“Yes, it was too bad, when there was that white hen turkey she could fat up so easy before June, and she knew how to make ’lection cake that would melt in your mouth, and was enough sight better than the black stuff they called weddin’ cake. Vum! she meant to try what she could do with Mr. Cameron.”
And next morning when he came again she did try, holding out as inducements why he should be married the night before starting for Boston, the “white hen, turkey, the ’lection cake, and the gay old times the young folks would have playing snap-and-catchem; or if they had a mind, they could dance a bit in the kitchen. She didn’t believe in it, to be sure—none of the orthodox did; but as Wilford was a ’Piscopal, and that was a ’Piscopal quirk, it wouldn’t harm for once.”
Wilford tried not to show his disgust, and only Helen suspected how hard it was for him to keep down his utter contempt. She saw it in his eyes, which resembled two smoldering volcanoes as they rested upon Aunt Betsy during her harangue.
“Thank you, madam, for your good intentions, but I think we will dispense with the turkey and the cake,” was all he said, though he did smile at the old lady’s definition of dancing, which for once she might allow.
Even Morris, when appealed to, decided with Wilford against Mrs. Lennox and Aunt Betsy, knowing how unequal he was to the task which would devolve on him in case of a bridal party at the farmhouse. In comparative silence he had heard from Wilford of his engagement, offering no objection when told how soon the marriage would take place, but congratulating him so quietly that, if Wilford had retained a feeling of jealousy, it would have disappeared; Morris was so seemingly indifferent to everything except Katy’s happiness. But Wilford did not observe closely, and failed to detect the hopeless look in Morris’ eyes, or the whiteness which settled about his mouth as he fulfilled the duties of host and sought to entertain his guest. Those were dark hours for Morris Grant, and he was glad when at the end of the second day Wilford’s visit expired, and he saw him driven from Linwood around to the farmhouse, where he would say his parting words to Katy and then go back to New York.
Getting ready to be married.
“Miss Helen Lennox, Silverton, Mass.”
This was the superscription of a letter, postmarked New York, and brought to Helen within a week after Wilford’s departure. It was his handwriting, too; and wondering what he could have written to her, Helen broke the seal, starting as there dropped into her lap a check for five hundred dollars.
“What does it mean?” she said, her cheek flushing with anger and insulted pride as she read the following brief lines:
“New York, May 8th.
“Miss Helen Lennox: Please pardon the liberty I take in inclosing the sum of five hundred dollars, to be used by you in procuring whatever Katy may need for present necessities. Presuming that the country seamstresses have not the best facilities for obtaining the latest fashions, my mother proposes sending out her own private dressmaker, Mrs. Ryan. You may look for her the last of the week.