In less than three months she has exhausted fashionable life, and I looked at her in astonishment, asking what would please her if the opera did not. What would she like?
Turning her eyes full upon me, she exclaimed:
“I do like it some, I suppose, only I get so tired. I like to ride, I like to skate, I like to shop, and all that; but, oh, you don’t know how I want to go home to mother and Helen. I have not seen them for so long, but I am going in the spring—going in May. How many days are there in March and April? Sixty-one,” she continued; “then I may safely say that in eighty days I shall see mother, and all the dear old places. It is not a grand home like this. You, Bell, might laugh at it. Juno would, I am sure, but you do not know how dear it is to me, or how I long for a sight of the huckleberry hills and the rocks where Helen and I used to play, Helen is a darling sister, and I know you will like her.”
Just then Will called to say the carriage was waiting, and Katy was driven away, while I sat thinking of her and the devoted love with which she clings to her home and friends, wondering if it were the kindest thing which could have been done, transplanting her to our atmosphere, so different from her own.
March 1st.—As it was in the winter, so it is now; Mrs. Wilford Cameron is the rage—the bright star of society—which quotes and pets and flatters, and even laughs at her by turns; and Wilford, though still watchful, lest she should do something outre, is very proud of her, insisting upon her accepting invitations, sometimes two for one evening, until the child is absolutely worn out, and said to me once, when I told her how well she was looking and how pretty her dress was: “Yes, pretty enough, but I am so tired. If I could lie down on mother’s bed, in a shilling calico, just as I used to do!”
Mother’s bed seems at present to be the height of her ambition—the thing she most desires; and as Juno fancied it must be the feathers she is sighing for, she wickedly suggests that Wilford either buy a feather bed for his wife, or else send to that Aunt Betsy for the one which was to be Katy’s setting out! They go to housekeeping in May, and on Madison Square, too, I think Wilford would quite as soon remain with us, for he does not fancy change; but Katy wants a home of her own, and I never saw anything more absolutely beautiful than her face when father said to Wilford that No. —— Madison Square was for sale, advising him to secure it. But when mother intimated that there was no necessity for the two families to separate at present—that Katy was too young to have charge of a house—there came into her eyes a look of such distress that it went straight to father’s heart, and calling her to him, he said:
“Tell me, sunbeam, what is your choice—to stay with us, or have a home of your own?”
Katy was very white, and her voice trembled as she replied: