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   Chapter 22 SEARCHING FOR THE DIAMONDS.

Tracy Park By Mary Jane Holmes Characters: 32447

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


They went directly to Mrs. Tracy's room, where they found that lady in a much higher fever of excitement than when she first discovered her loss. All the household had assembled in the hall and in her room, except Arthur, who sat in his library, occasionally stopping to listen to the sound of the many voices, and to wonder why there was much noise.

Tom was there with his friend, Fred Raymond, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Harold, whose face wore a look of wonder and perplexity which deepened into utter amazement as Mrs. Tracy angrily demanded of him what his business was in the hall on Wednesday morning when she saw him sneaking through the door.

'Where had you been, and did you see my diamonds? Somebody has stolen them,' she said, while Harold gazed at her in utter astonishment.

'Somebody stolen your diamonds!' he repeated, without the shadow of an idea that she could in any way connect him with a theft; nor would the idea have come to him at all, if Tom had not said to him with a sneer:

'Better own up, Hal, and restore the property. It is your easiest way out of it.'

Then he comprehended, and had Tom knocked him senseless the effect could not have been greater. With lips as white as ashes and fists tightly clenched, he stood, shaking like a leaf and staring helplessly, first at one and then at another, unable to speak until his eyes fell on Jerry, whose face was a study. She had thrown her head forward and on one side, and was looking intently at Tom Tracy, while her blue eyes flashed fire, and her whole attitude was like that of a tiger ready to pounce upon its prey. And when Harold said faintly, 'Ask Jerry; she knows,' she did pounce upon Tom, not bodily, but with her tongue, pouring out her words so rapidly and mingling with them so much German that it was almost impossible to understand all she said.

'You miserable, good-for-nothing, nasty fellow,' she began. 'Do you dare accuse Harold of stealing! Stealing! You, who are not fit to tie his shoes! And do you want to know why he was here that morning? I can tell you; but no, I won't tell you! I won't speak to you! I'll never speak to you again; and if you try to kiss me as you did the other day, I'll-I'll scratch out every single one of your eyes! You twit Harold for being poor, and call him a charity! What are you but a charity yourself, I'd like to know! Is this your house? No, sir! It is Mr. Arthur's! Everything is Mr. Arthur's, and if you don't quit being so mean to Harold I'll tell him every single nasty thing I know about you! Then see what he will do!'

As Jerry warmed with her subject, every look, every gesture, and every tone of her voice was like Arthur's, and Frank watched with a fascination which made him forget everything else, until she turned suddenly to him, and in her own peculiar style and language told him why Harold had come to the park house that morning when the diamonds were missing.

'I advised him to come,' she said, with all the air of a grown woman, 'and I said I'd stand by him, and I will, forever and ever, amen!'

The words dropped from her lips the more maturely, perhaps, because she had used them once before with reference to the humiliated boy, to whose pale, set face there came a smile as he heard them again, and stretching out his hand he laid it on Jerry's curly head with a caressing motion which told plainer than words could have done of his affection for and trust in her.

What more Jerry might have said was prevented by the appearance of a new actor upon the scene in the person of Arthur himself. He had borne the noise and confusion as long as he could, and then had rung for Charles to enquire what it meant. But Charles was too much absorbed with other matters to heed the bell, though it rang three times sharply and loudly. At last, as no one came, and the bustle outside grew louder, and Jerry's voice was distinctly heard, excited and angry, Arthur started to see for himself what had happened.

'Oh, Mr. Arthur,' Jerry cried, as she caught sight of him coming down the hall, 'I was just going after you, to come and turn Tom out of doors, and everybody else who says that Harold took Mrs. Tracy's diamonds. She has lost them, and Tom-'

But here she was interrupted by Tom himself, who, always afraid of his uncle, and now more afraid than ever because of the fiery gleam in his eyes, stammered out that he had not accused Harold, nor any one; that he only knew the diamonds were gone and could not have gone without help.

