In the dim upper hallway, a girlish figure leaned far over the railing and strained her ears for the reply. Then, noiselessly, the door of her room shut again behind her.
"They tell me," Mr. Dent was saying; "that Weldon is there, unconscious in his room. The boy brought him into the house in his arms, and they have sent for Dr. Wright. It is a bad case of enteric, mixed with some trouble with the brain. He appears to be suffering from nervous shock, they say, increased by a long strain of anxiety."
Half an hour later, he was called from Weldon's room to speak to his wife at the telephone.
"Yes," he answered her. "It is as bad as I heard, as bad as it can be. You think so? Are you strong enough? Sure? Hold the wire, then, till I ask the doctor." The interval was short; and he went on again, "The doctor says he can be moved now, but not later. It may be a matter of weeks. How soon can you be ready? Very well. Will you be sure to save yourself all you can? In an hour, then. And the doctor will have a nurse waiting there? And can you put the boy into some corner? He would be frantic, if we tried to leave him behind. Very well. Yes." And the telephone rang off.
It was midnight before the Dent household was fully reconstructed. Upstairs in the great eastern front room, a white-capped nurse was bending above the unconscious man in the bed; downstairs in the kitchen, the tears of Kruger Bobs were mingling with the cold roast beef on the table before him. The doctor had just gone away, and in the room underneath the sickroom, Mr. Dent and his wife were quietly laying plans to meet the needs of the changed routine which had fallen upon their home. He looked up, as Ethel came slowly into the room.
"By the way, Ethel, I forgot to ask you before; but did you find your pin?"
She looked at him wonderingly. Her face was pale and drawn; but her eyes were shining like the gems she had professed to miss.
"What pin do you mean?" she asked blankly.