Katy would be delighted; and so next day Mrs. Cameron, the elder, was holding high her aristocratic skirts and glancing ruefully around as she followed Mrs. Cameron, the younger, up the three flights of stairs to Marian’s door, which did not open to the assured knock, nor yet yield to the gentle pressure. Marian was out, and there was no alternative but for Katy to scribble a few lines upon the card she left upon the knob, telling Marian who had been there, and requesting her to call that evening at No. —— Fifth Avenue, as the elder Mrs. Cameron was particularly anxious to see her before committing her grandchild to her care. “Please go, Marian, for my sake,” Katy added, but in reading to Wilford’s mother what she had written, she omitted that, and so escaped a lecture from that lady upon undue familiarity with inferiors.
HOW IT ENDED.
“Will Marian go to No. —— Fifth Avenue?” Marian asked herself that question many times, as with Katy’s card in her hand she stood pondering the subject and feeling glad of the good fortune which had sent her from home when Wilford’s mother called.
Yes, Marian would; and at the hour between the daylight and the dark, just as the lamps are lighted in the street, and before they are usually lighted in the parlors there was a ring at the door, whose massive plate bore the name of Cameron, and the colored man who answered that ring stared at the figure he ushered in, seating it in the dim hall and asking for the name.
“Miss Hazelton wishes to see Mrs. Cameron,” was the reply, and at the sound of that musical, well-bred voice, the servant half opened the parlor door, but closed it again as he went for his mistress, who expressed her surprise that Marian Hazelton should presume to enter where she did.
“Maybe she is a lady, mother; Katy raves about her continually,” Bell said; but with an air of incredulity at the lady part, Mrs. Cameron swept haughtily down the broad staircase, the rustle of her heavy silk sending a chill of fear through Marian’s frame, but not affecting her so much as did the voice; the cold, proud, metallic voice, which said to her as she half arose to her feet, “Miss Hazelton, I believe?”
At that sound there crept over her the same sensation she had felt years ago, whenever the tones of that voice fell on her ear, for this was not the first meeting of Mrs. Cameron and Marian Hazelton. But for all the former guessed or knew, it was the first, and she looked curiously at the graceful figure, but dimly seen in the shadowy twilight, noticing the thick green veil which so nearly concealed the face, and wondering why it was worn, or being worn, why it was kept so nearly down.
“Miss Hazelton, I believe?” was all that had passed between them as yet, for at these words a great fear had come upon Marian lest her own voice should seem as natural as did the one which had just spoken to her.