This was Helen’s reasoning; but it did not comfort Katy, whose face looked white and sad, as she moved listlessly about the house, almost crying again when she beard in the distance the whistle of the train which was to carry Wilford Cameron away, and end his first visit to Silverton.
In the spring.
Katy Lennox had been very sick, and the bed where Wilford slept had stood in the parlor during the long weeks while the obstinate fever ran its course; but she was better now, and sat nearly all day before the fire, sometimes trying to crochet a little, and again turning over the books which Morris had brought to interest her—Morris, the kind physician, who had attended her so faithfully, never leaving her while the fever was at its height, unless it was necessary, but staying with her day and night, watching her symptoms carefully, and praying so earnestly that she might not die—not, at least, until some token had been given that again in the better world he should find her, where partings were unknown and where no Wilford Camerons could contest the prize with him. Not that he was greatly afraid of Wilford now; that fear had mostly died away just as the hope had died from Katy’s heart that she would ever meet him again.
Since the September morning when he left her, she had not heard from him except once, when in the winter Morris had been to New York, and having a few hours’ leisure on his hands had called at Wilford’s office, receiving a most cordial reception, and meeting with young Mark Ray, who impressed him as a man quite as highly cultivated as Wilford; and possessed of more character and principle. This call was not altogether of Morris’ seeking, but was made rather with a view to pleasing Katy, who, when she learned that he was going to New York, had said inadvertently: “Oh, I do so hope you’ll meet with Mr. Cameron, for then we shall know that he is neither sick nor dead, as I have sometimes feared.”
And so, remembering this, Morris had sought out his rival, feeling more than repaid for the mental effort it had cost him, when he saw how really glad Wilford seemed to meet him. The first commonplaces over, Wilford inquired for Katy. Was she well, and how was she occupying her time this winter?
“Both Helen and Katy are pupils of mine,” Morris replied, “reciting their lessons to me every day when the weather will admit of their crossing the fields to Linwood. We have often wondered what had become of you, that you did not even let us know of your safe arrival home,” he added, looking Wilford fully in the eye, and rather enjoying his confusion as he tried to apologize.
He had intended writing, but an unusual amount of business had occupied his time. “Mark will tell you how busy I was,” and he turned appealingly to his partner, in whose expressive eyes Morris read that Silverton was not unknown to him.