In one of the roomy and elegant parlors in the Fitzwilliam's house, Mr.Landish sat with a face full of placid yet sometimes enthusiastic smiles. Anne and Catherine sat on two chairs separated by a small table, on the other side of Mr.Landish. They appeared restless, but with extreme politeness, waited for their aunt to come down.
"I am so glad to find you ladies in," began Mr.Landish. "I did hear from your uncle that you were to be out today, but I thought I might find you back at this hour. Indeed, I am quiet satisfied with my success. You see, I was so pleased with our conversation when I last came, that I had to give myself the pleasure again, very soon," he continued, addressing both of them, but looking particularly at Catherine, who merely nodded and smiled slightly.
"Thank you for your compliments. Do you reside in London much longer, Mr.Landish, or are you returning to Devonshire soon?" inquired Catherine, in an attempt to distract him from her sister's expressions of impatience.
"Uh, yes, I do. In a fortnight, to be exact. And, uh, when do you ladies return to Hunsford?"
"We have no exact time, but we will not be here for more than 2 months, at all events. My father is here to take the place of another minister, here in a London church."
"Ah, yes, he told me so much himself. Well, I do hope that you," again looking attentively at her, " have a very enjoyable stay."
"I am sure we shall," she replied graciously, in her head adding "if you would leave us be!". Of course she was all smiles outwardly, and almost started from her placid politeness when her aunt softly entered in.
"Indeed, Mr.Landish, you must forgive me. I am afraid that my child will not nap without my being there with her till she falls asleep. I am sorry to have kept you waiting."
"Oh, no ma'am. It has been a pleasure with these young ladies to amuse me." Anne thought that the last thing they had been doing was amusing him, but kept silent. Her aunt was now engaged in full conversation with Mr.Landish, and her sister and she made their escape when her aunt engrossed him in viewing some engravings.
They almost ran through the hallway, their arms clasped together. Their parent's were not at home, and the maid told them that the gentleman was still in the parlor. Anne reached for the doorknob with her cold hand, her pale face assuming an expression almost as cold as Catherine's. She opened the door.
By a window on the left side of the bright room, stood a tall, manly figure, his back turned towards them. At the sound of the opening door, he turned, showing a handsome face, at that moment as pale as his sisters'.
to be continued....