“What were they doing in Paris?” Katy asked, and Morris replied that he believed the immediate object of their being there was to obtain the best medical advice for a little orphan grandchild, a bright, beautiful boy, to whom some terrible accident had happened in infancy, preventing his walking entirely, and making him nearly helpless. His name was Jamie, Morris said, and as he saw that Katy was interested, he told her how sweet-tempered the little fellow was, how patient under suffering, and how eagerly he listened when Morris, who at one time attended him, told him of the Savior and His love for little children.
“Did he get well?” Katy asked, her eyes filling with tears at the picture Morris drew of Jamie Cameron, sitting all day long in his wheel chair, and trying to comfort his grandmother’s distress when the torturing instruments for straightening his poor back were applied.
“No, he will always be a cripple, till God takes him to Himself,” Morris said, and then Katy asked about the mother and sisters—were they proud, and did he like them much?
“They were very proud,” Morris said; “but they were always civil to me,” and Katy, had she been watching, might have seen a slight flush on his cheek as he told her of the stately woman, Wilford’s mother, of the haughty Juno, a beauty and a belle, and lastly of Arabella, whom the family nicknamed Bluebell, from her excessive fondness for books, a fondness which made her affect a contempt for the fashionable life her mother and sister led.
It was very evident that neither of the young ladies were wholly to Morris’ taste, but of the two he preferred the Bluebell, for though very imperious and self-willed, she really had some heart, some principle, while Juno had none. This was Morris’ opinion, and it disturbed the little Katy, as was very perceptible from the nervous tapping of her foot upon the carpet and the working of her hands.
“How would I appear by the side of those ladies?” she suddenly asked, her countenance changing as Morris replied that it was almost impossible to think of her as associated with the Camerons, she was so wholly unlike them in every respect.
“I don’t believe I shocked Wilford so very much,” Katy rejoined, reproachfully, while again a heavy pain shot through Morris’ heart, for he saw more and more how Wilford Cameron was mingled with every thought of the young girl, who continued: “And if he was satisfied, I guess his mother and sisters will be. Anyway, I don’t want you to make me feel how different I am from them.”
There were tears now on Katy’s face, and casting aside all selfishness, Morris wound his arm around her, and smoothed her golden hair, just as he used to do when she was a child and came to him to be soothed. He said, very gently:
“My poor Kitty, you do like Wilford Cameron; tell me honestly—is it not so?”
“Yes, I guess I do,” and Katy’s voice was a half sob. “I could not help it, either, he was so kind, so—I don’t know what, only I could not help doing what he bade me. Why, if he had said: ’Jump overboard, Katy Lennox,’ I should have done it, I know—that is, if his eyes had been upon me, they controlled me so absolutely. Can you imagine what I mean?”