Anne ran into his arms, and William held her there for a still moment. He then drew her from him, and looked into her face.
"Its been long- too long, my dear sister. I- I am- I cannot believe how much older you look. A woman already." He smiled sadly.
"Indeed," she replied laughingly, though with tears in her voice. "It has been too long, but let's forget all about it, darling Will. We can't start over if we're in the past." He pressed her to him again. Then gently, and cautiously, he eyed Catherine, who stood opposite them, her face full of suppressed emotion.
"Kitty," he begun to walk towards her with open arms.
"William," with tears in her voice but a resolutely unforgiving face.
"I have missed you extremely."
"You should have never left."
"It was a choice I made, for the better."
"Who's better? Only yours, according to my observations. And you left wi-with-withou-without saying goodbye." Tears now streamed down her face, though she visibly struggled to keep her composure. His face showed deep emotion.
"I know.I'm sorry," he replied.
She turned her back to him.
"Kitty, my Kitty, please forgive me."
Anne looked at her with beseeching eyes from the window where William had stood. Catherine lost her composure, and leaned sobbing into her brother's arms. He was surprised, not noticing what had passed between her and Anne, but he embraced her for many minutes, repeating his apology.
Some time later they were seated on a sofa, William in the middle with one of his sister's on each side. Their parent's had not returned, and Mr.Landish had left the house with their uncle, while their aunt amused the children, thinking nothing of them or their whereabouts.