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Heartsease or Brother's Wife

Chapter II.16
Lord Percy sees my fall!--Chevy Chase
Two days after, Miss Gardner calling, found Mrs. Martindale alone in the
drawing-room, and pretty well again. The project for the party was now fully
developed, and it was explained to Violet with regrets that she was unable to
share it, and hopes that Theodora and her brother would not fail to join it.
'Thank you, I believe Captain Martindale will be at Windsor; he will be on guard
next week.'
'Ah! that is provoking. He is so valuable at this kind of thing, and I am sure would
enjoy it. He would meet some old schoolfellows. You must use your influence to
prevent him from being lazy. Guardsmen can always get leave when they think it
worth while.'
'Perhaps if Theodora wishes to go, he may manage it; but I am afraid it is not
likely that he will be able.'
'You will trust us for taking care of our dear Theodora,' said Miss Gardner; 'we
know she is rather high-spirited, and not very fond of control. I can quite enter
into your feelings of responsibility, but from my knowledge of her character, I
should say that any sense of restraint is most galling to her. But even if we have
not the pleasure of Captain Martindale's company, you may fully reckon on our
watching over her, myself in especial, as a most dear younger sister.'
'Is your party arranged?' asked Violet.
'Yes, I may say so. We hope for Mrs. Sedley and her daughters. Do you know
them? Charming people whom we met in Paris.'
Violet was not acquainted with them, and tried to find out who were the rest.
They seemed to be all young ladies, or giddy young wives, like Mrs. Finch
herself, and two or three foreigners. Few were personally known to the
Martindales; Lord St. Erme was the only gentleman of their own set; and Violet
could not smile, as her visitor expected, on hearing how he had been enticed by
hopes of meeting Miss Martindale.
Jane Gardner perceived the disapprobation. 'Ah! well,--yes. One cannot but own
that our dear Theodora's spirits do now and then make her a little bit of a flirt. It is
the way with all such girls, you know. I am sure it was with my sister, but, as in
her case, marriage is the only cure. You need not be in the least uneasy, I assure
you. All will right itself, though a good deal may go on that startles sober-minded
people like us. I could condole with you on the charge, but you will find it the only
way not to seem to thwart her. Violet thought it best to laugh, and talk of
something else.
'Then I depend on you for the cream of our party,' said Miss Gardner, taking
leave.
'I cannot tell whether Captain Martindale can come,' said Violet, somewhat
bewildered by the conversation.
'Is that girl a nonentity, or is she a deep genius?' said Jane to herself as she
walked home. 'I cannot make her out. Now for the trial of power! If Theodora
Martindale yields to the Fotheringhams now, and deserts Georgina, it will be a
 
 
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