CHAPTER 3: For Appearances Sake
Fire and Music
( Acting Lt. Hornblower had successfully delivered fresh supplies for the fleet, after spending three weeks on quarantine at sea. His sister Marianne and Lady Montague were safely delivered to Gibraltar.)
Capt. Pellew jumped out the jolly boat into the pier. It was such a fine night he decided to walk the short distance between the pier and Government House. His thoughts were lost in the events occurred in those last weeks.
Due to Captain Foster's reckless actions, most of the ships in the fleet including the 'Indefatigable' had to cut their food rations. This kind of decision always brought a lot of discomfort among the crew, and discipline was sterner than ever. He even had to order punishment for one of the men, who was caught in the act of stealing food from the hold.
At that time, Pellew was terribly upset; the fact that he had two women on board, one of them a weakened old lady made him feared the worst. Fortunately, Lady Montague behaved remarkably well, and endured the hardship in a most courageous way. As for Marianne, if there ever was an extraordinary woman in the world!
On one night in particular, after Hornblower had to sail on the brig 'Caroline', he sent word to Ms. Hornblower to join him for an early supper in his cabin, since the old lady following her custom, retired early. Lady Montague mentioned him that same morning that Marianne was sick with worry about her brother and at night she cried herself to sleep. He suspected that much, although she always took great efforts to hide her sadness, even from her brother when they said good bye on the morning of his uncertain journey. Every morning Marianne's eyes were red, and nothing of her old spontaneity and cheerfulness was left.
"Do you really think Horatio will be well?"
"Of course Ms. Hornblower... Try not to distress yourself further. " He didn't know where he got the courage to say that. Perhaps, because he was also extremely worried about the young officer."Your brother is a very resourceful man. You'll see he will rejoin you at Gibraltar in time for his Lieutenant's examination."
She smiled, her eyes bright with tears. There was a slight tremor on her chin. There was nothing he would have wished more than taking her in his arms and comfort her; just as if you would do with a child: a soft, warm embrace.
Food was served. Since rations were scarce , the table looked almost empty that evening.
Marianne noticed immediately that she had been served a full plate with a few pieces of meat and some vegetables. This was more than a full ration's for most officers. She looked discretely at the captain's plate; just a small piece of cheese, Two loaves of dark bread were on a separate plate.
"Captain, I'm afraid I had to tell you something rather serious. And also asked a favour of you."
"If it is in my power..."
"Oh, yes. It is. I know the difficulties this ship had been experiencing on account of food. We have been almost a week in half rations, yet Lady Montague and myself had been given three meals a day. I can understand in the case of Lady Elisabeth, she needs nourishment, but I could not make myself eat all that food..."
"You did what?" His voice was harsh.
"Please, don't be vexed! I gave half of my food to Lady Elisabeth. She didn't know of course. I would have liked to share it with the sick sailors, but I didn't dare to cause discipline problems or act against your orders. You see, you are all making extreme sacrifices... And Horatio is out there risking his life..."She felt a lump on her throat." This is too much food! I won't eat it unless you share with me half of it."
There was silence. Marianne lifted her eyes to his. She extended her hand and touched his sleeve.
"I'm asking this, in friendship."
"Ms. Hornblower... Your well being is most important to me at this moment...That is, I'm responsible for both of you ladies. Believe me, this will past. We are used to this kind of situation in the Navy."
"You must take my word for it, captain. I know what is to be in half rations. Things hadn't been easy at home after my father died... But this is a long story for another time. So now if you please, sir..." Marianne didn't wait for his answer. She took his plate and served half of her food in it. Then she took a loaf of bread.
At first she thought it was scattered flour on the surface, but she soon realized that the bread was stale and some worms had begun their greedy task on it. Captain Pellew felt uneasy, not knowing how to react. His first impulse was to take the pieces of bread away, he even felt angry at the steward for bringing food in such conditions. Marianne took one piece of bread, and slowly, biting her lips in an effort to disguise her repulsion, shook off the unwanted inhabitants, cut in two the loaf and gave one of the halves to the captain.
"Well, sir... Let's say Grace and eat in friendship."
It was then, that Sir Edward knew in his heart that he was hopelessly, completely and forever in love with Marianne Hornblower.
Captain Pellew stopped his pace. Government House was before his eyes. Several
carriages stood on line. He decided to wait. There was nothing he detested more than the useless parading of characters before a social gathering. Once more he got lost in is thoughts.
