarkable thing
for a woman she had never seen before that day, named Mary
O'Shaughnessy, and also for a certain red-haired person of whom it
had never heard, it would have considered Jane quite irrational. But
it is entirely probable that Jane became really rational that night
for the first time in her spoiled young life.

Jane never told the details of that excursion. Those that came out
in the paper were only guess-work, of course, but it is quite true
that a reporter found scraps of her motor veil on three wire fences,
and there seems to be no reason to doubt, also, that two false curls
were discovered a week later in a cow pasture on her own estate. But
as Jane never wore curls afterward anyhow - -

Well, Jane got to her own house about eleven and crept in like a
thief to the telephone. There were more rustlings and creakings and
rumblings in the empty house than she had ever imagined, and she
went backward through the hall for fear of something coming after
her. But, which is to the point, she got to the telephone and called
up her father in the city.

The first message that astonished gentleman got was that a
red-haired person at the hospital was very ill, having run into a
wire fence and bruised a nose, and that he was to bring out at once
from town two doctors, six nurses, a cook and a furnace man!

After a time, however, as Jane grew calmer, he got it straightened
out, and said a number of things over the telephone anent the
deserting staff that are quite forbidden by the rules both of the
club and of the telephone company. He gave Jane full instructions
about sending to the village and having somebody come up and stay
with her, and about taking a hot footbath and going to bed between
blankets, and when Jane replied meekly to everything "Yes, father,"
and "All right, father," he was so stunned by her mildness that he
was certain she must be really ill.

Not that Jane had any idea of doing all these things. She hung up
the telephone and gathered all the candles from all the candlesticks
on the lower floor, and started back for the hospital. The moon had
come up and she had no more trouble with fencing, but she was
desperately tired. She climbed the drive slowly, coming to frequent
pauses. The hospital, long and low and sleeping, lay before her,
and in one upper window there was a small yellow light.

Jane climbed the steps and sat down on the top one. She felt very
tired and sad and dejected, and she sat down on the upper step to
think of how useless she was, and how much a man must know to be a
doctor, and that perhaps she would take up nursing in earnest and
amount to something, and - -

It was about three o'clock in the morning when the red-haired
person, coming down belatedly to close the front doors, saw a
shapeless heap on the porch surrounded by a radius of white-wax
candles, and going up shoved at it with his foot. Whereat the heap
moved slightly and muttered "Lemme shleep."

The red-haired person said "Good Heavens!" and bending down held a
lighted match to the sleeper's face and stared, petrified. Jane
opened her eyes, sat up and put her hand over her mutilated nose
with one gesture.

"You!" said the red-haired person. And then mercifully the match
went out.

"Don't light another," said Jane. "I'm an alarming sight.
Would - would you mind feeling if my nose is broken?"

He didn't move to examine it. He just kept on kneeling and staring.

"Where have you been?" he demanded.

"Over to telephone," said Jane, and yawned. "They're bringing
everybody in automobiles - doctors, nurses, furnace man - oh, dear me,
I hope I mentioned a cook!"

"Do you mean to say," said the red-haired person wonderingly, "that
you went by yourself across the fields and telephoned to get me out
of this mess?"

"Not at all," Jane corrected him coolly. "I'm in the mess myself."

"You'll be ill again."

"I never was ill," said Jane. "I was here for a mean disposition."

Jane sat in the moonlight with her hands in her lap and looked at
him calmly. The red-haired person reached over and took both her
hands.

"You're a heroine," he said, and bending down he kissed first one
and then the other. "Isn't it bad enough that you are beautiful
without your also being brave?"

Jane eyed him, but he was in deadly earnest. In the moonlight his
hair was really not red at all, and he looked pale and very, very
tired. Something inside of Jane gave a curious thrill that was half
pain. Perhaps it was the dying of her temper, perhaps - -

"Am I still beautiful with this nose?" she asked.

"You are everything that a woman should be," he said, and dropping
her hands he got up. He stood there in the moonlight, straight and
young and crowned with despair, and Jane looked up from under her
long lashes.

"Then why don't you stay where you were?" she asked.

At that he reached down and took her hands again and pulled her to
her feet. He was very strong.

"Because if I do I'll never leave you again," he said. "And I must
go."

He dropped her hands, or tried to, but Jane wasn't ready to be
dropped.

"You know," she said, "I've told you I'm a sulky, bad-tempered - - "

But at that he laughed suddenly, triumphantly, and put both his arms
round her and held her close.

"I love you," he said, "and if you are bad-tempered, so am I, only I
think I'm worse. It's a shame to spoil two houses with us, isn't
it?"

