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Chapter 7
A very few days more, and Captain Wentworth was known to be at Kellynch, and
Mr. Musgrove had called on him, and come back warm in his praise, and he was
engaged with the Crofts to dine at Uppercross, by the end of another week. It
had been a great disappointment to Mr. Musgrove to find that no earlier day
could be fixed, so impatient was he to show his gratitude, by seeing Captain
Wentworth under his own roof, and welcoming him to all that was strongest and
best in his cellars. But a week must pass; only a week, in Anne's reckoning, and
then, she supposed, they must meet; and soon she began to wish that she could
feel secure even for a week.
Captain Wentworth made a very early return to Mr. Musgrove's civility, and she
was all but calling there in the same half hour. She and Mary were actually
setting forward for the Great House, where, as she afterwards learnt, they must
inevitably have found him, when they were stopped by the eldest boy's being at
that moment brought home in consequence of a bad fall. The child's situation put
the visit entirely aside; but she could not hear of her escape with indifference,
even in the midst of the serious anxiety which they afterwards felt on his account.
His collar-bone was found to be dislocated, and such injury received in the back,
as roused the most alarming ideas. It was an afternoon of distress, and Anne had
every thing to do at once; the apothecary to send for, the father to have pursued
and informed, the mother to support and keep from hysterics, the servants to
control, the youngest child to banish, and the poor suffering one to attend and
soothe; besides sending, as soon as she recollected it, proper notice to the other
house, which brought her an accession rather of frightened, enquiring
companions, than of very useful assistants.
Her brother's return was the first comfort; he could take best care of his wife; and
the second blessing was the arrival of the apothecary. Till he came and had
examined the child, their apprehensions were the worse for being vague; they
suspected great injury, but knew not where; but now the collar-bone was soon
replaced, and though Mr. Robinson felt and felt, and rubbed, and looked grave,
and spoke low words both to the father and the aunt, still they were all to hope
the best, and to be able to part and eat their dinner in tolerable ease of mind; and
then it was, just before they parted, that the two young aunts were able so far to
digress from their nephew's state, as to give the information of Captain
Wentworth's visit; staying five minutes behind their father and mother, to
endeavour to express how perfectly delighted they were with him, how much
handsomer, how infinitely more agreeable they thought him than any individual
among their male acquaintance, who had been at all a favourite before. How glad
they had been to hear papa invite him to stay dinner, how sorry when he said it
was quite out of his power, and how glad again when he had promised in reply to
papa and mamma's farther pressing invitations to come and dine with them on
the morrow--actually on the morrow; and he had promised it in so pleasant a
manner, as if he felt all the motive of their attention just as he ought. And in short,
he had looked and said everything with such exquisite grace, that they could
assure them all, their heads were both turned by him; and off they ran, quite as