By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: In The Valley Of The Shadow
Author: Bacon, Josephine Dodge Daskam, 1876-1961
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In The Valley Of The Shadow" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By Josephine Daskam

Copyright, 1903, by Charles Scribner's Sons

TO Belden, pacing the library doggedly, the waiting seemed interminable,
the strain unnecessarily prolonged. A half-hour ago quick feet had
echoed through the upper halls, windows had opened, doors all but
slammed, vague whisperings and drawn breaths had hovered impalpably
about the whole place; but now all was utterly quiet. His own regular
footfall alone disturbed the unnatural stillness of a large house.

Outside, the delicious October sun poured down through an atmosphere of
faultless blue. The foliage was thick yet, and the red-and-yellow
leaves danced heartlessly in the wind. A year ago they had gone on a
nutting-party, and Clarice had raced with the children and picked up
more than anybody else. Now--even to think of her brought that faint
odor of salts-of-lavender and beef-tea that disheartened him so,
somehow, when he sat by her bed coaxing her into sipping the stuff.

Some one was coming down the stairs. It was Peter's step--his new one
since last Friday, when they had all, it seemed, begun to walk and talk
and breathe a little differently. Belden hurried across the room and
caught him at the foot of the steps.

"Well, old man, how goes it?" he demanded, with a determined

His brother-in-law stared at him emptily.

"It's to-morrow," he said, gripping the newel-post, "to-morrow
afternoon. Jameson is coming--they'll do it here. Jameson brings his
special nurse for the--the operation, but the other one is due at five,
and you get her just the same. I told Henry to put up the dog-cart. I
don't know, though--maybe the runabout--no, the tire's loose. Still, it
might do--"

"For heaven's sake, Peter, don't bother about it! I'll find a rig. What
else does he say?"

"He says there's a good fighting chance--a very good one. He says her
grit alone--Oh, Belden, what shall we do? _What_ shall we do?"

Peter sat down heavily on the lowest stair.

"Only last week she was so well--and yet she really wasn't. I suppose
he knows. But it doesn't seem possible--I can't get it through my head.
Poor little Caddy! She never had a sick day in her life. No headaches,
like most Women, even--no nonsense--Oh, Belden, _what_ shall we do?"

"Brace up, Peter; think what a good fighting chance means, think of
that! It's not as if Caddy were old; she has that on her side. She's
seven years behind me, you know."

Peter scowled. "You're fifty, aren't you?"

"Not a bit. Only forty-eight, and just that, too. Now you go out and get
the nurse, and I'll stay here. It'll do you a lot of good. Don't mope
around in the house all day--what's the use?"

"I can't leave the house. Honestly, Belden, I can't. I've tried twice,
and I just walk right back. It's no good. There's the cart--and you
won't be long, will you?"

Belden took up the reins with a vague sense of momentary relief: it was
something to do. Under the influence of the fresh autumn air his spirits
rose; he found himself enjoying the swift rattle of the cart and the
beat of the horse's feet. After all, think of Caddy's grit; think of
her fine constitution! A fighting chance--that was little enough to say,
though. Why couldn't he have put it a little stronger? Hitchcock always
was a pessimist.

At the station the usual crowd of well-dressed suburbanites quieted
their horses and waited impatiently for the express. As Belden drew up
into line, they greeted him with a subdued interest; coachmen left their
seats to ask how Mrs. Moore was to-day, and when could one see her? A
sudden mist came over his eyes as he answered briefly, "Very soon--I

The train thundered in; in an incredibly short time all the guests and
commuters were hurried off toward town--where was that nurse?

As his glance wandered through the thinning crowd, it was met suddenly
and squarely by two brown eyes set in a fresh pink face framed by dark
hair lightly sprinkled with gray. The second that he looked into that
woman's eyes taught him her character, absolutely, as finally as if
he had grown up with her. One could trust her to the last ditch, he

She walked straight up to the cart. "I am the nurse sent for by Dr.
Hitchcock. Are you Mr. Moore?"

"I am Mrs. Moore's brother--Mr. Belden," he explained. "Have you your

"That is all arranged," she returned briefly. "I am all ready. May I ask
you to hurry? Dr. Hitchcock was anxious for me to see her before six,
when the fever begins."

His nerves were more sharply edged than he knew: an instant irritation
seized him.

"There is plenty of room in the back of the cart," he insisted, "the
express people are very uncertain. Would you not better give me the

She swung herself up beside him with a firm, assured motion; for a
heavily built woman she carried herself very lightly.