'Do you mean those stones your mother flashed in my eyes that night? Serves her right if she has lost them,' Arthur said, without manifesting the slightest interest or concern in the matter.

But when Jerry began her story, which she told rapidly in German, he became excited at once, and his manner was that of a maniac, as he turned fiercely upon Tom, denouncing him as a coward and a liar, and threatening to turn him out of the house if he dared harbor such a suspicion against Harold Hastings.

'I'll turn you all into the street,' he continued, 'if you are not careful, and bring Harold and Jerry here to live; then see if I can have peace. Diamonds, indeed! what has a poor man's wife to do with diamonds? Gretchen's diamonds, too! If they are lost, search the house, but never accuse Harold again.'

At this paint Arthur wandered off into German, which no one could understand except Jerry, who stood, holding fast to his arm, her face flushed and triumphant at Harold's victory and Tom's defeat; but as the tirade in German went on, she started suddenly forward, and with clasped hands and staring eyes stood confronting Arthur until he had ceased speaking, and with a wave of his hand signified that he was through and his audience dismissed. Jerry, however, did not move, but stood regarding him with a frightened, questioning expression in her face, which was lost upon the spectators, who were too much interested in the all-absorbing topic to notice anyone particularly.

Tom was the first to go away, and his example was followed by all the servants, except Charles, who succeeded in getting his master back to his room and quieting him somewhat, though he kept talking to himself of diamonds, and Paris, and Gretchen, who, he said, should not he wronged.

'I am sorry, Harold, that this thing has happened. I have no idea that you know anything of the matter. I would as soon suspect my own son,' Frank said to Harold, as he was leaving the house.

With this grain of comfort, the boy went slowly home, humiliated and cut to the heart with the indignity put upon him; while Jerry walked silently at his side, never speaking a word until they were nearly home, when she said, suddenly:

'I know where the diamonds are, but I shan't tell now while there is such a fuss;' but Harold was too much absorbed in his own thoughts to pay much attention to the remark, although it recurred to him years after, when the diamonds came up to confront him again.

It did not take long for the whole town to know of Mrs. Tracy's loss. The papers were full of it. The neighbors talked of it constantly, and two detectives were employed to work the matter up and discover the thief, if possible. A thorough search was also made at the park house. Every servant was examined and cross-examined, and all their trunks and boxes searched; every nook and corner and room was gone through in the most systematic order, even to Arthur's apartments. This last was merely done as a matter of form, and to let the indignant servant see that no partiality was shown, the polite officers explained to Arthur, who at first refused to let them in, but who finally opened the door himself, and bade them go where they liked.

Half hidden among the cushions of the sofa from which Arthur had arisen when he let the officers in and to which he returned again, was Jerry, her face pale to her lips and her eyes like the eyes of some haunted animal, when she saw the policemen cross the threshold.

After her return home the previous day she had been unusually taciturn and had taken no part in the conversation relative to the missing diamonds, but just before going to bed she said to Harold:

'What will they do with the one who took the diamonds, if they find him?'

'Send him to state prison,' Harold answered.

'And what do they do to them in state prison?' Jerry continued.

'Cut their hair off; make them eat bread and water and mush, and sleep on a board, and work awful hard,' was Harold's reply, given at random and without the least suspicion why the question had been asked.

Jerry said no more, but the next morning she started for the park house, which she knew was to be searched, and going to Mr. Arthur's room looked him wistfully in the face as she asked in a whisper:

'Are they found?'

'Found! What found?' he said, as if all recollection of the missing jewels had passed entirely from his mind.

'The diamonds; Mrs. Tracy's diamonds; the ones you gave her,' was Jerry's answer.

For a moment, Arthur looked perplexed and bewildered and confused, and seemed trying to recall something which would not come at his bidding.

