But only when she remembered the father, now so proud of his daughter, was that word in her heart. She could not harbor it when she glanced at the mother, and her lips moved in earnest prayer that, if possible, God would not leave her so desolate. An hour later and Morris came, relieving Marian of her burden which he carried in his own arms, while he strove to comfort Katy, who, crouching by the empty crib, was sitting motionless in a kind of dumb despair, all hope crushed out by his answer to her entreaties that he would tell her the truth, keeping nothing back.
“I think your baby will die,” he had said to her very gently, pausing a moment in awe of the white face, whose expression terrified and shocked him, it was so full of agony.
Bowing her head upon her hands, poor Katy whispered sadly: “God must not take my baby. Oh, Morris, please pray that he will not. He will hear and answer you, while I have been so bad I cannot pray. But I’m not going to be bad again. If he will let me keep my darling I will begin a new life. I will try to serve him. Dear Lord, hear and answer, and not let baby die.”
She was praying herself now, and Morris’ broad chest heaved as he glanced at her kneeling figure, and then at the death-like face upon the pillow, with the pinched look about the nose and lips, which to his practiced eye was a harbinger of death.
“Its father should be here,” he thought, and when Katy lifted up her head again he asked if she was sure her husband had not yet returned from Minnesota.
“Yes, sure—that is, I think he has not,” was Katy’s answer, a chill creeping over her at the thought of meeting Wilford, and giving him his daughter dead.
“I shall telegraph in the morning at all events,” Morris continued, “and if he is not in New York, it will be forwarded.”
“Yes, that will be best,” was the reply, spoken so mournfully that Morris stopped in front of Katy, trying to reason with her.
But Katy would not listen, only answering to him that he did not know, he could not feel, he never had been tried.
“Perhaps not,” Morris said; “but Heaven is my witness, Katy, that if I could save you this pain by giving up my life for baby’s, I would do it willingly; but God does not give us our choice. He knoweth what is best, and baby is better with Him than us.”
For a moment Katy was silent, then, as a new idea took possession of her mind, she sprang to Morris’ side and seizing his arm, demanded: “Can an unbaptized child be saved?”
“We nowhere read that baptism is a saving ordinance,” was Morris’ answer; while Katy continued: “But do you believe they will be saved?”
“Yes, I do,” was the decided response, which, however, did not ease Katy’s mind, and she moaned on: “A child of heathen parents may, but I knew better, I knew it was my duty to give the child to God, and for a foolish fancy withheld the gift until it is too late, and God will take it without the mark upon its forehead, the water on its brow. Oh, baby, baby, if she should be lost—no name, no mark, no baptismal sign.”