After his return to Gibraltar, Horatio presented himself for his Lieutenant's examination, which would had been a complete disaster if a sudden attack by the Spanish against the fleet anchored at the bay wouldn't have interrupted it. . During the last month, since hostilities began what was called a "fire ship" was used in this attacks. The results were deadlier and more devastating than an open battle at sea. Horatio along with the other captains members of the examination board (including Captain Foster!) came on board the enemy ship, steered it away from the bay and save the situation, saving Captain Foster's life in the process, which gained him the respect and admiration of them all.
"In all my years at sea, I've seen many acts of courage, but yours is amongst the most memorable. These events will be noted in your records."
A tired and overheated Horatio covered in dust and ashes drank form the glass of wine he was offered.
"May I enquire about my examination, sir?
Sir Edward did not want to disappoint the young man, but sooner or later he had to know the truth.
"Look here, Hornblower. From what Captain Harvey told me you were flat aback and about to lose sparks over the Dover cliffs under your lee. It was the warning gun that saved you... eh?"
Horatio smiled, feeling somewhat more relaxed.
"Besides, we have seen you in the last weeks pass a much sterner test."
"You have tasted the bitter brew in a captain's life. So I tink next time you'll be better prepared." He looked firmly into Horatio's eyes." Mr. Hornblower, it has been an honour to serve with you."
"And with you, sir." was Horatio's honest answer.
The incident with the Spanish fire ship was the talk of the fleet. General Sir Hew Darymple and Vice"Admiral Montague decided that the miraculous saving of the fleet deserved a celebration, no matter how small, so invitations were issued to all civil service, militia and naval officers stationed at Gibraltar.
On entering the ball room and leaving his cape and hat, he found so many people that an uncomfortable feeling of stuffiness almost persuaded him to return to his ship, but he knew he had other reasons for staying, much more important reasons.
He walked around the room, smiling courteously, acknowledging greetings from different people, until he saw Lady Montague sitting next to the fire place, conversing with Hornblower. There was no sign of Marianne and that disturbed him.
"Good evening dear Sir Edward!" Lady Montague greeted him warmly for she and her husband were deeply fond of the captain." It is about time you join the human race for a change!"
"Your ladyship!" He kissed gallantly the hand extended to him" Good evening Mr. Hornblower!"
"Good evening, sir! "
"I was saying to this young man here, that his action will never be forgotten. My husband and Sir Hew were very much impressed. Even that rascal of Foster was speechless for the first time in all his life."
At that point, another woman, elegantly but somewhat overdressed joined the group. Captain Pellew excused himself and guided Hornblower away from the ladies.
"Where is your sister Hornblower? Is she attending the ball?"
"Yes, sir" Horatio looked around the room" There, sir! She's with the senior officers from the 'Indefatigable'."
Pellew's only reaction was to look at her completely mesmerized. Marianne was wearing a white satin dress with a few touches of pale pink lace on her sleeves and skirt. Her auburn hair was piled up, with soft curls down her neck. Tonight she was not carrying her usual lace shawl, and her breasts showed a little more than usual above her neckline. Her simple elegance made the other women looked like over"decorated aged dolls.
Both men joined the familiar faces. When Marianne saw who was accompanying her brother, she had to search very strongly for some courage. It had been almost two weeks since they said good bye very politely on the 'Indies' deck. She contrived a casual smile.
"Good evening captain!"
"Ms. Hornblower! Gentlemen!"
The officer's began to ask Horatio questions about the fire incident . Captain Pellew and Marianne instinctively withdrew from the group.
"I trust you have been enjoying these weeks at Gibraltar?"
"Oh, yes. Lady Montague has been very kind and showed me around. It is a very unusual place, specially the Moorish part of the city."
"Did she take you there?" He was surprised. Kashbbah's were always dangerous places and definitely not very proper for a young woman to visit.
"Yes, it was most interesting."
"I'm glad you liked it."
Marianne could sense his uneasiness.
"Is there anything wrong, captain?"
"Ms. Horblower. I'm more experienced than you in this matters and let me advice you not to go there, even with Lady Montague, unless accompanied by an officer or a marine. Believe me, it could be dangerous. It is not the first time a white woman had been abducted or worse... And besides, there's always a lot of sickness over there this time of year." He feared he had been rude, but even imagining her in any kind of danger out him out of sorts completely.
