And Hagar was right, for Hester's sands were nearer run than those of Mrs. Miller. The utmost care might not, perhaps, have saved her; but the matter was not tested; and when the long clock at the head of the stairs struck the hour of midnight she murmured: "It is getting dark here, mother--so dark--and I am growing cold. Can it be death?"
"Yes, Hester, 'tis death," answered Hagar, and her voice was unnaturally calm as she laid her hand on the clammy brow of her daughter.
An hour later, and Madam Conway, who sat dozing in the parlor below, ready for any summons which might come from Margaret's room, was roused by the touch of a cold, hard hand, and Hagar Warren stood before her.
"Come," she said, "come with me;" and, thinking only of Margaret, Madam Conway arose to follow her. "Not there--but thi