“Wilford Cameron coming here? What will he think of us, we are so unlike him?”
This was the first time Katy had seriously considered the difference between her surroundings and those of Wilford Cameron, or how it might affect him. But Aunt Betsy, who had never dreamed of anything like Wilford’s home, and who thought her own quite as good as they would average, comforted her, telling her how “if he was any kind of a chap he wouldn’t be looking round, and if he did, who cared; she guessed they was as good as he, and as much thought of by the neighbors.”
Wilford’s letter had been delayed so that the morrow was the day appointed for his coming, and never sure was there a busier afternoon at the farmhouse than the one which followed the receipt of the letter. Everything that was not spotlessly clean before was made so now. Aunt Betsy in her petticoat and short gown going down upon her knees to scrub the door sill of the back room, as if the city guest were expected to sit in there. On Aunt Hannah and Mrs. Lennox devolved the duty of preparing for the wants of the inner man, while Helen and Katy bent their energies to beautifying their humble home and making the most of their plain furniture.
“If Uncle Ephraim had only let me move the chimney, we could have had a nice spare sleeping-room instead of this little tucked up hole,” Mrs. Lennox said, coming in with her hands covered with flour, and casting a rueful look at the small room kept for company, and where Wilford was to sleep.
It was not very spacious, being only large enough to admit the high post bed, a single chair, and the old-fashioned washstand with the hole in the top for the bowl and a drawer beneath for towels, the whole presenting a most striking contrast to those handsome chambers on Fifth Avenue, or, indeed, to the one at the Ocean House where Wilford sat smoking and wishing the time away, while Helen and Katy held a consultation as to whether it would not be better to dispense with the parlor altogether and give that room to their visitor. But this was vetoed by Aunt Betsy, who, having finished the back door sill, had now come around to the front, and, with her scrubbing brush in one hand and her saucer of sand in the other, held forth upon the foolishness of the girls.
“Of course if they had a beau, they’d want a t’other room, else where would they do their sparkin’.”