“She should do very well alone,” she said, “she could read her Bible, and if she got too tired, go to bed, though she guessed she should stay up till they came home, so as to hear about the doin’s,” and with a good-by she sent them away, after saying to Mrs. Banker, “Maybe you ain’t the kissin’ kind, but if you be, I wish you would kiss Katy once for me.”
There was a merry twinkle in Mark’s eyes as he asked:
“And Helen, too?”
“I meant your marm, not you,” Aunt Betsy answered; while Mrs. Banker raised her hand to her mischievous son, who ran lightly down the stairs, carrying a happier heart than he had known since Helen Lennox had first come to New York, and he had met her at the depot.
THE DINNER PARTY.
It was a very select party which Wilford Cameron entertained that evening; and as the carriages rolled to his door and deposited the guests, the cloud which had been lifting ever since he came home and found “no Barlow woman” there, disappeared entirely, leaving him the blandest, most urbane of hosts, pleased with everybody—himself, his guests, his sister-in-law, and his wife, who had never looked better than she did to-night, in pearls and light blue silk, which harmonized so perfectly with her waxlike complexion. Like some little fairy she flitted through the rooms, receiving, with a sweet childlike grace the kiss which Mrs. Banker gave her, but never dreaming from whom it came. Aunt Betsy’s proximity was wholly unsuspected, both by her and Helen, who was very handsome to-night, in crimson and black, with lilies in her hair. Nothing could please Mark better than his seat at table, where he could look into her eyes, which dropped so shyly whenever they met his ardent gaze. Helen was beginning to doubt the story of his engagement with Juno, or at least to think that it might possibly have been broken off. Certainly she could not mistake the nature of the attentions he paid to her, especially to-night, when he hovered continually near her, totally ignoring Juno’s presence, and conscious apparently of only one form, one face, and that the face and form of Helen Lennox.