“I want so much to surprise her,” she said, speaking in a whisper, “and you have been so kind to us both that I thought it might not trouble you very much if I asked you to make the selection for me, and see to the engraving. Wilford gave me fifty dollars, all I needed, as I had fifty more of my own, and now that I have a baby, I am sure I shall never again care to go out. My darling baby, how small the whole world seems to me now when compared with her,” and the little mother glanced lovingly at the crib where slept the baby, worth more than all the world.
“Yes,” Mrs. Banker said, thoughtfully, as she rolled up the bills, “you wish me to get as heavy bracelets as I can find—for the hundred dollars.”
“Yes,” Katy replied, “I think that will please her, don’t you?”
Mrs. Banker knew Katy’s fondness for jewelry, and knowing, too, that her girlhood was spent in comparative poverty, she could readily understand how she would gratify her taste when circumstances were favorable; but Helen was different, and she felt certain that the hundred dollars could be spent to better advantage and in a manner more satisfactory to her. Still she hardly liked to interfere until Katy, observing her hesitancy, asked again if she did not think Helen would be pleased.
“Yes, pleased with anything you choose to give her, but—excuse me, dear Mrs. Cameron, if I speak as openly as if I were the mother of you both. Bracelets are suitable for you who can have everything else, but is there not something your sister needs more, something which will do more good? Now, allowing me to suggest, I should say, buy her some furs, and let the bracelets go. In Silverton her furs were well enough, but here, as the sister of Mrs. Wilford Cameron, she is deserving of better.”
It was the first time that Katy had thought that in New York her sister might need more than at home. Seeing her only in the dim sickroom, the contrast between Helen and her and her husband’s sisters had not struck her, or if it had, she gave the preference to Helen in her dark merino and linen collar, rather than to Juno in her silks and velvet; but she understood Mrs. Banker at once, her cheeks reddening as there flashed upon her the reason why Wilford had never yet been in the street with Helen, notwithstanding that she had more than once requested it.
“You are right,” she said. “It was thoughtless in me not to think of this myself. Helen shall have the furs, and whatever else is necessary. I am so glad you reminded me of it. You are kind as my own mother,” and Katy kissed her friend fondly as she bade her good-by, charging her a dozen times not to let Helen know the surprise in store for her.