“Well, I like that!” cried Adam, indignantly. “Why didn’t you let me go with you?”
Kate sat staring down the road. She was shocked speechless. Again she had followed an impulse, without thinking of any one besides herself. Usually she could talk, but in that instant she had nothing to say. Then a carriage drew into the line of her vision, stopped at York’s gate, and Mr. York alighted and swung to the ground a slim girlish figure and then helped his wife. Kate had a sudden inspiration. “But you would want to wait a little and join with Milly, wouldn’t you?” she asked. “Uncle Robert always has been a church member. I think it’s a fine stand for a man to take.”
“Maybe that would be better,” he said. “I didn’t think of Milly. I only thought I’d like to have been with you and Little Poll.”
“I’m sure Milly will be joining very soon, and that she’ll want you with her,” said Kate.
She was a very substantial woman, but for the remainder of that day she felt that she was moving with winged feet. She sang, she laughed, she was unspeakably happy. She kept saying over and over: “And a little child shall lead them.” Then she would catch Little Poll, almost crushing her in her strong arms. It never occurred to Kate that she had done an unprecedented thing. She had done as her heart dictated. She did not know that she put the minister into a most uncomfortable position, when he followed her request to baptize her and the child. She had never thought of probations, and examinations, and catechisms. She had read the Bible, as was the custom, every morning before her school. In that book, when a man wanted to follow Jesus, he followed; Jesus accepted him; and that was all there was to it, with Kate.
The middle of the week Nancy Ellen came flying up the walk on winged feet, herself. She carried photographs of several small children, one of them a girl so like Little Poll that she might have been the original of the picture.
“They just came,” said Nancy Ellen rather breathlessly. “I was wild for that little darling at once. I had Robert telegraph them to hold her until we could get there. We’re going to start on the evening train and if her blood seems good, and her ancestors respectable, and she looks like that picture, we’re going to bring her back with us. Oh, Kate, I can scarcely wait to get my fingers on her. I’m hungry for a baby all of my own.”
Kate studied the picture.
“She’s charming!” she said. “Oh, Nancy Ellen, this world is getting entirely too good to be true.”
Nancy Ellen looked at Kate and smiled peculiarly.
“I knew you were crazy,” she said, “but I never dreamed of you going such lengths. Mrs. Whistler told Robert, when she called him in about her side, Tuesday. I can’t imagine a Bates joining church.”
“If that is joining church, it’s the easiest thing in the world,” said Kate. “We just loved doing it, didn’t we, Little Poll? Adam and Milly are going to come in soon, I’m almost sure. At least he is willing. I don’t know what it is that I am to do, but I suppose they will give me my work soon.”