The Ladies Of Eastgarrow – Episode 05

The arguments went back and forth as to whether Mr Delaine would travel to Paris and find out more about his personal history and possible title, and in the end the soft entreaties of his fiance prevailed.Em was serving the ladies chocolate as Lady Louisa explained.“Patrick finally understands,” she said, “that we do not require him to be the comte of anywhere at all.”Celestine sipped her chocolate. “You are quite right, Mama. It is affection and duty that matters, in all cases.”There was a knock at the door and Mr Meredith entered. He saw Em first, standing near the table, and looked at her for a moment. Em felt her heart leap she could not rid herself these days of her own interest in Mr Meredith. But her mistress was set on him, however foolish that might be, so she must on no account speak of her fancy to a soul.“Your Ladyship,” the tutor said, bowing. “I think it’s time for Miss Celestine’s French grammar lesson in the library.”The girl leaped up. “We were speaking of love, Tom,” she said, “which the French are fond of writing about!”Em noticed Lady Louisa frown at the way her daughter addressed the tutor.“We were discussing romance.”That had not exactly been the topic, Em thought. Her heart went into her mouth as, for a moment, she wondered whether Celestine would pick this moment to declare her love for Mr Meredith in front of her mother. But Lady Louisa stood up.“You must go, darling,” she said to Celestine. “You have very little time to perfect your languages before your education is complete and Mr Meredith must leave.” She turned to him. “I have been making enquiries about another position, Thomas,” she said. “We will be sad to lose you, but I will make sure your next post is a happy one. I know younger families in the county who will jump at the chance of having you as a teacher.”Celestine’s face hardened, and her eyes took in the tall, straight-backed figure of the tutor hungrily. She was obviously horrified at the idea of his going.A few minutes later Em was alone in the room, crumbs scattered on the Persian rug at her feet, sighing because she would have to fetch the dustpan. The gorgeously dressed ladies and the tutor had gone. They would be studying French. Of course he spoke French. Mr Meredith was clever, educated, and very far above her.


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