"I understand, sir. I promise I'll be more careful in the future."
Pellew smiled. She didn't seem at all offended.
"Thank you for taking my advice to your consideration... And as for being careful, I doubt that will never come to happen, it is not in your nature."
"You are referring of course to my little adventure with the tide!" She chuckled.
"Yes, to that... and the fact you still climb trees once in while, and you almost drowned yourself on a stream trying to catch a trout with your bare hands... You were nine at the time, is that not so?" This was the first time he allowed himself to that kind of familiarity with her.
For a moment, Pellew thought they were back at Evergreen, conversing at the old ruins on the top of the hill.
Marianne burst out laughing.
"Who told you that?... I cant believe it was Horatio!"
"No, m'am. It was Lady Elisabeth."
"Well.... I never thought that my little adventures as a child were topic for anyone's conversation! Good Heavens, sir! What you must think of me!"
"Please, don't be offended! I was not criticizing you... Quite the opposite!..."
"Well, sir, now is your turn! Have you ever climbed trees?"
Sir Edward stiffened a little as if doing a simple thing like climbing a tree would make him appear less dignified in her eyes.
"Hmm! That was long time ago!"
"Ah, so you did climb them! How old were you?"
"As a child. Very long time ago... But this is not to be borne Ms. Hornblower! I will not be questioned further in this matter!." He managed to put a serious air.
Marianne smiled, her hazel eyes sparkling.
"Oh, but I will, sir... I want to know everything about y...." Fortunately for her the conversation was interrupted by the sound of music in the next room. It was the signal that the ball was about to star. Guests began to move slowly. Horatio offered his arm to his sister smiling affectionately, but there was another arm offered to her... Captain Pellew's. The two men looked at each other with puzzlement. Horatio stepped back a little.
"Sir, I will consider an honour if you escort my sister to the ball room."
"My pleasure, Mr. Hornblower!"
Marianne took the captain's arm, her cheeks completely red by now. Not even in her wildest dreams she had dared to imagine something like this will happen. They walked together, unaware of the attentive look in certain ladies.
Lady Montague saw them entered. Perhaps it was the way they walked together, or how Sir Edward lowered his head to listen to her, or the brightness in Marianne's countenance; the fact was that she knew that a strong attachment was beginning to form between them.
"" An excellent match!.... There's no one in the world with such sweet disposition as Marianne's. She is lovely, and he's rich and honourable! "" She promised herself to learn about the state of their feelings. Discretely, of course!.
"I hope you would do me the honour of dancing with me the first dance!"
"I would, sir... There's nothing it would please me more!"
How were Marianne's feeling to be described! She had led such a quiet life that being admired in such a way for the first time made her feel very special. After the first dance"which she did almost in state of trance" she was taken to her brother. In a few minutes, she literally was bombarded by petitions of several officers to dance with her, and although she complied to this courteous requests, there would have been nothing she would have liked best than retiring to a quiet corner and talked to Captain Pellew about anything, just being near him was enough. But Sir Edward withdrew silently and engaged himself in conversation with Sir Hew and other captains. At that moment she never knew how much determination and strong will was exercised by him. Even at the other side of the room, his hawk eyes followed her, but being a man accustomed to conceal his feelings, nobody noticed his agony every time a man, including his trusted officers came near her.
After dancing a reel with Mr. Bracegirdle, she was so thirsty that asked Horatio to fetch him something to drink, so he promptly went to the annex room. He heard voices. Two ladies were sitting behind a heavy damask curtain, resting and devoting their time to their favourite occupation: gossip He was about to leave when he heard his sister's name mentioned.
"It seems they are from a very good but impoverished family."
"The young officer is moving fast I assure you..."
"Indeed! My dear it is evident that is very convenient for him to secure Sir Edward's good opinion... And what better way than a family alliance!."
"Lady Montague mentioned this trip was Captain Pellew's idea . She also said that the girl is most amiable and accomplished!"
"Girl !! My dear, she at that dangerous point of becoming a spinster. I'm sure she must be more than five and twenty."
"But do you really think a man like Captain Pellew would fall for such a trap and enter in such an imprudent marriage?... They are virtually penniless!"
