"One is confused by the facts?" Lady Tabitha asked dryly.
"The Red Room for Mr. Finch," the Baroness ordered. "He arrives tonight. See it is properly aired."
"Are you all right dear?" the Baroness asked, turning to Lady Tabitha.
"You look pale."
"The sun. I believe I will go inside and rest a while. Please, don't get up."
Nevertheless, the gentlemen did, and watched perhaps a bit longer than was polite--for there was, after all, another eminently eligible young lady present--the erect and graceful figure of Lady Tabitha, with her gently trailing bow of organza, depart for the house.
"Very excited, you know," the Baroness explained. "I have great hopes for those two."
"What, Finch and Lady T?" the Earl asked.
"She has said nothing, of course. But I can imagine."
"They merely had lunch together," the Earl snorted. "At Simpson's, for God's sake."
"Simpson's!" Miss Ethyl turned up her nose, what little there was of it. Her features were not brave enough to declare themselves. They merely seemed like interruptions, hillocks and depressions, on an essentially flat landscape. "I would hardly expect to see a Lady at Simpson's"
The Earl channelled all his contempt into a singularly charming smile, the kind a cat gives a mouse. He crooked his arm and inclined himself slightly towards her.
"Would you care to walk off some of this excellent meal, Miss Ethyl?"
"Why, yes," she said, blushing furiously. "I should be
As Miss Ethyl adjusted her sun bonnet, the Earl cast a significant appeal for approval over her head to the Baroness, who nodded back happily.
Meanwhile, Mister MacIntyre was engaged in trying to find the window of the room to which he would now return and,
hopefully, write more of his book. But he could not. It simply did not seem to exist from the outside of the Hall. Strange, he thought.
(To be continued)