Prof. Seabrook arose.
“It is very good of you, Miss Minturn,” he said, addressing her with studied politeness. “I do feel anxious to get away to an important appointment. Well, Dorrie, what shall I bring you from the city?” he questioned, as he bent over the girl, his tones softening suddenly to yearning tenderness.
“Oh! papa, it’s Saturday, you know,” she said, with a wise look.
“Sure; I almost forgot, and the inevitable cream chocolates for Sunday will have to be forthcoming, I suppose,” he laughingly rejoined. “Anything else?”
“No, I guess not; only tell Uncle Phil, if you see him, to be sure to come out to-morrow.”
“Very well,” then kissing her fondly, he bowed formally to Katherine and quietly left the room.
Ten minutes later Mrs. Seabrook returned, and Katherine persuaded her to go out for a walk, a privilege which the closely confined woman was glad to avail herself of, and Dorothy was soon absorbed in the description of a moonlight fete on the Grand Canal in Venice, and which Katherine had participated in during her recent tour abroad.
Meantime Mrs. Seabrook was walking briskly towards the highway, but with a very thoughtful expression on her refined face.
It was one of those soft, balmy days of May that almost delude one into the belief that it is June; that thrill the heart with tenderness for every living thing, and quicken responsive pulses with their unfolding beauty. She had been shut up the whole week with Dorrie, while, with Miss Reynolds alarmingly ill and several of the students threatened with as many different ailments, her time had been more than full, and her mind heavily burdened with care and anxiety. So it was with a sense of freedom and grateful appreciation that she pursued her way, breathing in the pure and refreshing air, basking in the genial sunshine and feasting her eyes upon the loveliness all around her; but thinking, thinking with a strange feeling of awe deep down in her heart.
She had just passed the entrance to the grounds of the seminary, when she saw her brother, Dr. Stanley, approaching from the opposite direction.
She hurried forward to greet him.
“I am more than glad to see you, Phillip,” she said, as she slipped her hand, girl fashion, into his, as it hung by his side. “Come and walk with me. I want to talk to you.”
“I am on my way to Dorrie,” he replied. “I met William in a car, as I was returning to town from a visit to a patient, and he told me she had been very poorly to-day. So I took the next car back to see her.”
“Yes, she had a very bad night, but has grown more comfortable within the last few hours. Miss Minturn offered to sit with her and let me out for a breath of air,” his sister explained.
“I owe Miss Minturn my personal thanks. But perhaps I ought to go on and take a look at Dorrie,” said the physician, thoughtfully.