certain these had never happened. Yet they seemed so
familiar, so real.
She walked to the nurse's station and asked for Peter's
number at the hotel. She accepted the slip of paper, thanked
the nurse, and started for the exit.
Peter Beaumont heard one sharp knock on his hotel
room door and rose to answer it. "Hi, Kitty," he said. He
swung the door wide, stepped back. "I figured you'd take
me up on the room, so I got a double." He waved his hands,
pointing to the two big beds.
"Thanks, Uncle Peter."
She stepped into the room and threw her suitcase on
the uncluttered bed. Peter's bed was a shambles; apparently
he had slept the day away as well.
"How's Mamma?" Peter asked.
"No change." She chose not to mention her own coma-
like sleep. "The hospital will call if anything happens."
She examined the large room around her. It was well-
kept, but somehow plain. The air was damp. She noted a
faint water stain on one of the curtains. She frowned.
"How's the food in this place?"
"Expensive," Peter answered. "I ate at McDonald's."
Kitty shook her head and reached for the phone.
When she had finished eating, Peter was already in
bed. He sat reading a magazine and seemed impatient to
turn out the lights. Apparently, his full day of sleep was not
a topic for conversation, either.
The girls played together for hours. They played
Pilgrims-and-Indians, Pocahontas, Davy Crocket -
whatever Kitty wanted to play, Claire joined in with gusto.
They ran laughing through the fields and soon found
themselves back at the giant willow beside the creek.