"He's been a kind of a hermit all his life, but I haven't seen a starved man reject food when it is offered to him, specially on silver tray. And Ms. Hornblower have excelled in securing his attention, that is for sure. My own dear daughter Jane, tried to catch the captain's eye last year at Plymouth, and the man behaved in a most cold and rude manner towards her. It seems that our new acquaintance has been very successful in warming him up. "
"Warming up, indeed! The good captain is worth twenty thousand a year!"
Both women began laughing. The cracking sound of their voices exploded inside of Horatio's head like cannon balls. He got out of the room, bathed in cold sweat. What were those dreadful women implying? That he was using his sister to advance in his career? And his captain... Could it be possible that he was interested in Marianne? After all he had to accept the fact that the trip was his own idea. He looked for his sister across the crowded room. Sir Arthur and his wife were insisting on something. Finally they led hr to another room. A large number of guests followed. Marianne was taken to large piano and seated.
"What shall I play?"
"Anything my dear, I'm sure t would be lovely!" Was the old gentleman's reply.
Marianne began playing a little shy at first, running her fingers through the bright black and white keys. She hadn't been near a piano for so long! She forgot about everything and began to sing one of her mother's favourite songs.
Weep you no more sad fountains;
What needed you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven's sun doth gently waste,
But my sun's heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, softly, now softly
Softly lies sleeping.
Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets.
Doth no sun raise smiling
When fair at ev'n he sets?
Rest you then, rest sad eyes,
Melt not in weeping
while she lies sleeping
Softly, softly, now softly
Softly lies sleeping. (*)
Horatio was not blind to the effect caused in the audience, for he knew too well his sister's talent. At one moment of her performance, he looked again at the captain and inside his heart knew that some of the women's gossip was justified. He had never seen such a look in a man's eyes, except his own father looking at his mother. But this was different. It was more... a silent adoration and a complete expression of abandonment and happiness. He turned his gaze to Marianne, who was finishing the song. She lifted her eyes and without hesitance found Sir Edward's across the room. It was as quick as a flash, but for Horatio was enough.
""My God! She really feels for him! How could I have let this happened? ""
The audience stood up cheering and applauding, begging for yet another song. Marianne, completely blushed, declined and was escorted by Sir Arthur where his wife was sitting.
"Lovely song, my dear!" The old lady was bursting with pride. She kissed Marianne gently on the cheek.
"Thank you m'am." She was once again surrounded by young and not so young men, asking to be introduced to her. Lady Montague complied willingly with these petitions. She truly felt a strong affection towards Marianne and with no children of her own, she had decided in her heart to marry her well and secure her happiness, although she knew that Marianne's heart was not entirely her own any more.
"" All this fuss may help him to make up his mind! A little jealousy have never hurt anyone... And if I'm not mistaken, Edward needs a little push in this. I'll speak with Arthur about it.
We'll see! ""
When the song was finished Sir Edward's heart was beating so strongly he thought everyone in the room would notice it. He directed his steps towards Marianne and Lady Elisabeth.
"" Did she look at me when singing or I just imagined it? Maybe, she feels... something. I have to know! I can't live with this uncertainty that is killing me. She's so generous that she will never trifled with me on account of my... feelings. All I required is a direct answer, and I know she will give it. ""
Access to her was impossible and when he saw the young officers trying to compete for her attention, he stopped and very slowly turned back.
"" This is pure folly! How could she feel anything for me besides friendship? I'm fifteen years her senior, practically an antique. She needs someone younger, merrier. Go to your ship Edward and attend to your duty as an officer. That's where you are best. ""
Marianne saw the captain leaving the room. Her first impulse was to chase him, but she knew that was out of the question. So the brilliant joyous evening was buried by the sadness of his sudden parting . All that was left in her was the irresistible desire of taking his arm and leave with him.
Two days passed since the ball at Government House. By word of Sir Arthur , Marianne learned that the 'Indefatigable' was ordered to sail in a routine survey trip off the coast of Cadiz. She also received a note from her brother asking for an interview. Shortly before noon, Horatio arrived at Government House and was taken to his the guest quarters.
He entered the room in a rather stiffed, cold and restraint manner. Marianne knew instantly that something was not well with him.
"Horatio, is there anything troubling you?"
There was a long pause. Hands on his back, he distanced himself from his sister before answering.
"Marianne I want a truthful answer from you."
"Yes, Horatio, of course... What is it?" She was beginning to panic.
