“Willie, Willie,” called Adah from a distant room, where she was looking for him. “Willie, Willie,” and as the silvery tone fell on the doctor’s ears he started suddenly.
“Who is that?” he asked, his heart throbs growing fainter as his mother replied: “That is Mrs. Markham. Singularly sweet voice for a person in humble life, don’t you think so?”
The doctor’s reply was cut short by the entrance of Anna, and in his joy at meeting his favorite sister and the excitement at the breakfast which followed immediately, the doctor forgot Rose Markham, who had succeeded in capturing Willie and borne him to her own room. After breakfast was over he went with Anna to inspect the rooms which Adah had fitted for his bride. They were very pleasant, and fastidious as he was he could find fault with nothing. The carpet, the curtains, the new light furniture, the armchair by the window where ’Lina was expected to sit, the fanciful workbasket standing near, and his chair not far away, all were in perfect taste, and passing his arm caressingly about Anna’s waist he said: “It’s very nice, and I thank my little sister so much; of course, I am wholly indebted to you.”
“Not of course. I furnished means, it is true, but another than myself planned and executed the effect,” and sitting down in ’Lina’s chair, Anna told her brother of Rose Markham, so beautiful, so refined, and so perfectly ladylike. “You must see her, and judge for yourself. Can’t I think of some excuse for sending for her?” she said.
It was some evil genius truly which prompted the doctor’s reply.
“Never mind. I’m not partial to smart waiting maids. I’d rather talk with you.”
And so the golden moment was lost, and Adah was not sent for, while in his bridal rooms the doctor sat, trying to be interested in all that Anna was saying, trying to believe he should be happy when ’Lina was his wife, and trying, oh, so hard, to shut out the vision of another, who should have been there in his own home, instead of lying in some lonesome grave, as he believed she was, with her baby on her bosom. Poor Lily!
It was a great mistake he made when he cast Lily off, but it could not now be helped. No tears, no regrets, could bring back the dear little form laid away beneath the grassy sod, and so he would not waste his time in idle mourning. He would do the best he could with ’Lina. He did believe she loved him. He was almost sure of it, and as a means of redressing Lily’s wrongs he would be kind to her.
And where all this while was Adah? Had she no curiosity, no desire to see the man about whom she had heard so much? Doubtless she had, and would have sought an occasion for gratifying it, had not the rather too talkative Pamelia accidentally overheard the doctor’s remark concerning “smart waiting maids,” and repeated it to her, with sundry little embellishments in tone and manner. Piqued more than she cared to acknowledge, Adah decided not to trouble him if she could help it, and so kept out of his way, by staying mostly in her own room, where she was busy with sewing for Anna.