"I think not," she said decidedly, "the man has started, I am sure. I
would rather lose no time."

He bowed and started the horse: he disliked her already. To a
deep-seated, involuntary disgust that any woman should have to earn her
living he added a displeased wonder that one should choose this method
of doing it. There must be disagreeable details connected with it,
embarrassments, absolute indignities: why did they not marry? This woman
was good-looking enough. She was very obstinate--almost dictatorial. His
idea of womanhood was hopelessly confused with clouds of white tulle,
appealing eyes, and a desire for guidance. It was impossible to connect
any of these characteristics with the woman beside him.

For a while they drove in silence. Then compunction seized him and he
remarked on the beauty of the foliage. She assented easily, but seemed
no more relieved by the speech than embarrassed by the silence. It
was impossible to treat her as a hired servant: one felt a strong
personality in her. Before they reached the house he was searching for
conversation that should not bore her.

As they stepped into the wide hall, where he observed with a shade of
displeasure that her luggage had come before them, Dr. Hitchcock met

"Ah, Miss Strong, glad to see you. Come right up. On time, as usual, of
course! I was afraid you couldn't make it. Jameson comes to-morrow, you

They were up the stairs; Belden stood idly in the hall where they had
left him. He had had an idea of showing her the house, stating some of
the facts of Clarice's sudden and terrible need of her, indicating that
in a family so jarred from the very foundations it would be wiser to
look to him than to the bewildered master of the establishment; but this
was not necessary.

Evidently she persisted in dispensing with his services.

His hand slipped to his vest pocket, but he replaced the cigar
uncertainly: it seemed not quite the thing to smoke. Ought he to go to
Peter? In his mind's eye he saw the poor fellow haunting the landing by
Caddy's door; he had an idea that in some way he kept things quiet by
doing this. And how could one be sure that the troubled creature wanted

There was a violent ring at the bell, a jarring of wheels on the
asphalt. The door flew open and the prettiest little woman imaginable,
all fluffy ends and scarlet flowers and orris scent, rushed toward him.

"Oh, Will! Oh, Will!" she gasped, "isn't it terrible? Where is Peter?
Can I see her? Oh, Will!"

Instinctively he took her in his arms--one always did that with Peter's
sister--and she put her head on his shoulder and cried a little, while
he patted her and murmured, "There, there!"

She was so manifestly comforted, and it was so pleasant to comfort
her--this was what a woman should be. He felt a renewed sense of
capacity, of readiness for even the most terrible emergency. He led her
gently to the great cushioned window-seat and listened sympathetically
to her excited babblings.

"It will kill Peter--it will kill him! In--in a great m-many ways, you
know, Will, Peter isn't so--so c-calm as Caddy. He is just bound up in
her. Suppose--Oh, Will!"

"Don't cry, Sue dear, don't!" he said soothingly. "She has a good
chance--a fine chance, really. These things are mostly resisting power,
you know, and grit, and think what a lot of grit Caddy's got!"

"Oh, I know, I know! Don't you know when the baby died--that first
baby--and s-she was so weak she could hardly speak? 'Never mind,
P-Peter, we'll have another!' Oh, dear, she was so pl-plucky, Will! And
now to think--"

He choked a little. "I know, I know," he murmured, "Caddy's a brick. She
always was."

She sat up, not wholly withdrawing from his arm, and patted her eyes,
breathing brokenly. Little gusts of orris floated toward him.

"Where are the children?" she asked, almost herself now.

"They're here--Peter wants them one minute and sends them away the next.
I should send them to grandmother's, but he won't hear of it."

A light step sounded on the stair. The nurse appeared on the lower
landing. She was dressed in cool blue gingham; the straps of her white
apron marked the firm, broad lines of her bust and shoulder.

"Is this Mrs. Wylie?" she said in her clear, assured voice. "Mrs. Moore
would like to see her a moment. Will you come with me?"

"I will come directly," and Sue gathered together her gloves and

"She's very good-looking--it's a pity her hair is so gray," she breathed
in his ear. As the two women stood together a moment on the landing he
realized, not for the first time, that Sue was a little too small. But
he had never thought her sallow before.

Peter came in by the greenhouse door, walking slowly, his hands behind
his back. He looked old for the first time in his jolly, persistently
boyish life.

