For days, Letty had found little tasks to do, occupying herself to push her worries to the back of her mind. Her attempts to talk to Constance since their abrupt return from Paris had all come to nothing. Her goddaughter was polite, but distant, hurriedly taking leave of Letty in Glasgow and scurrying back to her lodgings with Miss Downie.On returning home, Letty had written to her, but had received no reply. Then news had come that she had returned home to the Grange. Puzzled, Letty had paid the first of several visits there, in the hope that she could find out what ailed Constance, and why she had given up her hard-won freedom to study in Glasgow.But these visits had been fruitless. Louisa had been delighted to see her, but Constance always seemed to be resting and could not be disturbed.“She has important decisions to make,” Louisa told her. “But I can tell you that there will be big changes.”Little was said about the Paris trip, Louisa confining herself to enquiries about theLouvre and the general standard of French hotels as compared to those of London. Clearly Constance had not confided in her mother, and Letty’s worry increased.So she kept busy, turning out cupboards, setting the library in order yet again, supervising Davie’s sterling work in the garden and grounds of Avondale House and setting a flurry of extra tasks for her glum housekeeper and serving-maid.One wet afternoon, she heard the crunch of carriage wheels on gravel at the front of the house. Peering out of the window, she saw Hugh Glenavon stride towards the front door. He was carrying a valise and looking purposeful.“I’m so sorry to keep you waiting!” Flustered, Letty eventually reached the front hall.“I didn’t expect you, you see, and I was up in the attic and, oh, dear . . .” Her voice tailed off as she tried to pat unruly tendrils of hair back into her chignon. “I must look an absolute fright!”She blushed scarlet as Hugh took both her hands and gazed at her fondly. After what seemed a long time, he spoke.“You have never looked lovelier, my dear Letitia, of that I can assure you.”Her heart fluttered wildly as he touched her hair.“You have a cobweb in your hair.” His smile widened as he took a silk handkerchief from his breast pocket and awarded her nose a touch as light as a feather. “And a smudge of dust on your delightful little nose.”The lady of the house giggled girlishly as she struggled out of the cotton wrapper which was protecting her dress.“I’m delighted to see you, dear Hugh, but unprepared, as you can see.”“I have a couple of days to spare. May I stay, dear Letty?”His hostess nodded happily.“Of course, we must hide from Louisa, or she’ll be scandalised all over again!” he added in a stage whisper.The two of them laughed out loud in perfect unison, then Letty said she’d go and change while the housekeeper prepared a room for the guest.“I shall occupy myself by finishing your work here in the library,” Hugh announced, eyeing a tumble of books by a bookcase and seizing a feather duster, which he playfully wielded like a rapier.An hour later, order had been restored.