A Year and a Day
There had been one or two, but nobody at all like Kathleen had had anything to do with them. They went to hospitals and asked about all the new patients. There was not one of them that was at all like Kathleen.
It does not belong to the story to tell how they went on searching. All the next day they searched. They tried every way that they knew, and every way that the police knew, and every way that anybody could think of, to find her, and there was no trace. Late that day one of the girls who had walked through the Park with Kathleen came to see her, not knowing that she was lost. Then she told where she had seen Kathleen last. She told how Kathleen had dropped behind the others, though she had said that she wanted to get home early, how they had called to her, how she had answered, and how they had gone on, thinking that she would soon follow.
Then Mrs. O'Brien said to John: "You do not need to search for her any longer. She is with the Good People. I have seen that place often, and it always looked to me like a place where the Good People might be. Last night was May Eve. There is no time in the whole year when the Good People have more power, and especially to carry off young girls. They have taken her with them. Some time she may come back, or some time we may get her back, but it is of no use for you to search for her any more."
But John went on searching still. The next day and for many days he looked for her and tried every means to find her, but she could not be found. Again and again his mother told him that it was of no use, but still he said: "It might be some use, and I wouldn't be easy if I didn't try."
By and by there came a time when even John did not think that there was any use in trying longer. He read many papers, from many different cities, hoping always to find something about some unknown girl who had been found, sick or hurt or helpless, somewhere, but he said little about her. He went on with his old work, and he and his mother were alone and lonely in the house.