“I have been talking with mother, and we think April is not a good time for you to be in the country; it is so wet and cold. You had better not till summer, and then I want you here to help order our furniture.”
“Oh, Wilford,” and Katy’s voice trembled, for from past experience she knew that for Wilford to object to her plans was equivalent to a refusal, and her heart throbbed with disappointment as she tried to listen while Wilford urged many reasons why she should not go, convincing her at last that of all times for visiting Silverton spring was the worst, that summer or autumn were better, and that it was her duty to remain where she was until such time as he saw fit for her to do otherwise.
This was the meaning of what he said, and though his manner was guarded and his words kind, they were very conclusive, and with one gasping sob Katy gave up Silverton, charging it more to Mrs. Cameron than to Wilford, and writing next day to Helen that she could not come just then, but after she was settled they might surely expect her.
With a bitter pang Helen read this letter to the three women who had so much anticipated Katy’s visit, and each of whom cried quietly over her disappointment, while even Uncle Ephraim went back to his work that afternoon with a sad, heavy heart, for now his labor was not lightened by thoughts of Katy’s being there so soon.
“Please God she may come to us some time,” he said, pausing beneath the butternut in the meadow, and remembering just how Katy looked on that first day of her return from Canandaigua, when she sat on the flat stone while he piled up the hay and talked with her of different paths through life, one of which she must surely tread.
She had said, “I will choose the straight and pleasant,” and some would think she had; but Uncle Ephraim was not so sure, and leaning against a tree, he asked silently that, whether he ever saw his darling again or not, God would care for her and keep her unspotted from the world.
The new house.
It was a cruel thing for Wilford Cameron to try thus to separate Katy from the hearts which loved her so much: and, as if he felt reproached, there was an increased tenderness in his manner toward her, particularly as he saw how sad she was for a few days after his decision. But Katy could not be sorry long, and in the excitement of settling the new house her spirits rallied, and her merry laugh thrilled like a bird through the rooms where the workmen were so busy, and where Mrs. Cameron was the real superintendent, though there was always a show of consulting Katy, who nevertheless was a mere cipher in the matter. In everything the mother had her way, until it came to the room designed for Helen, and which Mrs. Cameron was for converting into a kind of smoking or lounging room for Wilford and his associates. Katy must not