The voices--the German voices--came nearer, became louder and more strident. She struggled to collect her thoughts. Where was she? What had happened? Where was Thomas Dean? Gradually some memory of the accident came to her. They had been run down by the Hoffs' car. The voices she kept hearing were those of the two Hoffs, angrily wrangling about something. As she revived further she became acutely conscious that her head seemed to be splitting. What was it the Hoffs were arguing about?
Still lying there motionless, with her eyes closed, endeavoring to collect herself, she tried to listen to what they were saying.
"I tell you there is not time. I must hurry. Every minute is precious. I cannot delay my work for these swine, no matter if they both are dying or dead," old Otto was angrily shouting with many German oaths.
"I tell you," Frederic was saying,--his voice was calmer but determined,--"we've got to get these people to a doctor. It's too heartless. I will not leave them here."
"And betray us at the last moment, when our plans are all ready," snarled old Otto.
"There is less danger if we bundle them into the car and take them with us than if we leave them here," protested Frederic. "Two bodies right here at the entrance would be fine, _nicht wahr?_"
His last remark appealed to old Otto.
"That is so," he muttered. "It is not safe. We must hide the bodies, both of them, yes?"
The bodies! Jane decided that Dean must have been killed and that they thought that she, too, was dead. As she strove to open her eyes she could hear Frederic protesting.
"It's inhuman," he cried. "They both are hurt, but perhaps still alive.
We must take them to a hospital."
"And endanger all our plans," stormed old Otto. "Throw them into the woods."
"We'll do nothing of the sort," Frederic insisted, his voice becoming unusually stern and severe. "I'm going to get both of these people to a doctor at once, I tell you."
With effort Jane opened her eyes and looked cautiously about. Where was Thomas Dean? How badly had he been hurt? The Hoffs' automobile was slowly backing up. As she looked old Otto sprang out of it and righted the motorcycle. As he did so Jane saw the body of Dean lying senseless beneath it, but to him the old German paid no attention. He was examining the motorcycle and still sputtering that the swine should be left to rot.
"We are going to take them with us in the car," directed Frederic in a voice of authority. "I command it."