Frequently doubts crossed her mind as to the future, when it might be known that she came from Spring Bank, and knew the expected bride. Would she not be blamed as a party in the deception? Ought she not to tell Anna frankly that she knew her brother’s betrothed? She did not know, and the harassing anxiety wore upon her faster than all the work she had to do.
Anna seemed very happy. Excitement was what she needed, and never since her girlish days had she been so bright and active as she was now, assisting Adah in her labors, and watching the progress of affairs. The new carpets looked beautiful when upon the floor, and gave to the rooms a new and cozy aspect. The muslin curtains, done up by the laundress so carefully, lest they should drop to pieces, looked almost as good as new, and no one would have suspected that the pretty cornice had been made from odds and ends found by Adah in an ancient box up in the lumber-room. The white satin bows which looped the curtains back, were tied by Adah’s hands.
And during all this while came there to Adah’s heart no suspicion for whom and whose she was thus laboring? No strange interest in the bridegroom, the handsome doctor, so doted upon by mother and sisters? None whatever. She scarcely remembered him, or if she did, it was as one toward whom she was utterly indifferent. He would not notice her. He might not notice Willie, though yes, she rather thought he would like her boy; everybody did, and the young mother bent down to kiss her child, and so hide the blush called up by a remembrance of Irving Stanley’s kindness on that sad journey to Terrace Hill.
Rapidly the few days went by, bringing at last the very morning when he was expected. Brightly, warmly the April sun looked in upon Adah, wondering at the load upon her spirits. She did not associate it with the doctor, nor with anything in particular. She did not know for certain that she should even see him. She might and she might not, but if she did perchance stumble upon him, she would a little rather he should see that she was not like ordinary waiting-maids. She would make a good impression!
And so she wore the pretty dark French calico which Anna had given to her, fastened the neat linen collar with a chaste little pin, buttoned her snow-white cuffs, thrust a clean handkerchief into the dainty pocket on the outside of her skirt, and then descended to the drawing-room to see that the fires were burning briskly, for spite of the cheerful sunshine pouring in, the morning was cold and frosty. They had delayed their breakfast until the doctor should come, and in the dining-room the table was laid with unusual care. Everything was in its place, and still Adah fluttered around it like a restless bird, lingering by what she knew was the doctor’s chair, taking up his knife, examining his napkin ring, and wondering what he would think of the cheap bone rings used at Spring Bank.
In the midst of her cogitations, the door bell rang, and she heard the tramp of horses’ feet as Jim drove around to the stable. The doctor had come and she must go, but where was Willie?