Do not be afraid. I am not here to hurt you.

I will protect you.

Hush now. There is no need to struggle. You will make these injuries worse. You must be still. I will attend you.

Drink. Not too much or you will be sick. There. That is better now isn't it? It isn't so bad you see. You just have to be patient and trust me a little.

Rest your head against this. The light is in your eyes? Here. Yes. That is better. I'm right between you and the sun's glare now.

Tch. Tch. So hurt! It will take many weeks before you will walk again. But you will walk again. I shall see to that. Just you trust Old Mother Kate.

I'm the best healer about these parts, you'll find. There isn't much I don't know about the ways of herbs and plants and hidden things. I will make you walk. I will heal you. I will heal you far better than any doctor.

Hush... there isn't anybody here except for me. I'm just Old Mother Kate, here to help you. Be still child.

...

Soon you will speak to me. You will tell me your name. I know you are beautiful. You were beautiful. Never mind. You will be so again when Old Mother Kate has finished with you. You will see. There won't be any scars left except for that horrible one across your right cheekbone.

Ah! You stir! Perhaps you will speak... No? You sleep so deeply child. It is good. Sleep will heal you. Sleep will rest you.

...

You are awake I see. I think your eyes are afraid. All is well, my lovely. It is just Old Mother Kate. I found you. You are safe with me.

Shhh... don't stir. You are still too weak. A little broth perhaps? It has been two weeks. You need some strength. I will fetch a pillow for your head.

There. Rest yourself on that. Now gently, gently child! Just a little sip at a time will do. So weak. Do not worry. Soon you will feed yourself again. Old Mother Kate will make you strong.

No more? Tch. Only a few swallows. I shall have to get you eating more than that. There. Rest now child. Old Mother Kate will watch over you.

...

Do you sleep still? You will forgive me if I speak with you, my lovely. It is lonely here in the woods. Nobody ever comes to visit. I should like to talk with you, even if you sleep. I will pretend that you are awake and will answer me.

You took my heart right out of me when I found you. I thought you were dead. It was like those horrible stories they tell of the murdered people. I was so frightened.

So much blood. Whoever did this to you was cruel. So cruel. May all the curses of hell rest upon his shoulders! Devil-Man!

And you- you must have been so beautiful. I can always tell when a lady is beautiful. You are beautiful- despite what he did. He would have made you hideous. But all is well, my lovely. You need not fear. Old Mother Kate will rescue your beauty for you.

I almost lost you. So injured! But I asked the Good Lord to help me. I stayed with you all the first night, and the next. I would not leave your side. I do not think even Old Mother Kate could have saved you, child, had not the Good Lord helped me. But the Good Lord helped me and you still live.

I will pray still, that the Good Lord will help me see you through. Mother Kate is old child, it is hard for me to do many things now. But I will see to it that you are healed before I go. Old Mother Kate will look after you.

You will be beautiful and strong. Perhaps you will forget an old woman. Never mind. Old Mother Kate will not forget you, child. I will always remember. One day the Good Lord will reward me for bringing you back from the grave.

Back from the grave! Old Mother Kate saved you, my lovely! I did it all of myself- and no doctors nor help at all. I have done a better job with all my herbs and pastes and concoctions than all they with their fine hospitals and white robes.

They laughed at Old Mother Kate. They said it was 'superstitious nonsense'. They did not know- they do not know- that I have saved you. I brought you back from the grave. Old Mother Kate has healing hands, my lovely. I did it all to save you. I would do it again.

...

I know who you are, my child. I read it in a paper. I never get the paper. I found this one in with the hens. The boy must have left it behind.

You need not be afraid. Old Mother Kate will not tell anyone. Nobody knows about you save Old Mother Kate. Not even the boy.

They will not find you here. Old Mother Kate will not let them take you away.

...

You say so little child, I can tell that there is some secret thing in your mind. You will not tell Old Mother Kate, but your eyes are sad.

Perhaps Old Mother Kate is too old and foolish for your confidences. Yet I should like to help you- if you speak. I can listen child. Listening is good for the troubled heart.

...

It still troubles you, my child. I can tell. Your sorrow is not yet gone. Yet you never speak to me of it.

So polite- and so simple. Yes, thankyou ma'am. No thankyou, ma'am. Nothing else ever seems to pass your lips.

Sometimes I wonder if you even notice Old Mother Kate rattling with her things. You never glance my way.

...

Today I saw you smile. Such a slight smile- but a smile nevertheless!

You are so beautiful when you smile, my lovely.

You are beginning to talk to me. You did not trust me at first I think. That is why you were so silent.

...

Yes, child. You are strong enough now. Old Mother Kate could not expect to keep you away from your friends.

You will go to find them, in the big city, will you not? You will tell them that you are alive and well- and it is all due to Old Mother Kate. Old Mother Kate is very proud, my lovely.

...

She is gone.

The child is gone. Ah! I am a foolish old woman to weep so.

But I think- yes- I am happy. She spoke so gently. She touched my hand.

I think she cares about Old Mother Kate.