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.