“Crying. Helen! oh, don’t. I shall love you just the same, and you are coming to live with us in the new house on Madison Square,” Katy said, forgetting Wilford’s instructions in her desire to comfort Helen, who broke down again, while Katy’s tears were mingled with her own.
It was the first time Katy had thought what it would be to leave forever the good, patient sister, who had been so true, so kind, treating her like a petted kitten and standing between her and every hardship.
“Don’t cry, Nellie,” she said, twining her arms around her neck; “New York is not far away, and I shall come so often—that is, after we return from Europe. Did I tell you we are going there first, and Wilford will not wait, but says we must be married the tenth of June; that’s his birthday—thirty—and he is telling mother now.”
“So soon—oh, Katy! and you so young!” was all Helen could say, as with quivering lip she kissed her sister’s hand raised to wipe her tears away.
“Yes, it is soon, and I am young; but Wilford is in such a hurry; he don’t care,” Katy replied, trying to comfort Helen, and begging of her not to cry so hard.
No, Wilford did not care, as it would seem, how much he wrung the hearts of Katy’s family by taking her from them at once, and by dictating to a certain extent the way in which he would take her. There must be no invited guests, he said; no lookers-on, except such as chose to go to the church where the ceremony would, of course, be performed, and from which place he should go directly to the Boston train. It was his wish, too, that the matter should be kept as quiet as possible, and not be generally discussed in the neighborhood, as he disliked being a subject for gossip. And Mrs. Lennox, to whom this was said, promised compliance with everything, or if she ventured to object she found herself borne down by a stronger will than her own, and weakly yielded, her manner fully testifying to her delight at the honor conferred upon her by this high marriage of her child. Wilford knew just how pleased she was, and her obsequious manner annoyed him far more than did Helen’s blunt, straightforwardness, when, after supper was over, she told him how averse she was to his taking Katy so soon, adding still further that if it must be, she saw no harm in inviting a few of their neighbors. It was customary—it would be expected, she said, while Mrs. Lennox, emboldened by Helen’s boldness, chimed in, “at least your folks will come; I shall be glad to meet your mother.”
Wilford was very polite to them both; very good-humored, but he kept to his first position, and poor Mrs. Lennox saw fade into airy nothingness all her visions of roasted fowls and frosted cake trimmed with myrtle and flowers, with hosts of the Silverton people there to admire and partake of the marriage feast. It was too bad, and so Aunt Betty said, when, after Wilford had gone to Linwood, the family sat together around the kitchen stove, talking the matter over.