“I am sure you will pardon me for the liberty I took of going over the house. It was a temptation I could not resist. You have a delightful home. God grant you may be happy in it. You see I have also made bold to write this in your library, for which I beg pardon,
“Yours truly, Marian Hazelton,
“No. —— Fourth St., 4th floor, N.Y.”
“Who is Marian Hazelton?” Wilford asked himself as he threw down the missive. “Some of Katy’s country friends, I dare say. Seems to me I have heard that name. She certainly writes as Genevra did, except that this Hazelton’s is more decided and firm. Poor Genevra!”
There was a pallor about Wilford’s lips as he said this, and taking up the picture he gazed for a long time upon the handsome, girlish face, whose dark eyes seemed to look reproachfully upon him, just as they must have looked when the words were penned: “God will never forgive the wrong you have done to me.”
“Genevra was mistaken,” he said. “At least, if God has not forgiven, he has prospered me, which amounts to the same thing;” and without a single throb of gratitude to Him who had thus prospered him, Wilford laid Genevra’s picture and Genevra’s note back with the withered grass and flowers plucked from Genevra’s grave, and then went again upstairs, just as Katy’s ring was heard and Katy herself came in.
As thoughts of Genevra always made Wilford kinder toward his wife, so now he kissed her white cheek, noticing that, as Mark had said, it was whiter than last year in June. But mountain air would bring back the roses, he thought, as he handed her the note.
“Oh, yes, from Marian Hazelton,” Katy said, glancing first at the name and then hastily reading it through.
“Who is Marian Hazelton? Some intimate friend, I judge, from the liberty she took.”
“Not very intimate, though I liked her so much, and thought her above her position,” Katy replied, repeating all she knew of Marian, and how she chanced to know her at all. “Don’t you remember Helen wrote that she fainted at our wedding, and I was so sorry, fearing I might have overworked her.”
Wilford did remember something about it, and satisfied that Marian Hazelton had no idea of intruding herself upon them, except as she might ask for work, he dismissed her from his mind and told Katy of his plan for taking her to the Mountain House a few weeks before going to Saratoga.
“Would you not like it?” he asked, as she continued silent, with her eyes fixed upon the window opposite.
“Yes,” and Katy drew a long and weary breath. “I shall like any place where there are birds, and rocks, and trees, and real grass, such as grows of itself in the country; but Wilford,” and Katy crept close to him now, “if I might go to Silverton, I should get strong so fast. You don’t know how I long to see home once more. I dream about it nights and think about it days, knowing just how pleasant it is there, with the roses in bloom and the meadows so fresh and green. May I go, Wilford? May I go home to mother?”