'I don't know anything about it,' he said at last. 'I don't seem to think of anything, my head is so thick with all the noise there was here yesterday and the tumult this morning. Search-warrants, Charles says, and two strange men driving up so early. Who are they, Jerry?'

'Police, come to search the house; search everybody and everything. Ain't you afraid?' Jerry said.

'Afraid? No: why should I be afraid? Why, child, how white you are, and what makes you tremble so? You didn't take the diamonds,' was Arthur's response, as he drew the little girl close to him and looked into her pallid face.

'Mr. Arthur,' Jerry began, very low, as if afraid of being heard, 'if I should give Maude something for her very own, and she should accept and keep it a good while, and then some day I should take it from her, when she did not know it, and hide it, and not give it up, would that be stealing?'

'Certainly. Why do you ask?'

Jerry did not say why she asked, but put the same question to him she had put to Harold:

'If they find the one who took the diamonds will they send him to state prison?'

'Undoubtedly. They ought to.'

'And cut off his hair?'

She was threading Arthur's luxuriant locks caressingly, and almost pityingly, with her fingers as she asked the last question, to which he replied, shortly:

'Yes.'

'And make him eat bread and water and mush?'

'Yes; I believe so.'

'And sleep on a board?'

'Yes, or something as bad.'

'And make him work awful hard until his hands are blistered?'

Now she had in hers Arthur's hands, soft and white as a woman's, and seemed to be calculating how much hard work it would take to blister hands like these.

'Yes, work till his hands drop off,' Arthur said.

With a shudder, she continued:

'I could not bear it: could you?'

'Bear it? No; I should die in a week. Why, what does ail you? You are shaking like a leaf. What are you afraid of?'

'I don't know; only state prison seems so terrible, and they are looking everywhere. What if they should come in here?'

'Come in here? Impossible, unless they break the door down,' Arthur replied; and then Jerry said to him:

'If they do, suppose you lie down and let me cover you with the afghan and cushions?'

'But I don't want to lie down and be smothered with cushions,' Arthur returned, puzzled, and wondering at the excitement of the child, who nestled close to his side and held fast to his hand, as if she were guarding him, or expected him to guard her, while the examination went on outside, and the frightened and angry servants submitted to having their boxes and trunks examined.

At last footsteps were heard on the stairs and the sound of strange voices, mingled with that of Frank, who was protesting against his brother's rooms being entered.

'You will lose every servant you have if we do not serve all alike,' was the answer.

Then Frank knocked at his brother's door and asked admittance.

'We must do it to pacify the servants,' he said, as Arthur refused, bidding him go about him business.

After a little further expostulation Arthur arose, and, unlocking the door, bade them enter and look as long as they pleased and where they pleased.

It was a mere matter of form, for not a drawer or box was disturbed; but Jerry's breath came in gasps, and her eyes were like saucers, as she watched the men moving from place to place, and then looked timidly at Arthur to see how he was taking it. He took it very coolly, and when it was over and the men were about to leave, he bade them come again as often as they liked; they would always find him there ready to receive them, but the diamonds-nix.

This last he said in a low tone as he turned to Jerry, who, the moment they were alone and he had seated himself beside her, put her head on his arm and burst into a hysterical fit of crying.

'Why, Cherry, what is it? Why are you crying so?' he asked, in much concern.

'Oh, I don't know,' the sobbed; 'only I was so scared all the time they were in the room. What if they had found them! What if they should think that-that-I took them, and should send me to prison, and cut off my hair: and make me eat bread and water and mush, which I hate!'

Arthur looked at her a moment, and then with a view to comfort her, said, laughingly:

'They would not send you to prison, for I would go in your stead.'

'Would you? Could you? I mean could somebody go for another somebody, if they wanted to ever go much?' Jerry asked, eagerly, as she lifted her tear-stained face to Arthur's.

Without clearly understanding her meaning, and with only a wish to quiet her, Arthur answered, at random:

'Certainly. Have you never heard of people who gave life for another's? So, why not be a substitute, and go to prison, if necessary?'

