“Our young lady is weaker,” he acknowledged. “Much weaker,” he added with marked emphasis and his most professional air, “or she would be here instead of in her own room. It grieves her not to be able to wait upon her generous benefactress.”
The word fell heavily. Had it been used as a test? Violet gave him a look, though she had much rather have turned her discriminating eye upon the face staring up at them from the pillow. Had the alarm expressed by others communicated itself at last to the physician? Was the charm which had held him subservient to the mother, dissolving under the pitiable state of the child, and was he trying to aid the little detective-nurse in her effort to sound the mystery of her condition?
His look expressed benevolence, but he took care not to meet the gaze of the woman he had just lauded, possibly because that gaze was fixed upon him in a way to tax his moral courage. The silence which ensued was broken by Mrs. Postlethwaite: