But you have managed excellently.”
Juliana asked, “Do you think so? I do so wish Ensley to be proud of me!” But as she said these last words she blushed and looked away from Anne. Confusedly she stammered, “That is, I wish— I mean, one likes to please one’s…Is your husband coming to London?” she finally brought out, blushing deeper than ever.
Anne, watching this performance in growing distress, answered, “No, I fear not,” continuing softly, “But I am sure Ensley is proud of you, very proud indeed. I know he is.”
Juliana, crimson to the roots of her hair, stared at her shoes. “Do you? Did he—has he told you so?”
Anne made an impulsive decision. “My dear Lady George,” she said, speaking swiftly and praying Lord Bambrick would not return before this colloquy could be finished, “I wonder if I may be frank with you?” Overcoming a mild reluctance, she took the girl’s hand as she spoke on (Lady Ensley all the while scrutinizing her satin slippers), saying, “You know of course that your husband and I have been friends since—well, almost since before you were in the schoolroom. I hope—I do hope that you and I may be friends as well!”
There was a silence. Then, “Oh, yes,” mumbled Juliana, her cheeks still ablaze. As she did not raise her eyes, Anne resumed, “I am sorry, but I cannot believe you mean that, since you will not even look at me. Pray be candid; I