'Yes,' Jerry answered, with a long-drawn breath, and the cloud lifted a little from her face.

After a moment, however, she asked, abruptly:

'Suppose the one who took the diamonds will not give them up, and somebody else knows where they are, ought that somebody else tell?'

'Certainly, or be an accessory to the crime,' was Arthur's reply.

Jerry did not at all know what an accessory was, but it had an awful sound to her, and she asked:

'What do they do to an accessory? Punish her-him, I mean-just the same?'

'Yes, of course,' Arthur said, scarcely heeding what she was asking him, and never dreaming of the wild fancy which had taken possession of her.

That one could go to prison in another's stead, and that an accessory would be punished equally with the criminal, were the two ideas distinct in her mind when she at last arose to go, saying to Arthur, as she stood in the door:

'You are sure you are not afraid to have them come here again, if they take it into their heads to do so?'

'Not in the least; they can search my rooms every day and welcome, if they like,' was Arthur's reply.

'Well, that beats me!' Jerry said aloud to herself, with a nod for every word, as she went down the stairs and started for home, taking the Tramp House on her way. 'I guess I'll go in there and think about it,' she said, and entering the deserted building, she sat down upon the bench and began to wonder if she could do it, if worst came to worst, as it might.

'Yes, I could for him, and I'll never tell; I'll be that thing he said, and a substitute, too, if I can,' she thought, 'though I guess it would kill me. Oh, I hope I shan't have to do it! I mean to say a prayer about it, anyway.'

And kneeling down in the damp, dark room, Jerry prayed, first, that it might never be found out, and second, that if it were she might not be called to account as an accessory, but might have the courage to be the substitute, and stand by him forever and ever, amen!'

'I may as well begin to practice, and see if I can bear it,' she thought, as she walked slowly home, where she astonished Mrs. Crawford by asking her to make some mush for dinner.

'Mush! Why, child, I thought you hated it

' Mrs. Crawford exclaimed.

'I did hate it,' Jerry replied, 'but I want it now real bad. Make it for me, please. Harold likes it, don't you, Hally?'

Harold did like it very much; and so the mush was made, and Jerry forced herself to swallow it in great gulps, and made up her mind that she could not stand that any way. She preferred bread and water. So, for supper she took bread and water and nothing else, and went up to bed us unhappy and nervous as a healthy, growing child well could be.

She had tried the mush, and the bread and water, and now she meant to try the shorn head, which was the hardest of all, for she had a pride in her hair, which so many had told her was beautiful.

Standing before her little glass, with the lamp beside her, she looked at it admiringly for a while, turning her head from side to side to see the bright ringlets glisten; then, with an unsteady hand the severed, one by one, the shining tresses, on which her tears fell like rain as she gathered them in a paper and put them away, wondering if the prison shears would cut closer or shorter, and wondering if it would make any difference that she was only a substitute, or at most an accessory.

It was a strange idea which had taken possession of her, and a senseless one, but it was terribly real to her, and that little shorn head represented as noble and complete a sacrifice as was ever made by older and wiser people. There was no hard board to sleep upon, and so she took the floor, with a pillow under her head and a blanket over her, wondering the while if this were not a more luxurious couch than convicts, who had stolen diamonds, were accustomed to have.

'Why, Jerry, what have you done?' and 'Oh, Jerry, how you look!' were the ejaculatory remarks which greeted her next morning, when she went down to her breakfast of bread and water, for she would take nothing else.

'Why did you do it?' Mrs. Crawford asked a little angry and a good deal astonished; but Jerry only answered at first with her tears, as Harold jeered at her forlorn appearance and called her a picked chicken.

