Family Pride (Chapter VIII - Getting Ready to be Married, page 1 of 10)

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"Miss Helen Lennox, Silverton, Mass."

This was the superscription of a letter, postmarked New York, and brought to Helen within a week after Wilford's departure. It was his handwriting, too; and wondering what he could have written to her, Helen broke the seal, starting as there dropped into her lap a check for five hundred dollars.

"What does it mean?" she said, her cheek flushing with anger and insulted pride as she read the following brief lines: "NEW YORK, May 8th.

"MISS HELEN LENNOX: Please pardon the liberty I take in inclosing the sum of five hundred dollars, to be used by you in procuring whatever Katy may need for present necessities. Presuming that the country seamstresses have not the best facilities for obtaining the latest fashions, my mother proposes sending out her own private dressmaker, Mrs. Ryan. You may look for her the last of the week.

"Yours truly, WILFORD CAMERON."

It would be impossible to describe Helen's indignation as she read this letter, which roused her to a pitch of anger such as Wilford Cameron had never imagined when he wrote the offensive lines. He had really no intention of insulting her. On the contrary, the gift of money was kindly meant, for he knew very well that Uncle Ephraim was poor, while the part referring to the dressmaker was wholly his mother's proposition, to which he had acceded, knowing how much confidence Juno had in her taste, and that whatever she might see at the farmhouse would remain a secret with her, or at most be confined to the ears of his mother and sisters. He wished Katy to look well, and foolishly fancying that no country artiste could make her look so, he consented to Mrs. Ryan's going, never suspecting the storm of anger it would rouse in Helen, whose first impulse was to throw the check into the fire. Her second, however, was soberer. She would not destroy it, nor tell any one she had it but Morris--he should know the whole. Accordingly, without a word to any one, she repaired to Linwood, finding Morris at home, and startling him with the vehemence of her anger as she explained the nature of her errand.

"If I disliked Wilford Cameron before, I hate him now. Yes, hate him," she said, stamping her little foot in fury.

"Why, Helen!" Morris exclaimed, laying his hand reprovingly on her shoulder. "Is this the right spirit for one who professes better things? Stop a moment and think."

"I know it is wrong," Helen answered, the tears glittering in her eyes; "but somehow since he came after Katy, I have grown so hard, so wicked toward Mr. Cameron. He seems so proud, so unapproachable. Say, Cousin Morris, do you think him a good man--that is, good enough for Katy?"

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