Readers, I am mortified that my representative, Susan Kaye, is late posting up her weekly missive which bears my name. I have handed down a fitting discipline, picking oakum for the foreseeable future, and am sure this will teach her to better manage her time. Please accept my kindest regards, F. Wentworth, Cpt.
“…for while she considered Louisa to be rather the favourite, she could not but think, as far as she might dare to judge from memory and experience, that Captain Wentworth was not in love with either.”
Anne settled into the corner chair for another evening of watching the Musgrove girls flit and flirt with the Captain. Thankfully, Charles Hayter was not present to glower through dinner and pace the room after. His sisters though would easily take up the empty space.
There had been talk of dancing as everyone left the table. She held her breath, practicing a smile and gracious nod for when she was asked to play the piano. Before she was even moderately prepared, Frederick said, “If this entertainment is for my sake, I would thank you but must cry off. I went riding this afternoon and want nothing but a comfortable chair this evening.” Louisa attempted more than once to tease him onto the floor, but he repelled each sally with firmer and firmer refusals. The young woman took his last refusal with a frozen smile and deep sigh. It was then Anne turned away and decided on her seat for the evening.
Occasionally Mrs Musgrove or Mrs Hayter would come and take a short respite with her. The conversations were short and polite. When their duty to a favorite guest was fulfilled, off they would go to join the young people again. Mrs Hayter had just left her and Anne was getting anxious to leave for home. She looked to the clock and relaxed. Mary and Charles would not wish to leave for several more hours. There was nothing to be done except settle back and observe.
Only seconds passed before Anne noticed Louisa and Frederick standing off from the others.
Louisa was talking quickly and fanning herself. Whatever they spoke of was exciting to the girl. That is what Anne thought until she noticed Frederick’s right hand. He was worrying the seaming at the corner of the pocket of his blue coat.
He is bored.
She is boring him!
The rest of the evening she watched him move and talk. By her memories of things Frederick had told her in the past, he was bored a good portion of the evening. On the ride home, Anne took great satisfaction, and relief, in a dawning belief that Frederick was not in love with Louisa or Henrietta Musgrove. He certainly did not love her, but she was growing certain he did not love anyone else.