Tell Me, Pretty Maiden
my schoolgirl French on her and Daniel tried some German, but we got no response. As Daniel and the constable lifted her gently between them, she attempted no kind of struggle, but lay passively, her head lolling like a rag doll’s. We soon found a path cutting across from the East Drive and were walking on a swept surface again. The wet snow had soddened my skirts and stockings by now and my teeth were starting to chatter even though I had Daniel’s jacket around my shoulders.
    We soon emerged onto Fifth Avenue and Daniel hailed a cab that whisked us a few short blocks to Seventy-seventh. As Daniel carried the girl through the austere entrance of the hospital, and then down that echoing white-tiled hallway, she showed alarm and attempted to struggle, but she was so weak that he held her easily imprisoned in his arms. Soon she was lying in a hospital bed, wrapped in warm blankets and being attended to by nurses. I retrieved my borrowed cloak just as an imposing, bearded doctor arrived on the scene and we repeated our story for him.
    “Out in the snow, dressed like this?” he demanded. “Such folly.” He had a strong German accent.
    “We were thinking that maybe she wasn’t out in the park willingly. That maybe she had escaped from an abductor or assailant,” Daniel said.
    “ Ach so . I will take a look at her. Move away, please.” A screen was placed around her bed while the doctor examined her. He came out almost immediately, wiping his forehead.
    “She is clearly severely traumatized,” he said. “She won’t let me touch her.”
    “Then it’s possible she was assaulted in the park?”
    “From what I could see, I’d say the answer is no,” the doctor replied. “Her undergarments are tied with an old-fashioned draw-string and don’t appear to have been touched in any way. I should have thought that any potential attacker would have snapped the string in his lust, or at very least not bothered to tie it up again.”
    “And as to other kinds of assault?” Daniel asked. “She didn’t appear to have been struck on the head and knocked unconscious, did she?”
    “Again, not from what I could see. She became so alarmed every time I moved near her that I thought it best to let her recover before we examine her further. So you have no idea who she might be?”
    “She wouldn’t answer any questions or communicate with us in any way,” I said. “Captain Sullivan thought she might not understand English.”
    “Captain Sullivan? You’re in the military, mein Herr ?”
    “New York police,” Daniel replied curtly.
    “ Das ist gut. Then we don’t have to file a police report.”
    “No, that’s been taken care of,” Daniel said. “So we can leave her in your care for the time being, can we?”
    “Of course.”
    “I’ll give you my card.” Daniel fished in his pocket. “And we’ll come to visit her tomorrow.”
    “Hopefully by the next time you come she’ll have fully recovered and we’ll have contacted her family.” The doctor gave a jovial smile.

    I glanced back at her bed as we left. The screens had been wheeled away and she was lying there not moving, eyes closed, looking as if she was carved from white marble.

SIX
    “I’m not sure that I’m in the mood for ice-skating after that escapade,” Daniel said as we stepped into brilliant winter sunshine. “How about you?”
    “I’m feeling thoroughly wet and sodden,” I said, “in need of a change of clothes and some hot tea.”
    “I’ll call us a cab and take you home.”
    “You’ll do no such thing,” I retorted. “All this extravagance with cabs.”
    “Then I’ll let you pay for it,” Daniel teased, “since you made a fortune over in Ireland and are currently working on another lucrative case.”
    “It wasn’t exactly a fortune,” I said, “and in my business I need to put money by for the dry times when no client shows up at my door. Besides, I was brought up to be frugal. I’ve a good pair of legs and they can take

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