'Maude's hair is short, and all the girls', and mine was always in my eyes and snarled awfully,' she said at last, and this was all the excuse she would give for what she had done; while for her persisting in a bread and water diet she would give no reason for three or four days. Then she said to Harold, suddenly:

'You told me that the one who stole the diamonds would have to eat bread and water and have his head shaved, and I am trying to see how it would seem-am playing that I am the man, and in prison; but I find it very hard, I don't believe I can stand it. Oh, Harold, do you think they will ever find the diamonds? I am so tired and hungry, and the blackberry pie we had for dinner did look so good!'

'Jerry,' Harold exclaimed, in amazement, and but dimly comprehending her real meaning, 'you are crazy, to be playing you are a convict! And is that what you have been doing?'

'Ye-es,' Jerry sobbed; 'but I can't bear it, and I hope they will not find him,'

'Him! Who?' Harold asked.

'The one who took the diamonds,' she replied.

'And I hope they will. He ought to be found and punished. Think what harm he has done to me by letting them accuse me,' Harold answered, indignantly.

'No, no, Hally,' Jerry replied. 'No one accused you but Tom, and he is meaner than dirt; and if they did think you took them, and if you had to go, I should not let you; I should go in your place. I could do it for you and Mr. Arthur, but for no one else. Oh, I hope they will never find them.'

She put her hands to her head, and looked so white and faint that Harold was alarmed, and took her at once to his mother, who, scarcely less frightened than himself, made her lie down, and brought her a piece of toast and a cup of milk, which revived her a little. But the strain upon her nerves for the last few days, and the fasting on bread and water proved too much for the child, who for a week or more lay up in her little room, burning with fever, and talking strange things at intervals, of diamonds, and state prison, and accessories, and substitutes, the last of which she said she was, assuring some one to whom she seemed to be talking that she would never tell, never!

Every day Arthur came and sat for an hour by her bed, and held her hot hands in his, and listened to her talk, and marvelled at her shorn head, which he did not like. Whatever he said to her was spoken in German, and as she answered in the same tongue, no one understood what they said to each other, though Harold, who understood a few German words, knew that she was talking of the diamonds, and the prison, and the substitute.

'I shall never tell!' she said to Arthur, 'and I shall go! I can bear it better than you. It is not that which makes my headache so. It's-oh, Mr. Arthur, I thought you so good, and I am so sorry about the diamonds-Mrs. Tracy was so proud of them. Can't you contrive to get them back to her? I could, if you would let me. I am thinking all the time how to do it, and never let her know, and the back of my head aches so when I think.'

Arthur could not guess what she really meant, except that the lost diamonds troubled her, and that she wished Mrs. Tracy to have them. Occasionally his brows would knit together, and he seemed trying to recall something which perplexed him, and which her words had evidently suggested to his mind.

'Cherry,' he said to her one day when he came as usual, and her first eager question was, 'Have they found them?' 'Jerry, try and understand me. Do you know where the diamonds are?'

Instantly into Jerry's eyes there came a scared look, but she answered, unhesitatingly:

'Yes, don't you?'

'No,' was the prompt reply; 'though it seems to me I did know, but there has been so much talk about them, and you are so sick, that everything has gone from my head, and the bees are stinging me frightfully. Where are the diamonds?'

But by this time Jerry was in the prison, sleeping on a board and eating bread and mush, and Arthur failed to get any satisfaction from her. Indeed, they were two crazy ones talking together, with little or no meaning in what they said. Only this Arthur gathered-that Jerry would be happy if 'Mrs. Tracy had her diamonds again and did not know how they came to her. When this dawned upon him he laughed aloud, and kissing her hot cheek, said to her:

'I see; I know, and I'll do it. Wait till I come again.

It was ten o'clock in the morning when he left Mrs. Crawford's house; there was a train which passed the station at half-past ten, bound for New York, and without returning to the park, Arthur took the train, sending word to his brother not to expect him home until the next day, and not to be alarmed on his account, as he was going to New York and would take care of himself.

