But to whom should she go? To Father Cameron? No, nor to his mother. They might counsel wrong for the sake of secrecy. Would Mark Ray or Mrs. Banker know? Perhaps; but they were strangers—her trouble must not be told to them, and then with a great bound her heart turned at last to Morris. He knew everything. He would not sanction a wrong. He would tell her just what was right, and she could trust him fully in everything. There was no other person whom she could believe just as she could him. Uncle Ephraim was equally as good and conscientious, but he did not know as much as Morris—he did not understand everything. Morris was her refuge, and to him she would go that very day, leaving a note for Wilford in case she never came back, as possibly she might not. And then, like an imprisoned bird, which sees its cage door opened at last, but dreads the freedom offered, Katy drew her bleeding wings close to her side and shrank from the cold world which lay outside that home of luxury. But when she remembered that possibly she had no right to stay there, she grew strong again, and, seizing her pen, dashed off a wild, impassioned letter, which, if her husband did not find her there on his return, would tell him where she was and why she had gone. This she left in a drawer appropriated to Wilford’s use, and where he could not fail to find it; but the picture she put in her own pocket, not caring to part with that. Had Marian been in the city she would have gone to her at once, but Marian was where long rows of cots are ranged against the hospital walls, each holding a maimed and suffering soldier, to whom she ministered so tenderly, the brightness of her smile and the beauty of her face deluding the delirious ones into the belief that the journey of life for them was ended and heaven reached at last, where an angel in woman’s garb attended upon them. Marian was impossible, and Dr. Grant was the only alternative left.
Summoning Esther, Katy told her, in as calm a voice as she could command, that, feeling very lonely, she was going out to spend the day, and probably the night. At all events the servants were not to expect her until she came.
“Yes, ma’am—going to Mr. Cameron’s, I suppose?” Esther said, and as Katy made no answer the impression in Esther’s mind was that she would spend the day and night at the elder Cameron’s, as she had done once before when Wilford was away.