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Countess Kate, Charlotte M. Yonge Mrs. Wardour had heard before that Lady Barbara Umfraville was a formidable person, and was very much afraid of her; and Lady Barbara was not a person to set anyone at ease. So there was a little said about taking the liberty of calling, for her brother-in-law was so anxious to hear of Lady Caergwent: and Lady Barbara said her niece was very well and healthy, and had only needed change of air. And then came something in return about Mrs. Wardour’s other little girl, a sad invalid, she said, on whose account they were come to Bournemouth; and there was a little more said of bathing, and walking, and whether the place was full; and then Mrs. Wardour jumped up and said she was detaining Lady Barbara, and took leave; Kate, though she had not spoken a word to Sylvia Wardour, looking at her wistfully with all her eyes, and feeling more than usually silly. And when the guests were gone her aunt told her how foolish her want of manner was, and how she had taken the very means to make them think she was not glad to see them. She hung down her head, and pinched the ends of her gloves; she knew it very well, but that did not make it a bit more possible to find a word to say to a stranger before the elders, unless the beginning were made for her as by the De la Poers. However, she knew it would be very different out of doors, and her heart bounded when her aunt added, “They seem to be quiet, lady-like, inoffensive people, and I have no objection to your associating with the little girl in your walks, as long as I do not see that it makes you thoughtless and ungovernable.


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