"Now that Lizzy has left, how shall we spend our morning?" Liza asked me. She was sitting on my bed, watching me go through my things to find an outfit.
"Well, you could start by helping me get ready for the day." I answered with a smile. Liza bounced up and came over.
"In order to decide what to wear, we need to decide what to do." she reasoned, grinning. "For instance, if we were going out walking, you wouldn't want to wear your dark linen, but if we were staying home, you wouldn't want to wear your silk."
"Alright, you win!" I answered laughing. "What shall we do? I feel a need for fresh air today. How about a walk around the town?"
"Around the town? Two unchaperoned ladies? Madness." Liza said, pretending to be offended. "Well, seriously, a walk would be nice. How about that little common area, um, park that we passed on the way here yesterday?"
"Lovely." I said with a sigh. "Of course, we should bring Leland as a chaperone. He's good at that sort of thing."
Liza glared at me. "We *don't* need to bring Leland on this particular excursion." she said in stiff tones.
"Liza." I said, in mock reproaching voice.
"Oh, nothing." I said with a mysterious smile and wave of my hand.
Thirty minutes later, we were both set to go. Our aunt and uncle also wanted to walk in the park, so they accompanied us, but stayed a little behind so that we could be on our own.
We walked, arms linked, through the bush lined paths, enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine.
"What a beautiful day!" I breathed. "It makes me miss Derbyshire. I wonder what my family is doing today."
"Are you homesick?" Liza questioned. "I'm not really. Maybe that's because everyone I really love and care is here in London with me."
"That would make a difference. No, I'm not homesick...exactly. It would be nice to have a piece of home here with me."
"If plans go right, you'll get your way." Liza said, copying the mysterious smile I'd used earlier. "Won't James be at the party coming up?"
I ignored the previous part of the question. "Oh yes! The party! I'm very much looking forward to it. Would you help me 'dress up' my blue dress? You have such an eye for fashion."
"Certainly! Only if you do my hair!"
We continued to chat in a light-hearted manner for a while longer, jumping around from topic to topic. Then, as we turned the corner, I saw something that made my heart palpitate and I held on a little tighter to Liza's arm. She turned to look at my startled face, then forward to the path in front of us. I felt her start with surprise as well.