"Those chrysanthemums are all drying up," he complained fretfully; "not
one of the blamed servants has done a thing since--since--O Lord, Will,
what shall we be doing this time tomorrow? Where are the children?
Where's Miss Strong? There's a woman for you! Caddy took to her
directly. She's there now. She's talking to her about the children. Oh,
my God!"

Belden grasped his hand and they walked silently up and down the hall.

"Aunt Lucia's coming to-night," Peter resumed nervously. "She will drive
me mad. Take care of her, will you? If I could have choked her off--but
when you think she was just like a mother to Cad all these years, what
can you do? She's got a right. You'd think she'd have got some sense
from living with Cad so long. I told Henry to go for her--and there you
are," he added, as the cart drew up before the open door.

Belden went slowly down the steps; he detested Aunt Lucia, and Clarice
had always stood between them.

"How do you do?" he began, assisting her from the high seat. Her long
crape veil caught in the wheel, and the numberless black and floating
ends of her costume wound themselves about him as he bent down to
disentangle her.

"Oh, Wilmot, this is a terrible day for us all, is it not? Be careful
of the hem of that veil, please. When I kissed Clarice good-by last
Christmas I little thought _what_ a good-by it was! Is she conscious?
You have muddied the boa, I think, but never mind. Can I see her once

"For Heaven's sake, Aunt Lucia, anybody would think Caddy was in
her grave! She's a long way from it yet, thank God! Of course she's
conscious, and spunky as the--as ever. I don't think you really needed

"My dear Wilmot, I prepared Clarice for her confirmation, I dressed
her for her wedding, and I was here when the children were born. If you
think that I would fail her in this crisis you have a very poor idea of
my character. But then, I am perfectly aware that you always had. Oh,
there is Peter! My poor Peter!" She rushed toward him, and Belden smiled
sardonically as his brother-in-law planted a perfunctory kiss on her

"This may comfort you, Peter, as it has me so often in such
circumstances. So short, so true, so helpful. 'Underneath are the
everlasting arms!' Do you feel that, Peter?"

"I--I--yes, indeed, Aunt Lucia--you must want a bite of something, I'm
sure, driving so far."

Peter writhed miserably in Aunt Lucia's crape-and-jet arms.

"Not till I have seen her, Peter. Afterwards I shouldn't mind. I have
brought such a beautiful address by Bishop Hunter. It was delivered on
the occasion of the death of Governor -------, unless I forgot to put it
in with my knitted shawl. I believe I did. I will send for it directly.
When my dear husband--he was so fond of Clarice--died, I read it more
than anything else, except the Prayer-book, of course. You will surely
find it a help."

"Yes, Aunt Lucia. Your room is ready, and--"

"Not till I have seen her, Peter."

"Susy is there now, and Miss Strong says nobody else this evening.

Aunt Lucia drew away.

"Do I understand that Susy Wylie--no relation at all--is preferred
before the only mother Clarice has had for all these years?"

Peter winced. "But you weren't here, Aunt Lucia," he argued wearily.

"Who is Miss Strong?"

"Here she is!" There was great relief in Peter's voice. "Miss Strong, my
aunt, Mrs. Wetherly."

"Mrs. Moore sends you her best love, and wants you to get thoroughly
rested, so that you can see her the first thing in the morning, Mrs.
Wetherly. She says you are not to let them frighten you."

As if by magic the formidable frown faded from Aunt Lucia's forehead.
She smiled approvingly at the nurse.

"Very well. I should like to ask you a few questions--Clarice was always

They moved away together. The two men stared at each other.

"How do you account for that?" Belden queried.

"Oh, it's her calm way and her voice. You want to do everything she
says. Norah says she's sure Mrs. Moore will get well now, with her to
take care of her. By George, Will, if she pulls Caddy through it'll be
worth her while, I tell you."

"Oh, they always do their best. And they all have that habit, I fancy.
It's part of the training."

Peter looked up surprised.

"You don't like her, eh?"

"How absurd. I never considered her particularly. I don't care for
masculine, dictatorial women, on general principles--"

"Oh, nonsense! I tell you you've taken a grudge against her, and you
want to get rid of it as soon as possible."

"I suppose I have a right to my opinion," Belden began hotly, but a wave
of remorse surged over him at sight of the other man's drawn, nervous

"Any one would think we had nothing to do but scrap over a trained
nurse," he said lightly. "She's all you say, I haven't a doubt, old man,
and if she pulls Caddy through, I'll sing her praises louder than any of

They sat in silence. A burst of laughter from the kitchen-garden
startled them, and Belden started up as if to check it.

