“Yes, I understand. There was the same look in Bell Cameron’s eye, a kind of mesmeric influence which commanded obedience. They idolize this Wilford, and I dare say he is worthy of their idolatry. One thing, at least, is in his favor—the crippled Jamie, for whose opinion I would give more than all the rest, seemed to worship his Uncle Will, talking of him continually, and telling how kind he was, sometimes staying up all night to carry him in his arms when the pain in his back was more than usually severe. So there must be a good, kind heart in Wilford Cameron, and if my Cousin Kitty likes him, as she says she does, and he likes her as I believe he must, why, I hope—”
Morris Grant could not finish the sentence; for he did not hope that Wilford Cameron would win the gem he had so long coveted as his own.
He might give Kitty up because she loved another best. He was generous enough to do that, but if he did it, she must never know how much it cost him, and lest he should betray himself he could not to-night talk with her longer of Wilford Cameron, whom he believed to be his rival. It was time now for Katy to go home, but she did not seem to remember it until Morris suggested to her that her mother might be uneasy if she stayed away much longer, and so they went together across the fields, the shadow all gone from Katy’s heart, but lying so dark and heavy around Morris Grant, who was glad when he could leave Katy at the farmhouse door and go back alone to the quiet library, where only God could witness the mighty struggle it was for him to say: “Thy will be done.” And while he prayed, not that Katy should be his, but that he might have strength to bear it if she were destined for another, Katy, up in her humble bedroom, with her head nestled close to Helen’s neck, was telling her of Wilford Cameron, who, when they went down the rapids and she had cried with fear, had put his arm around her, trying to quiet her, and who once again, on the mountain overlooking Lake George, had held her hand a moment, while he pointed out a splendid view seen through the opening trees. And Helen, listening, knew just as Morris Grant had done that Katy’s heart was lost, and that for Wilford Cameron to deceive her now would be a cruel thing.
The day succeeding Katy Lennox’s return to Silverton was rainy and cold for the season, the storm extending as far westward as the city of New York, and making Wilford Cameron shiver as he stepped from the Hudson River cars into the carriage waiting for him, first greeting pleasantly the white-gloved driver, who, carefully closing the carriage door, mounted to his seat and drove his handsome bays in the direction of No. —— Fifth Avenue. And Wilford, leaning back among the yielding cushions, thought how pleasant it was to be going home again, feeling glad, as he frequently did, that the home to which