moans. There was no shutting in these sounds. People moved out of these rooms below and on either side, because they could get no sleep, and until the arrival of Nurse Swift, there was no rest for poor Mrs Ashe, who could not keep away from her darling for a moment while that mournful wailing sounded in her ears.

Somehow the long, dry Englishwoman seemed to have a mesmeric effect on Amy, who was never quite so violent after she arrived. Katy was more thankful for this than can well be told, for her great underlying dread - a dread she dared not whisper plainly even to herself - was that `Polly dear' might break down before Amy was better, and then what should they do?

She took every care that was possible of her friend. She made her eat; she made her lie down. She forced daily doses of quinine and port wine down her throat, and saved her every possible step. But no one, however affectionate and willing, could do much to lift the crushing burden of care, which was changing Mrs Ashe's rosy fairness to wan pallor, and laying such dark shadows under the pretty grey eyes. She had taken small thought of her looks since Amy's illness. All the little touches which had made her toilette becoming, all the crimps and fluffs, had disappeared; yet somehow never had she seemed to Katy half so lovely as now in the plain black gown which she wore all day long, with her hair tucked into a knot behind her ears. Her real beauty of feature and outline seemed only enhanced by the rigid plainness of her attire, and the charm of true expression grew in her face. Never had Katy admired and loved her friend so well as during those days of fatigue and wearing suspense, or realized so strongly the worth of her sweetness of temper, her unselfishness and power of devoting herself to other people.

`Polly bears it wonderfully,' she wrote her father. `She was all broken down for the first day or two, but now her courage and patience are surprising. When I think now precious Amy is to her, and how lonely her life would be if she were to die, I can hardly keep the tears out of my eyes. But Polly does not cry. She is quiet and brave an almost cheerful all the time, keeping herself busy wit what needs to be done; she never complains, and she looks - oh, so pretty! I think I never knew how much she had in her before.'

All this time no word had come from Lieutenant Worthington. His sister had written him as soon as Amy was taken ill, and had twice telegraphed since, but no answer had been received, and this strange silence added to the sense of lonely isolation and distance from horn and help which those who encounter illness in a foreign land have to bear.

So, first one week and then another wore themselves away somehow. The fever did not break on the fourteenth day, as had been hoped, and must run for another period, the doctor said, but its force was lessened, and be considered that a favourable sign. Amy was quieter now and did not rave so constantly, but she was very weak. All her pretty hair had been shorn away, which made her little face look tiny and sharp. Mabel's golden wig was sacrificed at the same time. Amy had insisted upon it and they dared not cross her.

`She has got a fever too, and it's a great deal badder than mine is,' she protested. `Her cheeks are as hot as fire. She ought to have ice on her head, and how can she when her bang is so thick? Cut it all off, every bit, and then I will let you cut mine.'

`You had better give ze child her way,' said Dr Hilary. `She's in no state to be fretted with triffles [trifles, the doctor meant], and in ze end it will be well, for ze fever infection might harbour in zat doll's head as well as elsewhere, and I should have to disinfect it, which would be bad for ze skin of her.'

`She isn't a dolly,' cried Amy, overhearing him, `she's my child, and you shan't call her names.' She hugged Mabel tight in her arms, and glared at Dr Hilary defiantly.

So Katy, with pitiful fingers, slashed away at Mabel's blond wig till her head was as bare as a billiard ball, and Amy, quite content, patted her child while her own locks were being cut, and murmured, `Perhaps your hair will all come out in little round curls, darling, as Johnnie Carr's did,' then she fell into one of the quietest sleeps she had yet had.

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