Wilford’s body shook with strong emotion as he bent forward to hear Katy’s answer to her question.
“Were there no Genevra,” she said, “no verse ’what God hath joined together let no man put asunder,’ I should not think so; but there is such a verse, and now I don’t know what I think, only I must go. Come, Morris, we will go together, you and I.”
She turned partly toward Morris, who made her no reply. He could not, with those fiery eyes fixed upon him, and he sat erect in his chair, while Katy talked of Silverton, and the days gone by until her voice grew very faint, ceasing at last as she fell into a second sleep, heavier, more death-like, than the first. Something in her face alarmed Morris, and in spite of the eyes watching him he bent every energy to retain the feeble pulse, and the breath which grew shorter with each respiration.
“Do you think her dying?” Wilford asked, and Morris replied: “Not yet; but the look about the mouth and nose is like the look which so often precedes death.”
And that was all they said until another hour went by, when Morris’ hand was laid upon the forehead and moved up under the golden hair where there were drops of perspiration.
“She is saved, thank God, Mr. Cameron, Katy is saved,” was his joyful exclamation, and burying his head in his hands, he wept for a moment like a child, for Katy was restored again.
On Wilford’s face there was no trace of tears. On the contrary, he seemed hardening into stone, and in his heart fierce passions were contending for the mastery, and urging him on to an act from which, in his right mind, he would have shrunk. Rising slowly at last, he came around to Morris’ side, and grasping his shoulder, said:
“Morris Grant, you love Katy Cameron.”
Like the peal of a bell on the frosty air the words rang through the room, starting Morris from his bowed attitude, and for an instant curdling his blood in his veins, for he understood now the meaning of the look which had so puzzled him. In Morris’ heart there was a moment’s hesitancy to know just what to answer, an ejaculatory prayer for guidance, and then lifting up his head, his calm blue eyes met the eyes of black unflinchingly, as he replied:
“I have loved her always.”
A blaze like sheet lightning shot from beneath Wilford’s eyelashes, and a taunting sneer curled his lip, as he said:
“You, a saint, confess to this?”
It was quite natural, and in keeping with human nature for Wilford to thrust Morris’ religion in his face, forgetting that never on this side the eternal world can man cease wholly to sin, that so long as flesh and blood remain, there will be temptation, error and wrong, even among God’s children. Morris felt the sneer keenly; but the consciousness of peace with his Maker sustained him in the shock and, with the same tone he had at first assumed, he said:
“Should my being what you call a saint prevent my confessing what I did?”