To her eternal shame be it told, Jane never struggled. She simply
held up her mouth to be kissed.

That is really all the story. Jane's father came with three
automobiles that morning at dawn, bringing with him all that goes to
make up a hospital, from a pharmacy clerk to absorbent cotton, and
having left the new supplies in the office he stamped upstairs to
Jane's room and flung open the door.

He expected to find Jane in hysterics and the pink silk kimono.

What he really saw was this: A coal fire was lighted in Jane's
grate, and in a low chair before it, with her nose swollen level
with her forehead, sat Jane, holding on her lap Mary O'Shaughnessy's
baby, very new and magenta-coloured and yelling like a trooper.
Kneeling beside the chair was a tall, red-headed person holding a
bottle of olive oil.

"Now, sweetest," the red-haired person was saying, "turn him on his
tummy and we'll rub his back. Gee, isn't that a fat back!"

And as Jane's father stared and Jane anxiously turned the baby, the
red-haired person leaned over and kissed the back of Jane's neck.

"Jane!" he whispered.

"Jane!!" said her father.




IN THE PAVILION


I

Now, had Billy Grant really died there would be no story. The story
is to relate how he nearly died; and how, approaching that bourne to
which no traveller may take with him anything but his sins - and this
with Billy Grant meant considerable luggage - he cast about for some
way to prevent the Lindley Grants from getting possession of his
worldly goods.

Probably it would never have happened at all had not young Grant,
having hit on a scheme, clung to it with a tenacity that might
better have been devoted to saving his soul, and had he not said to
the Nurse, who was at that moment shaking a thermometer: "Come
on - be a sport! It's only a matter of hours." Not that he said it
aloud - he whispered it, and fought for the breath to do even that.
The Nurse, having shaken down the thermometer, walked to the table
and recorded a temperature of one hundred and six degrees through a
most unprofessional mist of tears. Then in the symptom column she
wrote: "Delirious."

But Billy Grant was not delirious. A fever of a hundred and four or
thereabout may fuse one's mind in a sort of fiery crucible, but when
it gets to a hundred and six all the foreign thoughts, like seeing
green monkeys on the footboard and wondering why the doctor is
walking on his hands - all these things melt away, and one sees one's
past, as when drowning, and remembers to hate one's relations, and
is curious about what is coming when one goes over.

So Billy Grant lay on his bed in the contagious pavilion of the
hospital, and remembered to hate the Lindley Grants and to try to
devise a way to keep them out of his property. And, having studied
law, he knew no will that he might make now would hold against the
Lindley Grants for a minute, unless he survived its making some
thirty days. The Staff Doctor had given him about thirty hours or
less.

Perhaps he would have given up in despair and been forced to rest
content with a threat to haunt the Lindley Grants and otherwise mar
the enjoyment of their good fortune, had not the Nurse at that
moment put the thermometer under his arm.

Now, as every one knows, an axillary temperature takes five minutes,
during which it is customary for a nurse to kneel beside the bed, or
even to sit very lightly on the edge, holding the patient's arm
close to his side and counting his respirations while pretending to
be thinking of something else. It was during these five minutes that
the idea came into Billy Grant's mind and, having come, remained.
The Nurse got up, rustling starchily, and Billy caught her eye.

"Every engine," he said with difficulty, "labours - in a low - gear.
No wonder I'm - heated up!"

The Nurse, who was young, put her hand on his forehead.

"Try to sleep," she said.

"Time for - that - later," said Billy Grant. "I'll - I'll be a - long
time - dead. I - I wonder whether you'd - do me a - favour."

"I'll do anything in the world you want."

She tried to smile down at him, but only succeeded in making her
chin quiver, which would never do - being unprofessional and likely
to get to the head nurse; so, being obliged to do something, she
took his pulse by the throbbing in his neck.

"One, two, three, four, five, six - - "

"Then - marry me," gasped Billy Grant. "Only for an - hour or - two,
you know. You - promised. Come on - be a sport!"

It was then that the Nurse walked to the table and recorded
"Delirious" in the symptom column. And, though she was a Smith
College girl and had taken a something or other in mathematics, she
spelled it just then with two r's.

Billy Grant was not in love with the Nurse. She was a part of his
illness, like the narrow brass bed and the yellow painted walls,
and the thermometer under his arm, and the medicines. There were
even times - when his fever subsided for a degree or two, after a
cold sponge, and the muddled condition of mind returned - when she
seemed to have more heads than even a nurse requires. So sentiment
did not enter into the matter at all; it was revenge.


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