Family Pride (Chapter V - Wilford's Visit, page 1 of 9)


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Much surprise was expressed by all the Cameron family, save the mother, when told that instead of accompanying them to New York, Wilford would take another route, and one directly out of his way; while, what was stranger than all, he did not know when he should be home; it would depend upon circumstances, he said, evincing so much annoyance at being questioned with regard to his movements, that the quick-witted Juno readily divined that there was some girl in the matter, teasing him unmercifully to tell her who she was, and what the fair one was like.

"Don't, for pity's sake, bring us a verdant specimen," she said, as she at last bade him good-by, and turned her attention to Mark Ray, her brother's partner, who had been with them at Newport, and whom she was bending all her energies to captivate.

With his sister's bantering words ringing in his ears, Wilford kept on his way until the last change was made, and when he stopped again it would be at Silverton. He did not expect any one to meet him, but as he remembered the man whom he had seen greeting Katy, he thought it not unlikely that he might be there now, laughing to himself as he pictured Juno's horror, could she see him driving along in the corn-colored vehicle which Uncle Ephraim drove. But that vehicle was safe at home beneath the shed, while Uncle Ephraim was laying a stone wall upon the huckleberry hill, and the handsome carriage waiting at Silverton depot was certainly unexceptionable; while in the young man who, as the train stopped and Wilford stepped out upon the platform, came to meet him, bowing politely, and asking if he were Mr. Cameron, Wilford recognized the true gentleman, and his spirits arose as Morris said to him: "I am Miss Lennox's cousin, deputed by her to meet and take charge of you for a time."

Wilford had heard of Dr. Morris Grant, for his name was often on Jamie's lips, while his proud Sister Juno, he suspected, had tried her powers of fascination in vain upon the grave American, met in the saloons of Paris; but he had no suspicion that his new acquaintance was the one until they were driving toward the farmhouse and Morris mentioned having met his family in France, inquiring after them all, and especially for Jamie. Involuntarily then Wilford grasped again the hand of Morris Grant, exclaiming: "And are you the doctor who was so kind to Jamie? I did not expect this pleasure?"

After that the ride seemed very short, and Wilford was surprised when as they turned a corner in the sandy road, Morris pointed to the farmhouse, saying: "We are almost there--that is the place."

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