Why he had gone Frank could not guess, and he waited in much anxiety for his return. It was evening when he came home, seeming perfectly composed and well, but giving no reason for his sudden journey to the city. His first inquiry was for Jerry, and his second, if anything had been heard of the diamonds. On being answered in the negative, he remarked:

'Those rascally detectives are bunglers, and oftentimes would rather let the culprit escape than catch him. I doubt if you ever see the jewels again. But no matter; it will all come right. Tell your wife not to fret,'

The next morning when Mrs. Tracy went to her room after breakfast she was astonished to find upon her dressing bureau a velvet box with Tiffany's name upon it, and inside an exquisite set of diamonds; not as fine as those she had lost, or quite as large, but white, and clear, and sparkling as she took them in her hand with a cry of delight, and ran with them to her husband. Both knew from whence they came, and both went at once to Arthur, who, to his sister-in-law's profuse expressions of gratitude, replied indifferently:

'Don't bother me with thanks; it worries me. I bought them to please the little girl, who talks about them all the time. She will yet well now, I am going to tell her.'

He found Jerry better, and perfectly sane. She was very glad to see him, though she seemed somewhat constrained, and shrank from him a little, when he sat down beside her. Her first rational question had been for him, and her second for the diamonds; were they found, and if not, were they still looking for them.

'No, they have not found them,' Harold had said, 'and the officers are still hunting for the thief, while the papers are full of the reward offered to any one who will return them. Five hundred dollars now, for Mr. Arthur has added two hundred to the first sum. He has quite waked up to the matter. You know he seemed very indifferent at first.'

'Mr. Arthur offered two hundred more!' Jerry exclaimed. 'Well, that beats me!'

This was Mrs. Crawford's favorite expression, which Jerry had caught, as she did most of the peculiarities in speech and manner of those about her.

'Two hundred dollars! He must be crazy.'

'Of course he is. He don't know what he does or says half the time, and especially since you have been sick,' Harold said.

'Sick!' Jerry repeated, quickly. 'Have I been sick, and is that why I am in bed so late? I thought you had come in to wake me up, and I was glad, for I have had horrid dreams.'

Harold told her she had been in bed since the day of the investigation, when she came from the park house with a dreadful headache.

'And you've been crazy, too, as a loon,' he continued, 'and talked the queerest things about state prison, and hard boards, and bread and water, and accessories, and substitutes, and so on. Seemed as if you thought you were a felon, and a body would have supposed that you had either taken the diamonds yourself or else knew who did, the way you went on by spells.'

'Oh, Harold!' Jerry gasped, while her face grew spotted and the perspiration came out upon her forehead. 'Did I speak anybody's name?'

'No,' Harold replied. 'I could not make you do that. I asked you ever so many times if you knew who took the diamonds, and you said "Yes," but when I asked who it was, you always answered, "Don't you wish you knew?" and that was all I could get out of you. Mr. Arthur was here every day, and sometimes twice a day, but you spoke German to him. Still I knew it was about the diamonds, for I understood that word. He was not here yesterday at all. There, hark! I do believe he is coming now. Don't you know who is said to be near when you are talking about him?'

And, with a laugh, Harold left the room just as Arthur entered it.

'Well, Cherry,' he said to her, as he drew a chair to her bedside, 'Mrs. Crawford tells me the bees are out of your head this morning, and I am glad. I have some good news for you. Mrs. Tracy has some diamonds, and is the happiest woman in town.'

Jerry had not noticed his exact words, and only understood that Mrs. Tracy had found her diamonds.

'Oh, Mr. Arthur, I am so glad!' the cried; and springing up in bed, she threw both arms around his neck and held him fast, while she sobbed hysterically.

'There, there, child! Cherry, let go. You throttle me. You are pulling my neck-tie all askew, and my head spins like a top,' Arthur said, as he unclasped the clinging arms and put the little girl back upon her pillow, where she lay for a moment, pale and exhausted, with the light of a great joy shining in her eyes.

