"He insists upon quiet; he orders medicines and strong broth. I cannot tell you all; Mrs. Hughes can. She has been so truly good. 'Doing good, hoping for nothing again.'"
"She looks very sweet and gentle. I shall sit up to night, and watch her myself; and I shall send you and Mrs. Hughes early to bed, for you have both a worn look about you I don't like. Are you sure the effect of that fall has gone off? Do you feel anything of it in your back still? After all, I owe her something for turning back to your help. Are you sure she was going to drown herself?"
"I cannot be sure, for I have not questioned her. She has not been in a state to be questioned; but I have no doubt whatever about it. But you must not think of sitting up after your journey, Faith."
"Answer me, Thurstan. Do you feel any bad effect from that fall?"
"No, hardly any. Don't sit up, Faith, to-night!"
"Thurstan, it's no use talking, for I shall; and, if you go on opposing me, I dare say I shall attack your back, and, put a blister on it. Do tell me what that 'hardly any' means. Besides, to set you quite at ease, you know I have never seen mountains before, and they fill me and oppress me so much that I could not sleep; I must keep awake this first night, and see that they don't fall on the earth and overwhelm it. And now answer my questions about yourself."
Miss Benson had the power, which some people have, of carrying her wishes through to their fulfilment; her will was strong, her sense was excellent, and people yielded to her--they did not know why. Before ten o'clock she reigned sole power and potentate in Ruth's little chamber. Nothing could have been better devised for giving her an interest in the invalid. The very dependence of one so helpless upon her care inclined her heart towards her. She thought she perceived a slight improvement in the symptoms during the night, and she was a little pleased that this progress should have been made while she reigned monarch of the sick-room. Yes, certainly there was an improvement. There was more consciousness in the look of the eyes, although the whole countenance still retained its painful traces of acute suffering, manifested in an anxious, startled uneasy aspect. It was broad morning light, though barely five o'clock, when Miss Benson caught the sight of Ruth's lips moving, as if in speech. Miss Benson stooped down to listen.
"Who are you?" asked Ruth, in the faintest of whispers.