Fortunately there remained to him a dignified explanation of his suggestion.
“I thought you might come, not so much to see the sunsets as in the hope of seeing me. I promised to help you when I could. I thought you might be interested to know that I had kept my promise. If any one can help your father it is Dr. Johnston.” He gave the letter to her as he spoke. “He is coming to Ravenel to-morrow.”
In an instant her face softened; her eyes became suffused by a soft, warm light, and she looked up at him through a sudden mist of tears.
“The interview must be arranged,” he went on. But Katrine interrupted him:
“Ah! It will be easy enough. Father is as anxious as I am to be himself again. You do not know daddy, Mr. Ravenel,” she explained, a proud loyalty in her tone. “He has not been himself before you; but in Paris, in Dublin, he was welcomed everywhere; his wit was the keenest, with never an edge that hurt; his stories the brightest, and always of the kind that made you love the people of whom they were told. He will be home to-night. Will the doctor come here? I want to tell him everything, and then, when he has seen father, you can tell me what to do. You see, I haven’t thanked you yet,” she said, abruptly.
“To know that you are pleased is enough. Besides, I have, on some few occasions, drifted into doing a kind act for the act’s sake,” he said; adding: “Not often, it’s true, but occasionally.”
“You have made me, oh, so happy, and hopeful—as I have never been before in all my life. It seems like one of the fairy stories in which one’s wishes all come true.”
“And if it were given you to have whatever you wished, what would you ask for, Katrine?”
“To have father well. And then,” her face became illuminated, “to study with Josef.”
“Josef?” He repeated the great name interrogatively.
“You have not heard of him?” she asked, incredulously.
He made a sign in the negative.
“He is the greatest teacher in the world,” she explained, as though there could be no doubting.
“Which is perhaps the reason I have never heard of him,” he answered, with a smile. “From your enthusiasm I am led to judge it is music which he teaches.”
“Yes,” she answered; “but he teaches more than that. I knew a girl in Paris who studied with him. She was quite intricate and self-seeking when she began. And in six months he had changed her whole nature. She became elemental and direct, and,” she put her hands together and threw them apart with the gesture which he knew so well, “and splendid! Like Shakespeare’s women!” she finished.
“Gracious Heaven, hear!” said Frank. “And does this miracle-worker live uncrowned?”