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Chapter 36

  • Finally Valancy went to bed. Before she went she re-read Dr. Trent's letter.
  • It comforted her a little. So positive. So assured. The writing so black an_teady. Not the writing of a man who didn't know what he was writing about.
  • But she could not sleep. She pretended to be asleep when Barney came in.
  • Barney pretended to go to sleep. But Valancy knew perfectly well he wasn'_leeping any more than she was. She knew he was lying there, staring throug_he darkness. Thinking of what? Trying to face—what?
  • Valancy, who had spent so many happy wakeful hours of night lying by tha_indow, now paid the price of them all in this one night of misery. _orrible, portentous fact was slowly looming out before her from the nebula o_urmise and fear. She could not shut her eyes to it—push it away—ignore it.
  • There could be nothing seriously wrong with her heart, no matter what Dr.
  • Trent had said. If there had been, those thirty seconds would have killed her.
  • It was no use to recall Dr. Trent's letter and reputation. The greates_pecialists made mistakes sometimes. Dr. Trent had made one.
  • Towards morning Valancy fell into a fitful dose with ridiculous dreams. One o_hem was of Barney taunting her with having tricked him. In her dream she los_er temper and struck him violently on the head with her rolling-pin. H_roved to be made of glass and shivered into splinters all over the floor. Sh_oke with a cry of horror—a gasp of relief—a short laugh over the absurdity o_er dream—a miserable sickening recollection of what had happened.
  • Barney was gone. Valancy knew, as people sometimes know things—inescapably,
  • without being told—that he was not in the house or in Bluebeard's Chambe_ither. There was a curious silence in the living-room. A silence wit_omething uncanny about it. The old clock had stopped. Barney must hav_orgotten to wind it up, something he had never done before. The room withou_t was dead, though the sunshine streamed in through the oriel and dimples o_ight from the dancing waves beyond quivered over the walls.
  • The canoe was gone but Lady Jane was under the mainland trees. So Barney ha_etaken himself to the wilds. He would not return till night—perhaps not eve_hen. He must be angry with her. That furious silence of his must mea_nger—cold, deep, justifiable resentment. Well, Valancy knew what she must d_irst. She was not suffering very keenly now. Yet the curious numbness tha_ervaded her being was in a way worse than pain. It was as if something in he_ad died. She forced herself to cook and eat a little breakfast. Mechanicall_he put the Blue Castle in perfect order. Then she put on her hat and coat,
  • locked the door and hid the key in the hollow of the old pine and crossed t_he mainland in the motor boat. She was going into Deerwood to see Dr. Trent.
  • She must  _know._