The Motor Girls Through New England Part 25

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Perhaps, after all, the imprisonment might lead to something of benefit.

"I could sleep, if you would like to," said Cora, for her eyes were strangely heavy and her head ached.

"When I finish my cigarette. You see, I am quite dissipated."

She was the picture of luxurious ease--not of dissipation--and as Cora looked at her she was reminded of those highly colored pictures of Cleopatra.

It was, indeed, a strange imprisonment, but Cora was pa.s.sing through a strange experience. Who could tell what would be the end of it all?

Cora's heart was beating wildly. She could not sleep, although her eyes were so heavy, and her head ached fiercely. The reaction from that powerful drug was setting in, and with that condition came all the protests of an outraged nature. She tossed on her couch. The gypsy queen heard her.

"What is it?" she asked. "Can you not sleep?"

"I don't know," Cora stammered in reply. "I wonder why they took me?"

"You were to appear against Salvo at his trial, I understood. It was necessary to stop you. Perhaps that is one reason," said the gypsy.

"But try to sleep."

For some moments there was silence, and Cora dozed off. Suddenly she awoke with a wild start.

"Oh!" she screamed. "Let me go! Jack! Jack!"

"Hus.h.!.+" whispered the gypsy. "It would not be safe for them to hear you." She pressed her hand to the forehead of the delirious girl.

"You must have had a nightmare."

Cora sighed. Then it was not a dream, it was real! She was still a captive.

"Oh, I cannot help it," she sobbed. "If only I could die!" Then she stopped and touched the gentle hand that was stroking her brow. "You must not mind what I say to-night. It has all been so terrible," she finished.

"But I like you, and will be your friend," a.s.sured the voice as the other leaned so closely toward her. "Yet, I cannot blame you for suffering. It is only natural. Let me give you some mineral water.

That may soothe your nerves."

The light was turned higher, and the form in the white robe flitted over to a cabinet. Cora could see that this gypsy wore a thin, silky robe. It was as white as snow, and in it the young woman looked some living statue.

"I am giving you a great deal of trouble," Cora murmured. "I hope I will be able to repay you some day."

"Oh, as for that, I am glad to have something to do. I have always read of the glory of nursing. Now I may try it. I am very vain and selfish. All I do I do for my own glory. If you are better, and I have made you so, I will be quite satisfied."

She poured the liquid into a gla.s.s, and handed it to the sick girl.

"Thank you," whispered Cora. "Now I will sleep. I was only dreaming when I called out."

"They say I have clairvoyant power. I shall put you to sleep."

The gypsy sat down beside Cora. Without touching her face she was pa.s.sing her hands before Cora's eyes. The latter wondered if this might not be unsafe. Suppose the gypsy should hypnotize her into sleep and that she might not be able to awaken? Yet the sensation was so soothing! Cora thought, then stopped thinking. Sleep was coming almost as it had come when the man seized her.

Drowsy, delightfully drowsy! Then sleep!

CHAPTER XX

CORA AND HELKA

"What a wonderful morning! It makes me think of the Far East," said the gypsy queen.

"Have you been there?" asked Cora politely.

"Yes, I have been many places," replied Helka, "and to-day I will have a chance to tell you some queer stories about myself. I have a lover."

"Then you are content here? You are not lonely?"

"But I dare not own him as a lover; he is not a gypsy."

"This is America. You should be free."

"Yes," and she sighed. "I wonder shall I ever be able to get away!"

"Shall _I_?"

How strange! Two such beautiful young women prisoners in the heart of the White Mountains!

Cora repeated her question.

"Perhaps," answered Helka. "You see, they might fear punishment if you escaped; with me it would be--my punishment."

"But what shall I do?" sighed Cora. "Do you really think they intend to keep me here?"

"Is this not a pleasant place?"

"It is indeed--with you. And I am glad that, bad as it is, I have had a chance to know you. I feel some day that I shall have a chance to help you."

"You are a cheerful girl. I was afraid you would put in all your time crying. Then they would take you away."

"No use to cry," replied Cora, as brightly as she could. "Of course, it is dreadful. But, at least, I am not being abused."

"Nor shall you be. The gypsies are not cruel; they are merely revengeful. I think I like them because they are my truest friends in all the whole, wide world."

A tap at the door stopped the conversation. Then a girl entered. She was the one who had been in the van with Cora!

She looked keenly at the captive and smiled.

"Do you wish anything?" she asked of the queen.

"Yes, breakfast to-day must be double. You see, Lena, I have a friend."

"Yes, I see. I am glad she is better."

The Motor Girls Through New England Part 25

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The Motor Girls Through New England Part 25 summary

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