"I AM COLIN" 171
when she had asked questions about the crying.
" Martha knew about you all the time? " she said.
"Yes; she often attends to me. The nurse likes to get away from me and then Martha comes."
" I have been here a long time," said Mary. " Shall I go away now? Your eyes look sleepy."
" I wish I could go to sleep before you leave me," he said rather shyly.
" Shut your eyes," said Mary, drawing her footstool closer, " and I will do what my Ayah used to do in India. I will pat your hand and stroke it and sing something quite low."
" I should like that perhaps," he said drowsily.
Somehow she was sorry for him and did not want him to lie awake, so she leaned against the bed and began to stroke and pat his hand and sing a very low little chanting song in Hindustani.
" That is nice," he said more drowsily still, and she went on chanting and stroking, but when she looked at him again his black lashes were lying close against his cheeks, for his eyes were shut and he was fast asleep. So she got up softly, took her candle and crept away without making a sound.