Helène could not speak. The tension had been almost more than she could bear. She found relief, however, in laughter, an hysterical kind of laughter it sounded to Morton’s ears. But he was glad to hear it; it told him that he need have no further anxiety about the girls’ courage; they would measure up to what was still before them.
The wagon came to a halt and John stepped out, carefully closing the canvas flaps behind him. He returned soon, however, and informed the girls that there was nothing the matter; he would leave them alone now and take his seat alongside the driver, and a man would precede the cart on horseback. In a few minutes a brass lantern was swinging from the fore peak of the canvas hood, its grateful light spreading a pleasant warmth into the interior of the vehicle.
The girls, curious as to their situation, looked about them. At first they could make out nothing but vague