With a toss of her head Helen turned away, forgetting her resentment in the more absorbing thought that Katy was really leaving her.
The bell had rung, the heavy machinery groaned and creaked, and the long train was under way, while from an open window a little white hand was thrust, waving its handkerchief until the husband quietly drew it in, experiencing a feeling of relief that all was over, and that unless he chose, his wife need never go back again to that vulgar crowd standing upon the platform and looking with tearful eyes and aching hearts after the fast receding train.
For a moment Mark talked with Morris Grant, explaining how he came there, and adding that on the morrow he, too, intended going on to Boston, to remain for a few days before Wilford sailed; then, feeling that he must in some way atone for his awkward speech regarding Aunt Betsy, he sought out Helen, still standing like a statue and watching the feathery line of smoke rising above the distant trees. Her bonnet had partially fallen from her head, revealing her bands of rich brown hair and the smooth, broad forehead, while her hands were locked together, and a tear trembled on her dark eyelashes. Taken as a whole she made a striking picture standing apart from the rest and totally oblivious to them all, and Mark gazed at her a moment curiously; then as her attitude changed and she drew her hat back to its place he advanced toward her, and making some pleasant remark about the morning and the appearance of the country generally. He knew he could not openly apologize, but he made what amends he could by talking to her so familiarly that Helen almost forgot how she hated him and all others who like him lived in New York and resembled Wilford Cameron. It was Mark who led her to the carriage which Morris said was waiting, Mark who handed her in, smoothing down carefully the folds of her dress, and then stood leaning against the door, chatting with Morris, who thought once of asking him to enter and go back to Linwood. But when he remembered how unequal he was to entertaining any one that day, he hesitated, saying merely:
“On your way from Boston call and see me. I shall be glad of your company then.”
“Which means that you do not wish it now,” Mark laughingly rejoined, as, offering his hand to both Morris and Helen, he again touched his hat politely and walked away.
After the marriage.
“Why did you invite him to Linwood?” Helen began. “I am sure we have had city guests enough. Oh, if Wilford Cameron had only never come, we should have had Katy now,” and the sister-love overcame every other feeling, making Helen cry bitterly as they drove back to the farmhouse.