They found Katherine reading the ninety-first psalm to Dorothy, who was lying restfully among her pillows, with a look of peace in her eyes that was like balm to the mother’s aching heart.
The moment Phillip Stanley caught sight of Katherine he settled his chin with a resolute air, a sudden purpose taking form in his thought.
“Emelie,” he said, in his sister’s ear, “will you manage so that I can have a few minutes’ conversation with Miss Minturn?”
She nodded, giving him a bright look, then went forward to Dorothy’s side, while Dr. Stanley turned to greet Katherine, who had risen upon their appearance.
Dr. Stanley asks some questions.
“We meet occasionally, Miss Minturn,” Dr. Stanley observed in a genial tone, as he cordially extended his hand to her. “I hope everything is progressing satisfactorily in the junior class.”
“As far as I know, all is well,” she returned, her scarlet lips parting in a smile that just showed the tips of her white teeth, though she flushed slightly under her companion’s glance. “I can speak with authority for only one, however. I am compelled to work pretty diligently; but I rather enjoy that.”
“I am sure you do. I recall a fluent reading from Horace, which I inadvertently interrupted on the Ivernia, last fall, and which must have required earnest application; and I also remember that that same student could not be tempted from her task until the lesson was done,” the gentleman rejoined, jocosely. Then turning to Dorothy, he inquired:
“And how does my small niece find herself this afternoon?”
“Miss Minturn, I have enjoyed my walk more than I can tell you,” said Mrs. Seabrook, as she removed her hat and wrap, but wondering at the unaccustomed crimson in the girl’s cheeks. “And now,” she added, “if you have time I would like to show you a portfolio of engravings which Prof. Seabrook received last week from an old classmate who is now abroad.”
Katherine could never resist fine pictures, and followed her hostess into an adjoining room, where the portfolio was placed upon a table, and she was invited to inspect its contents at her leisure, Mrs. Seabrook excusing herself to prepare some nourishment for Dorothy.
Katherine found many of the engravings to be copies of paintings by some of the great masters, and which she had seen, in various galleries, the previous summer. They were very finely executed, and she became so absorbed in them that she was unconscious of the presence of anyone until Dr. Stanley’s smooth, cultured tones fell upon her startled ears.
“That is a beautiful thing, Miss Minturn,” he observed, bending nearer to look more closely at a copy of a section of the ‘Creation’ as painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican at Rome. “The foreshortening and perspective there is wonderful! Michael Angelo was the master of them all! Of course, you have seen many of the wonders of that great storehouse of art?”