“You fairly take my breath away!” exclaimed Katherine, amazed. “And you are going to England with him?”
“I reckon he’d hardly expect anything else, after I had said ‘Come,’ would he?” queried Sadie, sweeping her friend a shy look from under her lashes.
“It seems to me you are not quite so averse to a European trip as you were a year and a half ago,” Mrs. Stanley observed, in a significant tone.
Sadie laughed out merrily.
“Well”—the old Southern drawl manifesting itself—“at that time, honey, the attraction to stay was the same that it now is to go.”
“I am glad, Sadie—I really am,” said Katherine, after a thoughtful pause. “Phillip and I have often wondered how things would eventually arrange themselves for you two. I must say, though, the way you’ve managed it is unique in the annals of history,” and she burst into a hearty laugh.
“Think so? Well, you see, I didn’t have any preserved moss rosebuds to send him,” retorted Miss Minot, with a chuckle.
“Sadie, will you never let up on those rosebuds?” cried Katherine, still laughing. “However, as I said before, I am glad; you are practically alone in the world and will be happier to have a home of your own, and I think I would feel very sorry to have Mr. Willard go to a far country all by himself. Now, I am going to have you come right to me until you go,” she went on, with animation. “You shall be married here. I will matronize you, and we will have all the old school friends on hand to give you a rousing send-off.”
“How perfectly lovely of you, Katherine! It will surely be a great comfort to me—give me such a homey feeling, you know, and I—” but Sadie’s tremulous lips and an unmanageable lump in her throat would not permit her to go on.
“I shall love to do it, dear. It will give me a fine opportunity to entertain our classmates and other friends,” Katherine hastened to say. “But how perfectly funny!” she cried, gayly, “to be planning for your wedding, and you two lovers haven’t yet come to a definite understanding?”
“Oh! yes, we have, honey. Ned knows, as well as I, that everything was settled by that one word, ‘Come.’ Nothing but details remain to be arranged. But—oh! Katherine, how I shall miss you!” she concluded, yearningly, for, as we know, during their two years’ friendship there had been scarcely a cloud to obscure the harmony between them.
“Yes, we shall miss each other,” Katherine assented, with a soft sigh. “But”—turning luminous eyes upon her—“we both have the same shepherd—Love; we shall both dwell together in the ’secret place’ and be ever working for the same blessed Cause. Nothing can really separate us, dear, so long as we faithfully keep step in moving towards the Light.”
*** End of the project gutenberg EBOOK, Katherine’s sheaves ***