Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew Cade
request the pleasure of your company
at a ball in celebration of their daughter Margaret
and her engagement to Sir Roland Farnsworth.
Cade House, Grosvenor Square
On the twenty-sixth evening of April, 1810
“Isn’t it romantic?” Georgie asked. “He and Margaret make such a fine couple.”
“I suppose,” Eliza said, trying to be diplomatic.
She angled herself for a better look. By peeking through a gap in the double doors, she just could manage a glimpse of the dancers.
Sir Roland Farnsworth wasn’t exactly Eliza’s picture of romance. He wasn’t even her picture of a desirable brother-in-law. He was more staid and cautious than men his age should be. He didn’t whisper sweet words to Margaret as he turned her about the room. In Eliza’s observation, he didn’t engage Margaret—or any female—in much conversation at all.
But all this, she could forgive—if he weren’t so dreadfully slow.
“He certainly took his time proposing,” she said. “Snails mate faster than Farnsworths.”
Georgie gave her a chastening look. “Eliza.”
“Well, it’s true. I’ve watched.”
“You’ve spied on Sir Roland?”
“No, I’ve spied on snails.”
Her sister just shook her head in that way that said, Honestly, Eliza.
She pressed her brow to the slender gap between the doors again, peering hard at the colorful whirl of gentlemen and ladies. On nights like tonight, it seemed this was the closest she would ever come to dancing among them. She was eighteen years old and still sneaking glimpses through … Read More »