"Marianne I love you most dearly, but I want you to know that I will not let anyone, not even you trifle with me. At the ball, two days ago a most alarming report reached me purely by chance. It was said that... thanks to your "assistance" I was advancing in my career and that in view of your own "cleverness" and the interest shown by Captain Pellew, soon a family alliance will secure me his protection and a prominent place in the fleet. Of course this is a terrible falsehood...."
Marianne could not believe her ears. Who would say such terrible things? She felt completely beaten. Her voice was hard and cold when she spoke.
"If you think it impossible to be true... Why did you take the pains to come here? What sort of truthful answer do you want from me?"
"I just want to know if..."
"Tell me!! Come bright, dashing officer! Out with it! Tell me what is the answer you want. An assurance perhaps that you are completely selfless and not in pursuit of advancement? A complete refusal of my own nature in favour of your own well being? Because if that is what you are expecting brother, I do not pretend to exhibit your frankness and sincerity. You can ask all you want, but there are certain be things I shall not... I will not answer!"
"Marianne... While you were on board the 'Indie', did the captain make any advancements towards you?... I must know.... I have a right to know."
"You have a right ! "
"I cannot borne that my sister's name is circulating in idle gossip. This could have serious implications. Don't you see it could ruin both of us?"
"Are you really thinking about "us" or just really you?" Marianne was close to tears.
"Can't you give me a little regard for my feelings in this matter? I want my life guided by a code of honour, decorum, loyalty and impeccability. I don't wish for you or myself any slight or censure. My duty is to earn my living honestly, to serve my King and countrymen and take care of you. Your duty to me..."
"My duty!!!" She rose as she spoke, facing her brother with such painful look in her eyes that Horatio almost despised himself." What has been my life since I was fifteen years old Horatio, except duty? Our mother died, leaving me with a broken heart, a baby brother clutching to my skirts and a father" with excellent qualities and loving nature, no doubt" but who decided to live in a pleasant world of his own, not even wondering where the food was coming, or the bills were paid or even noticing that my dresses were too small and didn't fit me anymore . Did you ever wonder how that dashing uniform you are wearing came to your possession? Or your shirts? Or your personal supplies? It is very simple.... Look around our house; the china pieces, the silver, even the piano...." She began sobbing" Oh, please Horatio spare me your flare speeches about honour and duty! Go away! Go and fight your battles!"
Horatio's were at this point filled with tears. He felt an enormous guilt and understood that his own immaturity had taken the whole thing put of proportion.
"Forgive me!" He said with trembling voice.
Marianne went to his arms, sobbing uncontrollable.
"Please, dear sister, don't! .... I should have never given ears to such nonsense!"
Marianne didn't answer. She just calmed herself gradually.
"There has never been anything improper in my conduct towards Captain Pellew or any of your fellow officers. I've only received the utmost affection and respect from each and everyone of them."
"Please, don't give any me explanation... I don't deserve it!"
"It's all right dear, I'm much better now." She sat down again, with Horatio kneeling at her side." Never doubt my love for you. I'm very proud of your accomplishments and I'll never would do anything to harm you, never! No matter what, I'll always be your sister, and your friend!"
Horatio buried his head on his sister's lap.
"There, there! It's gone!" She talked to him as if he were still a little frightened boy." Tell me now.... When do you depart?"
"In an hour. We'll be out for two weeks probably. Then return to Gibraltar and after that, our voyage back to England!"
Marianne closed her eyes in despair. How can she return to England on board the 'Indefatigable' after this? The evil gossip had its intended effect; her sweet secret was tainted, brought out into the open for everyone to speculate. And what about the captain? Would he also give ears to those rumours? She felt completely unprotected, almost naked.
"Horatio, I was thinking... It is two whole weeks of waiting. There's really nothing for me here, with the exception of yourself and Lady Elisabeth's friendship. I do believe it is best for me to leave earlier for England. Perhaps Sir Arthur could arrange it."
"But Marianne, there's no need..."
"Yes!... Don't you see? I'll arrive before winter and by Christmas everything will be ready for your arrival. Besides, Abbey wrote. She is frantic, and begs me to return."
Horatio looked at his sister.
"Marianne, if I ask you one last question, will you answer it?"
"Marianne for my sake!.... What are your feelings exactly about Captain Pellew?"
"I think very highly of him... Besides that, don't ask any more!" She took her brother's face between her hands" You'll soon learn Horatio that there's always a secret place in every woman's heart, where no one can enter... not even the most beloved brother."
