Sybil Grandon was forgotten in those moments of contrition, when he ministered so tenderly to his suffering wife, whom he felt that he had wronged. But somehow he could not tell her so then. It was not natural for him to confess his errors. There had already been a struggle between his duty and his pride when he had done so, and now the latter conquered, especially as Katy, grown more calm, began to take the censure to herself, lamenting her shortcomings, and promising to do better, even to the imitating of Sybil Grandon, if that would make him forget the past and love her as before.
Wilford could accord forgiveness far more graciously than he could ask it, and so peace was restored again, and Katy’s face next day looked bright and happy when seen in her new carriage, which took her down Broadway to Stewart’s, where she encountered Sybil Grandon, and with her Juno Cameron.
From the latter Katy instinctively shrank, but she could not resist the former, who greeted her so familiarly that Katy readily forgave her the pain of which she had been the cause, and could even speak of her to Wilford without a pang when he next came home to dinner. Still she could not overcome her dread of meeting her, and she grew more and more averse to mingling in society, where she might do many things to mortify her husband or his family, and thus provoke a scene she hoped never again to pass through.
“Oh, if Helen were only here,” she thought, as she began to experience a sensation of loneliness she had never felt before.
But Helen was not there, nor yet coming there at present. One word from Wilford had settled that, convincing Katy that it was better to wait until the autumn, inasmuch as they were going so soon to Saratoga and Newport, which Katy had so much wished to visit, but from which she now shrank, especially after she knew that Mrs. Cameron and Juno were to be of the party, and probably Sybil Grandon. Katy did not dislike the latter, but she was never quite easy in her presence, and was conscious of appearing to disadvantage whenever they were together, while she could not deny to herself that since Sybil’s return Wilford had not been quite the same as before. In company he was more attentive than ever, but at home he was sometimes moody and silent, while Katy strove in vain to ascertain the cause.
They were not as happy in the new home as she had expected to be, but the fault did not lie with Katy. She performed well her part, and more, taking upon her young shoulders the whole of the burden which her husband should have helped her bear. Housekeeping far more than boarding brings out a husband’s nature, for whereas in the latter case one rightfully demands the services for which he pays, in the former he is sometimes expected to do and think, and even wait upon himself. But this was not Wilford’s nature. The easy, indolent life he had led so long as a petted son of a partial mother unfitted