The time now approached for Lady Russell's return: the day was even fixed; and
Anne, being engaged to join her as soon as she was resettled, was looking
forward to an early removal to Kellynch, and beginning to think how her own
comfort was likely to be affected by it.
It would place her in the same village with Captain Wentworth, within half a mile
of him; they would have to frequent the same church, and there must be
intercourse between the two families. This was against her; but on the other
hand, he spent so much of his time at Uppercross, that in removing thence she
might be considered rather as leaving him behind, than as going towards him;
and, upon the whole, she believed she must, on this interesting question, be the
gainer, almost as certainly as in her change of domestic society, in leaving poor
Mary for Lady Russell.
She wished it might be possible for her to avoid ever seeing Captain Wentworth
at the Hall: those rooms had witnessed former meetings which would be brought
too painfully before her; but she was yet more anxious for the possibility of Lady
Russell and Captain Wentworth never meeting anywhere. They did not like each
other, and no renewal of acquaintance now could do any good; and were Lady
Russell to see them together, she might think that he had too much self-
possession, and she too little.
These points formed her chief solicitude in anticipating her removal from
Uppercross, where she felt she had been stationed quite long enough. Her
usefulness to little Charles would always give some sweetness to the memory of
her two months' visit there, but he was gaining strength apace, and she had
nothing else to stay for.
The conclusion of her visit, however, was diversified in a way which she had not
at all imagined. Captain Wentworth, after being unseen and unheard of at
Uppercross for two whole days, appeared again among them to justify himself by
a relation of what had kept him away.
A letter from his friend, Captain Harville, having found him out at last, had
brought intelligence of Captain Harville's being settled with his family at Lyme for
the winter; of their being therefore, quite unknowingly, within twenty miles of each
other. Captain Harville had never been in good health since a severe wound
which he received two years before, and Captain Wentworth's anxiety to see him
had determined him to go immediately to Lyme. He had been there for four-and-
twenty hours. His acquittal was complete, his friendship warmly honoured, a
lively interest excited for his friend, and his description of the fine country about
Lyme so feelingly attended to by the party, that an earnest desire to see Lyme
themselves, and a project for going thither was the consequence.
The young people were all wild to see Lyme. Captain Wentworth talked of going
there again himself, it was only seventeen miles from Uppercross; though
November, the weather was by no means bad; and, in short, Louisa, who was
the most eager of the eager, having formed the resolution to go, and besides the
pleasure of doing as she liked, being now armed with the idea of merit in
maintaining her own way, bore down all the wishes of her father and mother for