This seemed reasonable to Maude, who, leaving Janet to look through a crevice in the door, entered alone into her mother's presence. Mrs. Kennedy had waited long for Maude, and at last, weary with listening to the rain, which made her feel so desolate and sad, she fell asleep, as little Louis at her side had done before her; but Maude's cheering voice awoke her.
"Look, mother," she cried, "see the nice dinner!" and her own eyes fairly danced as she placed the tray upon the table before her mother, who, scarcely less pleased, exclaimed, "A boiled egg--and jelly, too!--I've wanted them both so much. How did it happen?"
"Eat first, and then I'll tell you," answered Maude, propping her up with pillows, and setting the server in her lap.
"It tastes like old times--like Janet," said the invalid, and from the room without, where Janet watched, there came a faint, choking sound, which Matty thought was the wind and which Maude knew was Janet.
Through the door she caught sight of her mistress, whose white, wasted face wrung from her that cry. Stuffing her handkerchief into her mouth, she waited until toast, tea, egg, and all had disappeared, then, with the exclamation, "She's et 'em all up slick and clean," she walked into the room.
It would be impossible to describe that meeting, when the poor sick woman bowed her weary head upon the motherly bosom of her faithful domestic, weeping most piteously while Janet folded her lovingly in her arms, saying to her soothingly, "Nay, now, Matty darling--nay, my bonnie bird--take it easy like--take is easy, and you'll feel better."
"You won't leave me, will you?" sobbed Matty, feeling that it would not be hard to die with Janet standing near.
"No, honey, no," answered Janet, "I'll stay till one or t'other of us is carried down the walk and across the common where them gravestones is standin', which I noticed when I drove up."