“Perhaps it is all a mistake,” she thought, as she continued standing by Helen, whose tears did not cease, “or it may be she has relented,” and for a moment she felt tempted to ask why her boy had been refused.
But Mark would not be pleased with her interference, she knew, and so the golden moment fled, and when she left the house the misunderstanding between herself and Helen was just as wide as ever. Wearily after that the days passed with Helen until all thoughts of herself were forgotten in the terrible fear that death was really brooding over the pillow where Katy lay, insensible to all that was passing around her. The lips were silent now, and Wilford had nothing to fear from the tongue hitherto so busy. Juno, Bell and Father Cameron all came to see her, dropping tears upon the face looking so old and worn with suffering, but yet so sweet and pure, and treading softly as they left the room and went out into the sunshine where Katy might never go again. In the kitchen there was mourning, too; Phillips weeping for her mistress, while Esther, with her apron over her head, sobbed passionately, wishing she, too, might die if Katy did. Mrs. Cameron also was very sorry, very sad, but managed to find some consolation in mentally arranging a grand funeral, which would do honor to her son, and wondering if “those Barlows in Silverton would think they must attend.” And while she thus arranged, the mother who had given birth to Katy wrestled in earnest prayer that God would spare her child, or at least grant some space in which she might be told of the world to which she was hastening. What Wilford suffered none could guess. His face was very white and his expression almost stern as he sat watching the young wife who had been his for little more than two brief years, and who but for his sin might not have been lying there unconscious of the love and grief around her. Like some marble statue Morris seemed as with lip compressed and brows firmly knit together he, too, sat watching Katy, feeling for the pulse and bending his ear to catch the faintest breath which came from her parted lips, while in his heart there was an earnest prayer for the safety of the soul hovering so evenly between this world and the next. He did not ask that she might live, for if all were well hereafter he knew it was far better for her to die in her young womanhood than to live till the heart now so sad and bleeding had grown calloused with sorrow. And yet it was terrible to think of Katy dead; to know that never again would her little feet dance on the grass, or her bird-like voice break the silence of his home; terrible to think of that face and form laid away beneath the turf of Greenwood, where those who loved her best could seldom go to weep.
And as they sat thus the night shadows stole into the room and the hours crept on till from a city tower a clock struck ten, and Morris, motioning Helen to his side, bade her go with her mother to rest. “We do not need you here,” he said, “your presence can do no good. Should a change occur you shall be told at once.”