All her life, her parents had cautioned her brother Thomas, "Do not inspire Elizabeth to misbehave."
They believed he might be more apt to manipulation than she. They
were wrong. Thomas was her equal. She could imagine his glee if he were here.
"Do go, Sister. Just think how a harmless walk would vex Patrica."
Patrica, as baby of the family, demanded certain rights as hers by birth.
Clearly, in the opinion of the two older siblings, Elizabeth and Thomas, their
parents had ruined Patrica with their administrations. Thomas and Elizabeth did
their best to correct the error.
All in fun, of course.
Elizabeth perused the brown-haired baron who now watched as she straightened
from the curtsey. She was tall for a female: five foot five! Yet, he stood
over her by almost a foot.
"Ladies do not scowl," she said in her most haughty voice.
"And, certainly, any gentleman would refrain from noticing should one
"Gentleman? Nay, I am here but to please the Duchess. I will be
leaving tomorrow morning."
Curiosity plagued Elizabeth. Too leave would be insulting to her aunt. Yet,
he seemed not to be concerned.
Her brother's urging, albeit imaginary, was wrong.
It would be harmful to walk with Baron Drake Godrich. Even now the half
smile and the piercing brown eyes were causing her concern and a strange sense
of longing. She was intrigued. That was all.
Far too often, the young men she came in contact with distanced themselves.
They did not appreciate a female who was as adept at numbers and words as she
was with sewing. They did not like being surprised by a female who had an
opinion on whether or not Henry should be counseled by Anselm and offer
If Baron Drake Godrich knew her name, then it was most assured he knew her disposition.
"I will fetch the duchess for you," Elizabeth offered. "She
would be honored at your suggestion to take in the grounds."
"I think not. The Duchess and I have already taken a walk today."
If he had informed her aunt that he would be leaving tomorrow morning, why
had her aunt not mentioned it when Patrica begged Elizabeth to pair her with him?
"A short walk would be pleasing," Elizabeth decided.