"Get under the bed, Kaya!" Laura whispered urgently. "Quickly!"
Kaya scurried under the bed which was already low to the ground, and Laura made sure she couldn't be seen.
Kaya had hidden just in time, because just then, Mary came up with her beautiful curls bouncing and her dress swaying. She had clearly had a fun night.
"How was it?" Laura asked.
"It was positively amazing!" Mary sighed in delight.
"Did you dance?" Laura smiled. After having a fun night of her own, she no longer felt so jealous.
"Of course! I danced and ate and partied!" Mary cried, "Nellie was there - her dress ripped in front of everyone. So much for that dress from Paris!"
Both girls giggled uncontrollably. Before Ma ordered up for them to stop laughing at the expense of other people and to go to bed.
Just as Laura thought she was off the hook from being discovered, Mary looked at Laura and then glanced back and blinked as if doing a double-take.
"Why do you have your new Sunday best on?" Mary questioned, "Also, is that one of Ma's special bows?" She fingered the bow delicately. "Did you get crumbs on it?"
"NO!" Laura told her, "I did NOT get crumbs on it. I barely did anything. I just sort of, you know, danced by myself. Carrie went to sleep in her room."
Mary, who believed her, just shrugged. Suddenly, a sniffle and a sneeze sounded in the room.
"Bless you!" Ma called up. "Mary did you catch a chill tonight?"
"No Ma - I um, just no, I didn't," Mary told her hesitantly. The sneeze and sniffle hadn't come from her or Laura.
"Who's in here?" Mary whispered to her in a worried voice. "Laura, what have you done?"
Quickly, before Laura could make a fast move to block Mary from underneath the bed, Mary bent down and lifted up the sheets. Underneath, in the darkness, was the outline of a figure.
"Come on, come out," Mary told the figure and with that, Kaya hurriedly scurried onto the bed without so much as a word.
"What are you doing here?" Mary asked her. "What is going on? I knew something was up. What about that bow - that is one of my Ma's finest bows from a long time ago, so you have to give that back!"
"Mary - it's just Kaya," Laura pleaded with her, "She was borrowing the bow - not stealing it! We're friends with her, remember?"
Mary sighed, "Yes, I do. I guess I'm just tired or something. We can't let Ma or Pa find out about you though, come on, let's think of a plan. Oh, and we do need the bow back."
Kaya undid the bow from her braid and handed it back to Laura.
"We have to get you out the window. We are on the 2nd floor, but the wood pile is so high, you can jump from the window onto the wood pile and then to the ground. It'll turn out alright."
Mary nodded solemnly, "She's right. It's the only thing to do. The longer we keep you here, the riskier it is going to get. Come on. Laura, open the window."
Laura expertly opened the window and ushered Kaya out.
Kaya sat on the ledge and jumped from the wood pile onto the ground.
Laura came after her, and then Mary.
"Goodbye," Kaya smiled at them sadly, "If I never see you two again, I thank you for your kindness."
The three of them hugged like they would never let go, fighting back tears, and then Kaya left, waving, out into the distant darkness.
Both girls climbed back up the wood pile and through the window. Mary got into bed and put her braids back in and brushed out her curls as Laura shut the window. Shutting down the night that Laura would never, ever forget.