'Did she know where they came from? how did you manage it? Are you sure she did not suspect!' she asked.

'I put them on her dressing-bureau while she was at breakfast,' he replied, 'and when she came up there they were-large solitaire ear-rings and a bar with five stones, not quite as large or as fine as the ones she lost, but the best I could find at Tiffany's. Why, Jerry, what is the matter? You do not look glad a bit. I thought you wanted me to give them to her surreptitiously, and I did,' he continued, as the expression of Jerry's face changed to one of blank dismay and disappointment, and the tears gathered in her eyes.

'I did-I do,' she said; 'but I meant, not new ones, but her very own-the ones you gave her.'

For a moment Arthur sat looking at her with a perplexed and troubled expression, as if wondering what she could mean, and why he had so utterly failed to please her; then he said, slowly:

'The ones I gave her? You make my head swim trying to remember, and the bumble-bees are black-faced, instead of white, and stinging me dreadfully. I wish you would say nothing more of the diamonds. It worries me, and makes me feel as if I were in a nightmare, and I know nothing of them.'

Raising herself on her elbow and pointing her finger toward him in a half beseeching, half threatening way, Jerry said:

'As true as you live and breathe, and hope not to be hung and choked to death, don't you know where they are?'

This was the oath which Jerry's companions were in the habit of administering to each other in matters of doubt, and she now put it to Arthur as the strongest she knew.

'Of course not,' he answered, with a little irritation in his tone. 'What ails you, Cherry? Are you crazy, like myself? Struggle against it. Don't let the bees get into your brain and swarm and buzz until you forget everything. You ought to remember; you do things you ought not to do. It is terrible to be crazy and half conscious of it all the time-conscious that no one believes what you say or holds you responsible for what you do.'

'Don't they?' Jerry asked, eagerly, for she knew the meaning of the word 'responsible.' 'If a crazy man or woman took the diamonds, and then forgot, and did not tell, and it was ever found out, wouldn't they be punished?'

'Certainly not,' was the reassuring reply, 'Don't you know how many murders are committed and the murderer is not hung, because they say he is crazy?'

In a moment the cloud lifted from Jerry's face, which grew so bright that Arthur noticed the change, and said to her:

'You are better now, I see, and I must go before I undo it all. Good-bye, and never say diamonds to me again; it gets me all in a-m a-well, a French pickle-mixed, you know.'

He kissed her tenderly, and promising to take her for a drive as soon as she was able, went out and left her alone, wondering why it was that his having given the diamonds to his sister-in-law had failed in its effect upon her, and upon himself, too.

For a long time after he was gone Jerry lay thinking with her eyes closed, so that if Harold or her grandmother came in they would think her asleep. Mr. Arthur was certainly crazy at times-very crazy. She could swear to that, and so could many others. And if a crazy man was not responsible for his acts, then he was not, and the law would not touch him; but with regard to the accessory, she was not sure. If that individual were not crazy, why, then he or she might be punished; and as the taste she had had of bread and water, and hard boards, in the shape of the floor, was not very satisfactory, and as Mrs. Tracy had other diamonds in the place of the lost ones, she finally determined to keep her own counsel and never tell what she had heard Arthur say that morning when the theft was discovered and he had talked so fast in German to her and to himself. If she had known where the diamonds were she might have managed to return them to their owner. But she did not know, and her better course was to keep quiet, hoping that in time Mr. Arthur himself would remember and make restitution; for that he had forgotten and was sincere in saying that he knew nothing of them she was certain, and her faith in him, which for a little time had been shaken, was restored.

With this load lifted from her mind Jerry's recovery was rapid, and when the autumnal suns were just beginning to tinge the woodbine on the Tramp House and the maples in the park woods with scarlet, she took her accustomed seat in Arthur's room and commenced her lessons again with Maude, who had missed her sadly and who would have gone to see her every day during her sickness if her mother had permitted it.

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