“And you will tell him to come?”
“Why, yes—what else should I tell him?” and Katy’s blue eyes looked wonderingly at Morris, who hardly knew what he was doing, or why he said to her next: “Listen to me, Katy. You know why Wilford Cameron comes here a second time, and what he will probably ask you ere he goes away; but, Katy, you are not strong enough yet to see him under so exciting circumstances, and, as your physician, I desire that you tell him to wait at least three weeks before he comes. Will you do so, Katy?”
“That is just as Helen talked,” Katy answered, mournfully. “She said I was not able.”
“And will you heed us?” Morris asked again, while Katy after a moment consented; and glad of this respite from what he knew to a certainty would be, Morris dealt out her medicine, and for an instant felt her rapid pulse, but did not retain her hand within his own, nor lay his other upon her head, as he had sometimes done.
He could not do that now, and so he hurried away, finding the world into which he went far different from what it had seemed an hour ago. Then all was bright and hopeful; but now, alas! a darker night was gathering around him than any he had ever known, and the patients visited that day marveled at the whiteness of his face, asking if he were ill? Yes, he answered them truly, and for two days he was not seen again, but remained at home alone, where none but his God was witness to what he suffered; but when the third day came he went again among his sick, grave, quiet and unchanged to outward appearance, unless it was that his voice, always so kind, had now a kinder tone and his manner was tenderer, more sympathizing. Inwardly, however, there was a change, for Morris Grant had lain himself upon the sacrificial altar, willing to be and to endure whatever God should appoint, knowing that all would eventually be for his good. To the farmhouse he went every day, talking most with Helen now, but never forgetting who it was sitting so demurely in the armchair, or flitting about the room, for Katy was gaining rapidly. Love perhaps had had nothing to do with her dangerous illness, but it had much to do with her recovery, and those not in the secret wondered to see how she improved, her cheeks growing round and full and her eyes shining with returning health and happiness.
At Helen’s instigation Katy had deferred Wilford’s visit four weeks instead of three, but in that time there had come two letters from him, letters so full of anxiety and sympathy for “his poor little Katy who had been so sick,” that even Helen began to think she had done injustice to him, that he was not as proud and heartless as she supposed, and that he did love her sister after all.
“If I supposed he meant to deceive her I should wish I was a man to cowhide him,” she said to herself, with flashing eye, as she heard Katy exulting that he was coming “to-morrow.”