By Georgette Heyer
Refusing her fortune-hunting suitors, Kitty Charing despairs of discovering a guy who would like her for herself and runs away, until eventually the risks of town make her boldly suggest to the dependent Mr. Standen of London. Reprint.
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Said he had something important to say to me. ’ Kitty demanded. ‘Been out of town,’ explained Mr Standen. ’ ejaculated Freddy, startled. ’ he agreed, much struck. ‘Why, if I hadn’t met you, I should have walked smash into them! 38 1/30/08 12:05 PM Page 39 cotillion You know, Kitty, the old gentleman must be in pretty queer stirrups! Unless he’s been on the mop, and that don’t seem likely. Well, what I mean is, he must be dicked in the nob to want such a set of gudgeons at Arnside! ’ agreed Freddy.
Miss Charing accepted, with a loud sob, the delicate handkerchief held out to her, and blew her small nose with determination. Mr Standen, reflecting that he had several handkerchiefs in his portmanteau, applied himself to the task of consolation. ‘No sense in crying,’ he said. ‘Think of some shift or other! ’ This well-meant suggestion caused Kitty’s tears to flow faster. ‘I have been thinking and thinking, and there is nothing I can do! The landlord, not unnaturally consumed with curiosity, had hit upon an excuse for re-entering the coffee-room.
Everyone would say you were very well rid of me! ’ ‘Well, it would. ’ ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ admitted Kitty. ’ said Freddy, with feeling. ‘You may easily hit upon an excuse for our keeping the engagement private. ’ ‘Yes, I know it may. The thing is I ain’t one of these carefor-nothings, and I don’t want anything to happen. No, and another thing! I don’t want to be roasted all over town, which I should be. ’ A faint flush stole into her cheeks. ’ ‘I don’t see that,’ said the captious Mr Standen.
Cotillion by Georgette Heyer