Family Pride eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 685 pages of information about Family Pride.



With a shiver Katy held it a moment in her lap, noticing how old and worn it looked—­noticing, too, the foreign mark upon it, and that one hinge was broken, wondering if all this wear had come from frequent use.  Had Wilford looked often at that picture?—­and if so, what were his feelings as he looked?  Was he sorry that Genevra died?  Did he sometimes wish her there, instead of Katy Lennox, of Barlow origin?  Did he contrast their faces one with the other, giving the preference to Genevra, or was Katy’s liked the best?  All these questions Katy asked herself, while her fingers fluttered about the clasp, which she half dreaded to unfasten.

Cautiously, very cautiously, at last the lid was opened, and a lock of soft brown hair fell out, clinging to Katy’s hand as if it had been a living thing, and making her shudder with fear as she shook off the silken tress and remembered that the head it once adorned was lying in St. Mary’s churchyard, where the English daisies grew.

“She had pretty hair,” she thought; “darker, richer than mine,” and into Katy’s heart there crept a feeling akin to jealousy, lest Genevra had been fairer than herself, as well as better loved.  “I won’t be foolish any longer,” she said, and turning resolutely to the light she opened the lid again and saw Genevra Lambert, starting quickly, then looking again more closely—­then, with a gasp, panting for breath, while like lightning flashes the past came rushing over her, as, with her eyes fixed upon that picture, she tried to whisper, “It is—­it is!”

She could not then say whom, for if she were right in her belief, Genevra was not dead.  There were no daisies growing on her grave, for she still walked the earth a living woman, whom Katy knew so well—­Marian Hazelton.  That was the name Katy could not speak, as, with the blood curdling in her veins and freezing about her heart, she sat comparing the face she remembered so well with the one before her.  In some points they were unlike, for thirteen years had slightly marred the youthful contour of the face she knew—­had sharpened the features and thinned the abundant hair; but still there could be no mistake.  The eyes, the brow, the smile, the nose, all were the same, and with a pang bitterer than she yet had felt, poor Katy fell upon her face and asked that she might die.  In her utter ignorance of law, she fancied that if Genevra were alive, she had no right to Wilford’s name—­no right to be his wife—­especially as the sin for which Genevra was divorced had by her never been committed, and burning tears of bitter shame ran down her cheeks as she whispered, “’What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.’  Those are God’s words, and how dare the world act otherwise?  She is his wife, and I—­oh!  I don’t know what I am!” and on the carpet where she was kneeling Katy writhed in agony as she tried to think what she must do.  Not stay there—­she

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Family Pride from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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