After Horatio had gone , Marianne tried to compose her spirits and stopped thinking about the whole affair. She asked to be received by Lady Montague, who was enchanted by her visit, although she noticed immediately that something was disturbing her young friend. As always she decided to come directly to the point.
"Dearest, is there anything wrong?"
The old lady's tone was so tender, that Marianne's eyes were once again filled with tears.
"Child! What is it? Has anyone been unkind to you?" Lady Montague opened her arms and received a sobbing Marianne in them, Nothing was said. After a while, Marianne became more calm, but kept her head leaned at the old lay's shoulder. Lady Montague spoke softly.
"Now. Would you tell me?"
"M'am, it's just that I had a bitter trial a little while ago with my brother."
"Good Gracious! What was about?"
Marianne told the whole story. Lady Elisabeth felt an increasing anger inside herself. By the nature of gossip and the words used, she knew who were the lady's in question.
"My dear, I'm terribly sorry your brother overheard those dreadful women... They are really worthless creatures!"
"But m'am... What if those ugly rumours are circulating all around the fleet and reached..."
"Calm yourself! Believe when I tell you that this rumours will not reach Captain Pellew. Even if they did; Edward is completely indifferent to any kind of gossip towards the people he deeply cares. This is idle talk by two spiteful, old cats. Most probably Lady Metcalf"that's the worst of the two" is angry at Sir Edward. I know for a fact that she and her awful daughter tried to get their hooks on the good captain for almost a year. But I always knew that his sensibility and good taste will prevail upon other considerations, let alone his own feelings in he matter."
"You mean there was an attachment between the captain and this lady's daughter?"
Absolutely not! That is the problem. Using maritime terms,
when the captain was threatened with being "boarded",
he retreated and ignore the miserable creature altogether."
She wiped Marianne's tears with her own hand.
"As for your brother, most probably he reacted that way because of his own youth and in a way he is facing what he somehow, someday he knew it would happen: he will have to let you go!.. He will be no longer the "man" in your life.-
"Oh, but I assured him that I'll always be..."
"Yes, yes, of course... You'll always be his loving sister! But your heart has changed dearest, and believe me, things will never be the same. For the first time you've come out of your cocoon and discovered that your are not a "mother", a sister or a friend... just a woman, filled with life and emotions. And above all free to think and act. It is a matter of time and only natural that you should feel an inclination towards a ... particular man."
A solitary tear rolled down Marianne's eyes.
"M'am, I know it is improper to ask, but I'd like to know if.... Well, you seem a very close acquaintance of Sir Edward. Has he ever been.... I mean...."
"Fiddlesticks!! You want to know if he has ever been attached to a woman. Yes, he was... long time ago."
"What happened to her?"
"She died very young. You see, when Edward's father died, he inherited the title, and his debts. By that time he was a little older that your brother. Roxanne, was the vicar's daughter. She was a good sort of girl, sweet and completely taken with him, for Edward simply overwhelmed her with all kind of attentions. Then, they became engaged."
"And she died before the marriage?"Marianne was surprised not to feel jealousy, only sadness for his misfortunes.
"Yes. He was called urgently back to service after being promoted Lieutenant. They decided to postpone the wedding until his return. A few months later an epidemic of scarlet fever
broke out. She was the last of her family to go. I was with her when she died. Ten months later, Edward returned only to find a solitary grave, a more impoverished estate and all his dreams shattered. I'm sure harm would have come to him if my husband had not taken him under his wing."
Marianne kissed the old lady's hand.
"Thank you Lady Elisabeth. Now I must ask you a very special favor from you and your husband.-
"What is it?"
"I want to return to England as soon as possible."
"Because it's best. My absence will put a stop to any kind of gossip and besides it is becoming too painful to be near..."What she didn't say was that it was worse the thought of leaving.
"Do you love him that much?"Was the old lady's question.
"Please, don't punish me asking me anymore questions!"
"Oh, dear I'm sorry about my rudeness asking you so directly, but you must understand that I care so much for you as the child I've never had!"
"M'am.. I'm the one that was rude. If anything you have been a guardian angel sent down from Heaven . Both your husband and yourself are very dear to me.-
Lady Montague understanding what was happening to her "child" , as always decided not to press the subject further and promised to speak to Sir Arthur about the arranging a passage home for her.