“Oh, Morris, it’s you. I’m so glad you’ve come, for I wanted—”
But what she wanted was drowned by a succession of certain mysterious sounds, such as are only produced by a collision of lips, and which made Aunt Betsy mutter to herself:
“It’s all right, I know, but so much kissin’ as I’ve seen the last fortni’t is enough to turn a body’s stomach. I guess old bachelders and widders is commonly wus than fresh hands at it.”
And having thus expressed her thoughts, Aunt Betsy seized the handle of the ice-cream freezer and turned it vigorously, thinking, perhaps, of Joel Upham, and what might have been but for a freak of hers. Meanwhile Morris and Katy sat alone in the little sewing-room, where latterly they had passed so many quiet hours together, and where lay the bridal dress, with its chaste and simple decorations. Katy had clung tenaciously to her mourning robes, asking, half tearfully, if she might wear black, as ladies sometimes did. But Morris had promptly answered no. His bride, if she came to him willingly, must not come clad in widow’s weeds, for when she became his wife she would cease to be a widow.
And so the black was laid aside, and Katy, in soft tinted colors, with her bright hair curling in her neck, looked as girlish and beautiful as if in Greenwood there were no pretentious monument, with Wilford’s name upon it, nor any little grave in Silverton where Baby Cameron slept. She had been both wife and mother, but she was quite as dear to Morris as if she had never borne other name than Katy Lennox, and as he held her for a moment closely to his heart, he thanked God, who had at last given to him the idol of his boyhood and the love of his later years. Across their pathway no shadow was lying, except when they remembered Helen, on whom the mantle of widowhood had so darkly fallen just as Katy was throwing it off.
Poor Helen, the tears always crept to Katy’s eyes when, she thought of her, and now as she saw her steal across the road and strike into the winding path which led to the pasture where the pines and hemlock grew, she nestled closer to Morris, and whispered:
“Sometimes I think it wrong to be so happy when Helen is so sad. I pity her so much to-day.”
And Helen was to be pitied, for her heart was aching to its very core. She had tried to keep up through the preparations for Katy’s bridal, tried to seem interested, and even cheerful, while all the time a hidden agony was tugging at her heart, and life seemed a heavier burden than she could bear.
All her portion of the work was finished now, and in the balmy brightness of that warm April afternoon she went into the fields where she could be alone beneath the soft, summer-like sky, and pour out her pent-up anguish into the ear of Him who had so often soothed and comforted her when other aids had failed. Last night, for the first time since she heard the dreadful news, she had dreamed of Mark, and when she