“You have been kind to me here, and it is very pleasant; but I guess—I think—I’m sure—I should like the housekeeping best. I am not so young, either. Nineteen in July, and when I go home next month I can learn so much of Aunt Betsy and Aunt Hannah.”
Mother looked at Wilford then; but he was looking into the fire, with an expression anything but favorable to that visit home, fixed now for April instead of May. But Katy has no discernment, and believes she is actually going home to learn how to make apple dumplings and pumpkin pies. In spite of mother, the house is bought, and now she is gone all day, deciding how it shall be furnished, always leaving Katy out of the question, as if she were a cipher, and only consulting Wilford’s choice. They will be happier alone, I know. Mrs. General Reynolds says that it is the way for young people to live; that her son’s wife shall never come home to her, for of course their habits could not be alike; and then she looked queerly at me, as if she knew I was thinking of Lieutenant Bob and who his wife might be.
Sybil Grandon is coming home in April or May, and Mrs. Reynolds wonders will she flirt as she used to do. Just as if Bob would care for a widow. There is more danger from Will, who thinks Mrs. Grandon a perfect paragon, and who is very anxious that Katy may appear well before her, saying nothing and doing nothing which shall in any way approximate to Silverton and the shoes which Katy told Esther she used to bind when a girl. Will need not be disturbed, for Sybil Grandon was never half as pretty as Katy, or half as much admired. Neither need Mrs. General Reynolds fret about Bob, as if he would care for her. Sybil Grandon, indeed!
For nearly four months Katy had been in New York, drinking deep draughts from the cup of folly and fashion held so constantly to her lips; but she cloyed of it at last, and what at first had been so eagerly grasped, began, from daily repetition, to grow insipid and dull. To be the belle of every place, to know that her dress, her style, and even the fashion of her hair, was copied and admired, was gratifying to her, because she knew how much it pleased her husband, who was never happier or prouder than when, with Katy on his arm, he entered some crowded parlor and heard the buzz of admiration as it circled around, while Katy, simple-hearted and guileless still, smiled and blushed like a little child, wondering at the attentions lavished upon her, and attributing them mostly to her husband, whose position she thoroughly understood, marveling more and more that he should have chosen her to be his wife. That he had so honored her made her love him with a strange kind of grateful, clinging love, which as yet would acknowledge no fault in him, no wrong, no error; and if ever a shadow did cloud her heart, she was the one to blame, not Wilford; he was right—he