"Don't stop 'em--it's the servants. Why shouldn't they laugh?" said
Peter quietly. "I've been thinking it all over. If Caddy--if--if she
doesn't get well, she doesn't want a lot of black and all that. It's bad
for the children. And she said the children oughtn't to grow up without
a mother--think of that!"

"I guess that's all right," said Belden sadly. "Look at my boy there!"

A slender, stoop-shouldered lad slouched by the long hall-window, his
hands in his pockets, an unlighted cigarette in his mouth.

"Well, well, we all have our load!" Peter's mood had changed utterly, to
the other's astonishment. He seemed gentler, more thoughtful, controlled
beyond belief.

"I don't see why we shouldn't smoke," he added, and they lighted cigars.

"You see, we talked it all over," he said, half to himself, "and she's
so reasonable and calm, herself.... She says Margaret's going to grow up
just like her. That's a comfort.. And there's the boy."

Suddenly the cigar dropped from his lips to the floor.

"Good God, Belden!" he shouted, "I kept thinking she'd be here, too! I
forgot--I--Oh, what rot! Do you think I'll stand it? Do you think I'll
put up with it? Why didn't Hitchcock know before? It was his business to
know! I tell you I'll ruin that man if it takes every dollar I've got!"

Belden stared at him helplessly. Was this Peter, this red-faced,
scowling menace? As he watched him silently the nurse came in from the

"Mrs. Moore wants to say good night to you, Mr. Moore," she said, her
deep, clear voice echoing strangely after the hoarse passion of Peter's
rage. "I found these all picked--were you going to take them to her?"

Peter drew a deep breath and put out a shaking hand for the flowers.

"I don't know what's the matter with me, Will--I talk like a fool," he
half whispered. "I can't get used to this damned see-saw. First I'm all
ready for it, and then I'm nearly wild. And so it goes--up and down, up
and down."

"How is she? Is it all settled for to-morrow? Hitchcock said that

"Mrs. Moore is doing very well--really very well. She was a little
excited when Mrs. Wylie was with her, but she is nicely sleepy now.
I think it will be better to stay only a moment. She will get a good
night's rest to-night, it is so cool. The weather is on our side."

She smiled into his eyes and nodded gravely. He brightened and squared
his shoulders. As he went quickly up the stairs, Belden stopped the

"Tell me," he said authoritatively, "how is my sister, really? What do
you consider her chance?"

She looked him easily in the eyes. "It is impossible to say," she
returned gravely. "Your sister is a very brave, self-possessed woman,
and seems to have a good constitution. That is, of course, half the
battle. But her case is very complicated, and until the operation, no
one can tell. You may have every confidence in Dr. Jameson. He is a
magnificent surgeon."

Before her non-committal eyes his own fell baffled. He was more
irritated than he cared to own. Could she not see that he was prepared
for anything, that his self-control was as great as her own? She treated
him like a child; those professional reserves, necessary, doubtless,
in the case of Peter and his excitable sister, were wasted on him. Why
could she not see it?

"I am quite aware of Dr. Jameson's skill," he said coldly, "but I
had hoped that you would find yourself able to break through the
professional attitude sufficiently to give me your real opinion, which,
of course, you must have formed."

She threw him a quick glance. "Ah, my friend," he thought exultingly,
"you have a temper, then!" But in an instant it was gone.

"I have told you all I was able to tell," she said evenly. "I have been
here but a short time, you know."

She turned and left the hall, and he, chafing under a sense of merited
rebuke, conscious of a foolish petulance, went discontentedly into the
library. He seemed to be continually at fault with Miss Strong, but
unable to resist the effort to master her.

The evening was very lonely and still. Peter had gone to his room early,
and the children had effaced themselves: Susy was with them. Aunt Lucia
read the "Imitation of Christ," by the fire. Bel-den's mind turned
unconsciously to the old days when Caddy and he dreamed out their future
in the nursery. It had all come out just as she had planned, except
this. Poor little Caddy--a fighting chance!

The next morning seemed to fly by them: it was nine o'clock, ten,

At this hour a feverish activity suddenly spread through the house. They
met and passed each other, hurrying, troubled, secretive; the servants
stumbled and quarrelled in their purposeless haste. To Belden, quieting
when he could, sternly optimistic everywhere, at heart heavy and
uncertain, it seemed that the one anchor of their hopes was this calm,
clear-eyed woman in her uniform of authority!

Peter hung pathetically on her lightest word; the children, dazed and
terrified, ate and exercised at her command; his own boy, a strange
hard look in his furtive eyes, followed her like a dog, and Aunt Lucia
submitted with unprecedented meekness to an abrupt curtailment of her
interview with Clarice. He himself went into the bedroom for a moment,
half uncertain of the reality of the experience. It was absurd to
remember that he might never see her, conscious, again--his own little

He sat awkwardly on the side of the bed.

"Well, little woman, how goes it?"

"Queen's taste, Will!"

"Good for you! I'm proud of the Beldens, Caddy--Billy acts like a

Her eyes softened.

"The dear boy," she murmured. Their eyes met. "_Look after him_," hers
said, and his, "_As long as I live!_" He stooped and kissed her lightly.
"Mind you look as well as this to-morrow!"

"Oh, I shall be all right. Miss Strong will take care of me. When I
think how I have the best of everything--such care--I've been a very
happy woman, Will dear."

His eyes filled. He threw her a kiss and went out blindly.

A hand touched his arm. "You've done her good," said the nurse softly.
"You stayed just long enough. She'll take her nap now."

He went heavily into his own room. Below him a little porch led out from
the smoking-room, and as he sat lost in a miserable reverie, voices rose
from it to his window.

"Nobody knows what she's been to me. As much like a mother as I'd let
her. I did everything but the cigarettes, and I meant to tell her I'd do
that too, next month--that's her birthday."

Was this his boy, that pleading, shaken voice? He looked out: the lad
was fingering Miss Strong's white apron nervously. She leaned over the
railing of the little porch, her hand on his shoulder.

"You tell her about it--I'll never smoke another one. It was the last
thing she asked me."

"I'll tell her--she will be so pleased, I know. She asked about you
yesterday. I'll let you know as soon as I can."

Belden, a little later, hurried downstairs, with a confused idea of
thanking her. On the threshold of the library he paused, amazed.
Dr. Hitchcock sat before a small green baize table, studying five
playing-cards held fan-shape in his left hand. Opposite him sat Miss
Strong, holding the pack expectantly.

"You can give me two, my dear, I think," he said as Belden entered.
Looking up, he smiled apologetically.

"I dare say you are surprised," he suggested, "but I have been much
exasperated, Mr. Belden, and a long experience has taught me that
nothing so quickly clears the mind as throwing a few hands of poker.
Miss Strong--an invaluable person--is kindly assisting me. Did I say
three? Yes, of course. Thank you. We are playing for beans only, you

Belden watched them curiously. She sat as imperturbably as by Caddy's
bedside, her eyes fixed thoughtfully on her cards.

"--And raise you three," she said.

"Five more. You will excuse me, Belden, but your aunt, Mrs. Wetherly, is
a somewhat unusually irritating woman. I'll see you, Miss Strong--ah,
yes, two pair, queens up."

"What has she done?"

"She insists that Mrs. Moore shall not only see Mr. Burchard, to which
I have not the least objection, but that he shall hold a communion
service, directly, there. Now, if your sister had asked for this
herself, it would be another matter, but unless this is the case I
always regard it as a depressing agent. It is a strain, in any case."

"I think Mrs. Moore will go through with it very easily, doctor," Miss
Strong interposed, slipping the cards into their leather envelope and
gathering up the beans. "She will be fresh from her nap, and it will
be very short. She has promised Mrs. Wetherly, you know, and it would
distress her more to break it--"

"All right, all right. Have it your way. Much obliged."

He took the cards from her and went out.

"My aunt is very trying," Belden began.

"Oh, many people feel so about it," she assured him, "especially High
Church people. She only did what she thought right."

He drew a breath of relief.

"You'll see she's not too tired?" he asked; and as he went to luncheon
he wondered at the comfort he derived from her mute nod.

He was roused from the table, where the dishes left by them were
untouched for the most part, by a disturbance in the hall.

"It's the priest," the waitress murmured, and with a frown he checked
her rising tears.

Aunt Lucia bustled through the room.

"You must come, Wilmot," she whispered eagerly, "she asked for you.
Peter is locked into his room, and neither of the children has been
confirmed. Susy, of course, is a Presbyterian. Not that dear Mr.
Burchard would object--he is so broad. But you have no excuse. Oh, it is
beautiful, Wilmot! She looks so lovely!"

