By Anne Dean
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Additional info for A Woman of Consequence
Miss Kent, I think you had better wait here,’ he said earnestly. ’ He bowed and was gone, running down the steps, through the fallen stones and out into the cloister. Dido, who had a rather better opinion of her own nerves than Captain Laurence, felt equal to any surprise which the pool might supply and began, almost immediately, to make her way towards the men. The captain was perhaps fifty yards ahead of her. Mr Coulson had now left the side of the pool and was hurrying past the fallen trees and through the lengthening shadows towards him.
Margaret was gone to pay calls in the village and she had been quite determined to finish this letter while she was alone. But, after a minute or two, there were the usual sounds of approach, the parlour door was opened and the round red face of Rebecca, the vicarage’s upper maid, appeared. ‘It’s Mrs Harman-Foote, miss. ’ ‘Then you had better show her in, Rebecca,’ said Dido with a sigh.
Dido waited until the sound of his steps died away and then slowly continued down into the hall. Propriety demanded that she walk directly to the drawing room door – curiosity argued for a detour towards the table … She stopped. The folded note could be clearly seen among the sealed letters. She took one step closer. There was a name written upon the note: Mrs Harman-Foote … Now why, she wondered, was a humble surgeon writing messages to the lady of the house – and delivering them with such evident caution?