"Lie down, Anne," she said. "Be not afraid--'tis only I," bitterly- -"who need fear?"
Anne cowered among the pillows and hid her face in her thin hands. She knew so well that this was true.
"I never thought the time would come," her sister said, "when I should seek you for protection. A thing has come upon me--perhaps I shall go mad--to-night, alone in my room, I wanted to sit near a woman--'twas not like me, was it?"
Mistress Anne crept near the bed's edge, and stretching forth a hand, touched hers, which were as cold as marble.
"Stay with me, sister," she prayed. "Sister, do not go! What--what can I say?"
"Naught," was the steady answer. "There is naught to be said. You were always a woman--I was never one--till now."
She rose up from her chair and threw up her arms, pacing to and fro.
"I am a desperate creature," she cried. "Why was I born?"