“Yours truly, Wilford Cameron.”
It would be impossible to describe Helen’s indignation as she read this letter, which roused her to a pitch of anger such as Wilford Cameron had never imagined when he wrote the offensive lines. He had really no intention of insulting her. On the contrary, the gift of money was kindly meant, for he knew very well that Uncle Ephraim was poor, while the part referring to the dressmaker was wholly his mother’s proposition, to which he had acceded, knowing how much confidence Juno had in her taste, and that whatever she might see at the farmhouse would remain a secret with her, or at most be confined to the ears of his mother and sisters. He wished Katy to look well, and foolishly fancying that no country artiste could make her look so, he consented to Mrs. Ryan’s going, never suspecting the storm of anger it would rouse in Helen, whose first impulse was to throw the check into the fire. Her second, however, was soberer. She would not destroy it, nor tell any one she had it but Morris—he should know the whole. Accordingly, without a word to any one, she repaired to Linwood, finding Morris at home, and startling him with the vehemence of her anger as she explained the nature of her errand.
“If I disliked Wilford Cameron before, I hate him now. Yes, hate him,” she said, stamping her little foot in fury.
“Why, Helen!” Morris exclaimed, laying his hand reprovingly on her shoulder. “Is this the right spirit for one who professes better things? Stop a moment and think.”
“I know it is wrong,” Helen answered, the tears glittering in her eyes; “but somehow since he came after Katy, I have grown so hard, so wicked toward Mr. Cameron. He seems so proud, so unapproachable. Say, Cousin Morris, do you think him a good man—that is, good enough for Katy?”
“Most people would call him too good for her,” Morris replied. “And, in a worldly point of view, she is doing well, while Mr. Cameron, I believe, is better than three-fourths of the men who marry our girls. He is very proud; but that results from his education and training. Looking only from a New York standpoint he misjudges country people, but he will appreciate you by and by. Do not begin by hating him so cordially.”
“Yes, but this money. Now, Morris, we do not want him to get Katy’s outfit. I would rather go without clothes my whole life. Shall I send it back?”
“I think that the best disposition to make of it,” Morris replied. “As your brother, I can and will supply Katy’s needs.”
“I knew you would, Morris. What should we do without you?” and Helen smiled gratefully upon the doctor, who in word and deed was to her like a dear brother. “And I’ll send it to-day, in time to keep that dreadful Mrs. Ryan from coming; for, Morris, I won’t have any of Wilford Cameron’s dressmakers in the house.”
Morris could not help smiling at Helen’s energetic manner as she hurried to his library and taking his pen wrote to Wilford Cameron as follows: