“I am very lonely now, lonelier than you can possibly be,” she said to Mrs. Lennox, “and you will not refuse her to me for a few weeks at least. It will do us both good, and make the time of Mark’s absence so much shorter.”
“Yes, mother, let Helen go. I will try to fill her place,” Katy said, though while she said it her heart throbbed with pain and dread as she thought how desolate she should be without her sister.
But it was right, and Katy urged Helen’s going, thinking how the tables were turned since the day when she had been the happy bride to whom good-bys were said, instead of the wounded, sore-hearted sister left behind, bearing up bravely so long as Helen was in sight, but shedding bitter tears when at last she was gone, tears which were only stayed by kind old Uncle Ephraim offering to take her to the little grave, where, from experience, he knew she always found rest and peace. The winter snows were on it now, but Katy, looking at it from the sleigh in which she sat, knew just where the daisies were, and the blue violets which with the spring would bloom again, feeling comforted as she thought of that eternal spring in the bright world above, where her child had gone. And so that night, when they gathered again around the fire in the pleasant little parlor, the mother and the old people did not miss Helen half so much as they should, for Katy sang her sweetest songs and wore her sunniest smile, while she told them of Helen’s new home, and then talked of whatever else she thought would interest and please them.
“Little Sunbeam,” Uncle Ephraim called her now, instead of “Katy-did,” and in his prayer that first night of Helen’s absence he asked, in his touching way, “that God would bless his little Sunbeam, and not let her grow tired of living there alone with folks so odd and old.”
* * * * *
“MARRIED—On Christmas Eve, at St. John’s Church, Silverton, Mass., by Rev. Mr. Kelly, Captain MARK RAY, of the —th Regiment, N.Y.S.V., to Miss HELEN LENNOX, of Silverton.”
Such was the announcement which appeared in several of the New York papers two days after Christmas, and such the announcement which Bell Cameron read at the breakfast table on the morning of the day when Mrs. Banker started for Silverton.