She rejoined her visitor.“Now, my dear Constance, we must be practical. Does your mama know you are here?”“I told Kirsty I was coming to see you, but that Mama must not know. And Kirsty can keep a secret.”Letty smiled.“Well, Louisa will certainly not arrive here for a visit. She is slightly scandalised that I entertained Sir Hugh here, even though she was charmed by him on her recent visit to Glasgow. She paid me one visit to give me an account of it all, but things between us are still just a little bit wintry.”Constance grew calmer as the two drank tea together, and Letty assured her that she could stay at Avondale in complete privacy for a few days.She still told Letty again and again, however, that without Adam her life had lost meaning.“I try to work, telling myself that he’ll come back for me. But it’s as if something inside me has died, Aunt Letty. Months before he left, he declared himself to me, but I . . .” Her voice faltered. “I turned him away, and then kept him at arm’s length for months!”“Why, Constance?” Letty’s voice was gentle.“It was for the good of his career, and mine. I told him that the time was not right, that we must wait. Must make our way in the world first.”She looked at Letty, her eyes imploring.Letty stifled a sigh.“Then you did not actually reject him, Constance. You know, men are strange creatures at times. When their pride is hurt, they sulk like small boys. So it may mean little that Adam has not written to you. Men think differently.”As Constance looked at her, the light of hope in her eyes, Letty took her hands and gave them the gentlest of shakes.“Constance, a light has dawned. I know what we must do! We must go to Paris without delay to Montmartre!”****Letty dispensed tea from Emmeline’s silver teapot, and Hugh Glenavon leaned back in his chair and regarded her fondly.“I can’t think of anything better than this having afternoon tea with my dear Letitia.”Letty, blushing slightly, concentrated on the teapot.“Your visit has been such a pleasant surprise,” he went on.She handed him a cup and looked at him with a troubled face.“I must confess, Hugh, that I came here to stay with William and Emmeline for a few days in the hope that I might see you.” She hesitated. “You see, I’ve got myself into the most frightful pickle.”Her words coming out in a rush, she told Hugh about her promise to take Constance to Paris.“We leave next week, and I have to find a way to tell Louisa. She’s already rather cross withme, and when she hears about this, she’ll be furious!”Letty’s voice quivered and her gaze became tear-filled.“Whatever happens, she must not be allowed to prevent this journey. I must take dear Constance to Paris.”“To meet Adam?”She nodded.“My dearest Letty.” Hugh moved to where she sat and put his arm around her shoulders.“You are so very loving, and wise. To try to bring these two young people together, well, only you would understand the trials of true love.”There was silence for a moment or two. When Hugh spoke at last, his voice was determined.“We will make a plan together. I have just thought of a way to divert Louisa, and I will arrange every detail of your journey. I insist. But I will do all this on one condition.”His clasp on her shoulder tightened.“You must promise me that you will spend no more than two weeks in Paris, dear Letty. Allow me to be selfish, for I declare I cannot bear us to be far apart for longer than that!”She looked up at him and her eyes were sparkling again.“I promise,” she said softly.