After the doctor had gone, Sue went out into the hall and cried. As soon as she could manage to check her tears, she walked gaily back into the room, whistling a merry tune. Johnsy lay with her eyes towards the window. Thinking that Johnsy was asleep, Sue stopped whistling. She arranged her drawing board and began working. Soon she heard a low sound, several times repeated. She went quickly to the bedside. Johnsy's eyes were wide open. She was looking out of the window and counting - counting backward. "Twelve," she said, and a little later, "eleven," then "ten" and "nine," and then "eight" and "seven" almost together.
Sue looked out of the window. What was there to count? There was only the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old grape-vine climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold autumn winds had blown off its leaves until it was almost bare.
"What is it, dear?" asked Sue.
"Six," said Johnsy almost in a whisper. "They're falling faster now, I can hardly keep up with them. There goes another one. There are only five left now."
"Five what, darling? Tell me."
"Leaves. On the grape-vine. When the last one goes, I must go, too. I've known that for three days. Didn't the doctor tell you?"
"How can the doctor have told me this nonsense?" Sue said, trying to control her voice. "He told me this morning your chances were ten to one. Anyhow, let me finish my drawing so that I can sell it and buy some port wine for you."
"You needn't buy any more wine," said Johnsy with her eyes still on the window. "There goes another. That leaves just four. I want to see the last one fall before it gets dark. Then I'll go, too."
"Johnsy, dear," said Sue, bending over her. "I must go and call Behrman [´bE:mqn] to be my model [mPdl]. Will you promise me to keep your eyes closed and not look at those leaves until I come back? I'll be back in a minute."
"Tell me when I may open my eyes," Johnsy said, "because I want to see the last one fall. I'm tired of waiting. I want to go sailing down like one of those poor tired leaves."