From the bathroom, which adjoined Katy’s sickroom, Wilford had heard all that passed between the sisters, and his face grew dark as he thought of having his “ruffled feathers smoothed” even by the little thin white hand, which, the first time it had a chance laid itself upon his face with a caressing motion, from which he involuntarily drew back, thinking the affection thus timidly expressed was all put on with a view to being good, as he termed it.
Wilford was in a most unhappy frame of mind. He was not pleased that Katy had heard of Genevra, and imparted his secret to others. He did not like being humbled as he had been, even Mrs. Lennox taking it upon herself to lecture him for his misdemeanors, sobbing as she lectured, and asking “how he could treat Katy so?” He did not like, either, to lose Helen’s good opinion, as he was sure he had, while, worse than all the rest, was the galling fact that Morris Grant loved his wife, and was undoubtedly more worthy of her than himself. He had said that he forgave Morris, and at the time he said it he fancied he did, but as the days went by, and thought was all the busier from the moody silence he maintained, there gradually came to life a feeling of dislike, if not of hatred, for the man, whose name he could not hear without a frown, telling Katy very sharply once that he wished she would not talk so much of Cousin Morris, as if there were no other physician in the world! Dr. Craig would have done quite as well, and for his part he wished they had employed him.
Wilford knew he did not mean what he said, but he was in a very unamiable frame of mind, and watched Katy close, to detect, if possible, some sign by which he should know that Morris’ love was reciprocated. But Katy was innocence itself, and as the weeks of convalescence went by she tried so hard to do her duty as a wife, going often to the Friend of whom Helen had told her, and finding there the grace which helped her bear what otherwise she could not have borne and lived. The entire history of her life during that wretched winter was never told save as it was written on her face, which was a volume in itself of meek and patient suffering.
Wilford had never mentioned Genevra to her since the day of his return, and Katy sometimes felt that it would be well to talk that matter over. It might lead to a more perfect understanding than existed between them now, and dissipate the cloud which hung so darkly on their domestic horizon. But Wilford repulsed all her advances upon that subject, and Genevra was a dead name in their household, save as it was on Katy’s lips when she prayed, asking that she might feel only perfect kindness toward the Genevra who had so darkened her life.