These he presented with that graceful, winning manner he knew so well how to assume, and with the harmony of his household once more restored, felt himself a model husband as he listened to Katy’s plan of sending baby to New London. On the whole, it might be better even than the farmhouse up the river, he thought, for it was farther away, and Katy could not be tiring herself with driving out every few days, and keeping herself constantly uneasy and excited. The distance between New York and New London was the best feature of the whole; and he wondered Katy had not thought of it as an objection. But she had not, and but for the pain when she remembered the coming separation, she would have been very happy that evening, listening with Wilford and Helen to the opera of “Norma,” and sympathizing so keenly with the poor distracted mother.
Very differently from this was Marian’s evening passed, and on her face there was a look such as Katy’s had never worn, as on her knees she asked for guidance to choose the right, to lay all self aside, and if it were her duty and care for the child which had stirred the pulsations of her heart and made the old wound bleed and throb with bitter anguish as she remembered what she once hoped would be, and what but for a cruel wrong might still have been. And as she prayed there crept into her face another look which told that self was sacrificed at last, and Katy Cameron was safe with her.
* * * * *
Mrs. Hubbell was willing—aye, more than that—was glad to take the child, and the generous remuneration offered would make them so comfortable in their little cottage, she wrote to Marian, who hastened to confer by note with Katy, adding in a postscript, “Is it still your wish that I should go? if so, I am at your disposal.”
It was Katy’s wish, and she hastened to reply, going next to the nursery to confer with Mrs. Kirby. Dark were the frowns and dire the displeasure of that lady when told that her services would soon be no longer needed on Madison Square—that instead of going up the river as she had hoped, she was free to return to the “genteel and highly respectable home on Bond Street,” where Mrs. Cameron had found her.
“Wait till the madam comes and then we’ll see,” she thought, referring to Mrs. Cameron, and feeling delighted when that very day she heard that lady’s voice in the parlor.
But Mrs. Cameron, though a little anxious with regard to both Mrs. Hubbell’s and Marian’s antecedents, and a little doubtful as to the effect a common dressmaker’s nursing might have upon the child, saw at once that Wilford was in favor of New London and so voted accordingly, only asking that she might see and talk with Marian Hazelton herself.
“One can judge so much better from hearing one converse. If her manner should be very bad and her grammar execrable, I should consider it my duty to withdraw my consent,” she said, with as much deliberation as if the matter were wholly at her disposal. “Would Katy drive around with her to Marian Hazelton’s to-morrow?”