He followed her wearily. What did it matter? It seemed to him ominous,
terrible--but it would please Caddy. She sat propped up in the bed.
Her cheeks were crimson, her eyes bright. White chrysanthemums stood
in silver vases, candles burned softly on the white-draped dresser. Mr.
Burchard, in the hall just beyond, was slipping his surplice over his
head. A faint odor of wine mingled with the flowers.

Belden dared not look at her. She was to him, in that moment, mystic,
holy, a thing apart. He dropped on his knees beside a silvery white
apron, his eyes on the floor, his heart beating hard.

The clergyman entered slowly, the service began. It was all a murmured
maze to him. Aunt Lucia sobbed quietly beside him, but as he glanced
at her he caught a light on her wet, uplifted face that thrilled him
strangely. Her deep responses spoke a faith and surety that swallowed
for the moment all her little sillinesses and obstinacies.

The solemn words grew in intensity, the candles flickered audibly in the
sacred hush. The clergyman moved toward the bed, and they heard Caddy's
breath draw out in a deep, shuddering sob; her teeth chattered against
the cup.

Belden set his jaw; it was cruel, brutal! They were killing her. His
clinched fist moved blindly toward his neighbor: he touched her hand and
gripped it fiercely.

In front of him on the wall hung a large photograph of Billy's base-ball
nine in full uniform. He could have drawn it from memory, afterwards.
Billy, he remembered, was a great catcher. He held hard to that cool,
firm hand.

"--be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen." There was a little
stir. The hand was drawn from his.

"Come, now," whispered Aunt Lucia, and he walked, stumbling and stiff
from kneeling, from the room. At the door he glanced a second backward,
but only Dr. Hitchcock was to be seen, bending over the bed. Miss Strong
had already taken away candles and flowers, and Caddy's triple mirror
was back on the dresser.

Mr. Burchard, in his long black cassock, offered his hand cordially.

"I am glad you could be with us, Mr. Belden," he began, but the other
broke in:

"If you have tired her, if this--makes a difference--" he muttered
fiercely, "you will have me to settle with. Mind that!"

He hurried down the stairs, his hands still clinched. Peter was starting
off with the road-wagon. They nodded shortly at each other.

From then the time raced on incredibly. The great surgeon, with his two
assistants, was in the hall; he was on the stairs; he was lost to sight.
There was a momentary rush and bustle, the closing of a door. Peter
came out, whispering to himself, and disappeared somewhere. The others,
clustered in the library, spoke fitfully.

"They carried her on a cot into the west room," somebody murmured close
to Belden. It was little Margaret. "I saw her. She waved her hand at me!
I threw her a kiss. Miss Strong smiled at me--I love Miss Strong."

Aunt Lucia sobbed. Susy bit her lip and played with Billy's unwilling

"Where's my father? Where's he gone?" he demanded. "Who's that other
woman with the apron?"

Miss Strong appeared at the door. "She has taken the ether very well
indeed; they are much pleased," she said softly. They hung on her words,
they overwhelmed her with questions. She soothed them like children.

It grew suddenly clear to Belden that Caddy would die. It must be so.
He wondered that they had hoped for anything else. He was sorry for
them all. He watched indifferently while Miss Strong led the children
away--he knew she was taking them to their father. Later, while Aunt
Lucia, on her knees, read through streaming eyes from her prayer-book,
and Susy talked nervously to him, he watched the firm, full figure of
the woman pacing up and down the piazza outside, her arm drawn through
his restless boy's.

"God bless her!" he said aloud.

Afterwards he could never recall the consecutive happenings of the end.
He saw only separate pictures.

In one, a strange young man opened the door and said the words that
frightened them with delight.

In another, a drawn, old, white-faced man--surely not Dr.
Jameson--leaned weakly in a chair, while a woman handed him a tiny glass
of colored liquid.

In yet another, a father hid his face in his little daughter's bosom
and sobbed, with shaking shoulders; his tall son smiled bravely over the
bent head.

In the last picture he himself bore a part; for when he came upon his
shy, suspicious boy clasped in the kind arms of the woman whose brown
eyes, once seen, had haunted his thoughts ever since, he gathered them
both to him irresistibly. As he laid his cheek against hers, he felt
that it was wet with tears.

"It lies with you now," he whispered in her ear, "to give her back to
us, well and strong. He says you can. Afterwards--"

She drew away from him.

"I--I must go. I am so glad--I will do my best," she answered

He caught her hand. "And afterwards?" he repeated, a growing mastery in
his voice. She tried to meet his eyes, but her own fell, conquered.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "In The Valley Of The Shadow" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.