“Katy can kiss me now. She is not accustomed to hospital fare, you know.”
His mind seemed slightly to wander; but when the hour came for the arrival of the train he knew it, asking, eagerly:
“Do you suppose she’s come?” and straining his ear to catch the sound of the distant whistle. Dr, Morris had gone to meet her, and the time fled on apace until at last his step was heard, and Wilford, lifting up his head, listened for that other step, which, alas! was not there.
“The train is behind time several hours,” was Morris’ report, and with a moan Wilford turned away and wept, thinking by some strange chance of that day when at the farmhouse others had waited for Katy as he was doing, and waited, too, in vain.
Truly, they of the farmhouse were avenged, for never had they felt so bitter a pang as Wilford did when he knew Katy had not come.
“It’s right,” he said, when he could trust himself to speak; “but I did want to see her. Tell her I am willing.”
The last seemed wrung from him almost against his will, and drops of sweat stood thickly upon his brow. Only Bell and her father guessed what he meant by being willing. Morris had no idea, but he wiped the death-sweat away, and said, soothingly:
“Be quiet, and you may see her yet. She will surely come by and by.”
Thus reassured, Wilford grew calm and fell asleep, while the watchers by his side waited anxiously for the first sound which should herald the arrival of the train.
* * * * *
It was dark in the hospital, and from every window a light was shining, when Morris carried rather than led a quivering figure up the stairs and through the hall, where, in a corner, Marian Hazelton’s white face looked out upon him, her hands clasped over her heart, and working nervously as she watched Katy going where she must not go—going to the room where the Camerons were, the father standing at the foot of Wilford’s bed, and Bell bending over his pillow, administering the stimulants which kept her brother alive. When Katy came in, she moved away, as did her father, while Morris, too, stepped back into the hall, and thus the husband and wife were left alone in this their first meeting since the parting at Yonkers nearly one year ago.
“Katy, precious Katy, you have forgiven me?” he whispered, and the rain of tears and kisses on his face was Katy’s answer as she hung over him.
She had forgiven him like a true, faithful wife, and she told him so, when she found voice to talk, wondering to find him so changed from the proud, exacting, self-worshiping man, to the humble, repentant and self-accusing person, who took all blame of the past to himself, and exonerated her from every fault. But when he drew her close to him, and whispered something in her ear, she knew whence came the change, and a reverent “Thank the Good Father,” dropped from her lips.