Mr Lynfield was in fact one of the first to visit the Lawrences, after all they weren’t all that far away and it was a neighbourly thing to do at the least. He had always intended on calling on the Lawrences, though he concealed his doing so from his wife until the last moment.
She was elated, and had rushed off, only to return with the rest of her daughters at her heels.
“Hurry, hurry now,”
“What is it, Mamma?” moaned Beth, “Why are we in such a rush?”
“Oh do be quiet, Beth, stop that whining, you do pain my poor head, and now sit down. Yes, there, and you too Cathy, Lucinda. Julia, you take the armchair. Now girls – your father has some very exciting news,” Mrs Lynfield gave her husband an expectant stare, eyebrows raised.
When he made no sign of speaking, Mrs Lynfield continued.
“And do you remember Master Lawrence?”
“Yes, yes!” said Cathy, fidgeting.
Mrs Lynfield paused for effect.
“Mamma, please,” said Lucinda, “Tell us!”
Mrs Lynfield smiled.
“Your excellent father has visited Master Lawrence and he is expected to visit us this Saturday. It will not be long after then that we will be dining with him!”
Lucinda and Cathy leapt up and danced around the room.
“Oh Lucinda, we shall have to choose our dresses so well! What do we wear in the company of such men?” Cathy sang.
Julia smiled at the news, and looked at Georgie, who rolled her eyes at both their sisters’ and mother’s delight.
“And mamma,” said Cathy as soon as she remembered, “We did see Mrs Little in town this morning and she promised to introduce us to Master Lawrence at the Lovell’s party.”
“And won’t she be shocked to see that we will already be acquainted with him!” Mrs Lynfield said. “Perhaps,” she said happily, “we will have the privilege of introducing him to her!”
Cathy giggled, “Wouldn’t that be a laugh!”
“What say you, Beth? You sit there very quietly involved in that book of yours.” asked Lucinda. Cathy laughed and skipped around Lucinda.
“I don’t think she cares much for handsome, rich men,” Cathy teased.
Beth looked up from her book to glare at Cathy, “I don’t care much for the silly girls that chase them either.”
“Beth, Beth, you will have your chance too,” Mrs Lynfield with unconvincing assurance.
“And Cathy,” their mother said, returning her attention to the more promising prospective wives, “even though you are the youngest, I am sure that Master Lawrence will dance with you at the party.”
“And why should he not? I may be the youngest, but I am the tallest. I am determined not to be overlooked! I certainly shan’t be shadowed by Bethany, that’s for sure.”
“Cathy, that’s enough,” Georgie said sternly.
Mrs Lynfield, Cathy and Lucinda spent the rest of the evening speculating what they should wear when Master Lawrence came to visit, and how soon should they invite him to dinner.
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