Most Rebellious Debutante

Most Rebellious Debutante by Karen Abbott

Book: Most Rebellious Debutante by Karen Abbott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Abbott
dog away, followed by a now tearful Arabella holding on to her skirt.
    Although there was no sign of either Lord Rockhaven or his companion, Lucy had the uncanny feeling that one or both of the two men were there but were choosing not to come into the open to be acknowledged. She couldn’t blame them. Lord Rockhaven
had
made known his wishes to be left alone.
     
     Over the next few days, Lucy’s conscience smote her at times. It was all very well her having assumed that Lord Rockhaven and his man didn’t want to be pestered by Bertie the other day, but what if they were in need of help? Could they be ill? The dogs’ dish had been empty and she had no way of knowing just how long it had been so. Bertie assured her that Wellington had only licked around the edges.
    ‘He wouldn’t steal, you know,’ he insisted.
    ‘Dogs don’t know if they are stealing or not,’ she pointed out. ‘All they know is the urge to eat any food that comes their way … and Wellington is a prime example.’
    She wished she might be able to make sure of the two men’s well-being which would set her mind at rest. But she couldn’t think how to manage it without taking the children with her. Her opportunity to make a visit on her own came unexpectedly when Marissa informed her that she was taking her two children to visit Arabella’s godmother before she returned to London for the Little Season.
    ‘We shall be gone for two or three weeks, Lucy, and, since Mama said I was not to take you into Society whilst you are with us, you must remain here. I trust you will be mindful of our good standing in the community and amuse yourself with ladylike pursuits. Without the responsibility of looking after Bertie and Arabella you will be able to practise your music and sewing. Indeed, I shall expect the tapestry you brought with you to be finished on our return. Oh, and I have instructed Cook to make up some food parcels for you to distribute to the poor in the village. It is time you became more aware that not everyone is as fortunate as ourselves. I am sure it will make you more appreciative of the obligations placed upon us by our position in Society. Use the gig whenever you wish. One of the outdoor staff will accompany you, if you give enough warning to Campden to arrange it.’
    Lucy murmured a noncommittal response, her initial disappointment at being left behind on her own apart from the servants being overtaken by the realization that she would be beholden to no one during her sister’s absence. Thank goodness Marissa’s compliant character and her lack of imagination rendered her unable to envisage Lucy’s joy at such unprecedented freedom! Not that she would behave in any fashion that might bringdisgrace upon her sister’s family. That would be foolish indeed and would bring their mama’s wrath upon her head. But to be able to go out without endless questions both before and afterwards was a delight too attractive to be missed.
    Consequently, a few days later, no sooner had the family coach, followed by a more modest conveyance containing their trunks, Rupert’s valet, Marissa’s personal maid and Nurse Harvey, trundled in procession down the drive, than Lucy put on a serviceable walking dress, collected a loaded basket from Cook – and Wellington from his stable kennel – and set off briskly through the wood to the gamekeeper’s cottage, hoping that no one would notice that her objective was in the opposite direction from the village. Without the distractions caused by the children’s presence, she was there in less than fifteen minutes.
    Allowing Wellington to respond briefly to the indignant welcome by the chained dogs, she bade him, ‘Quiet, Wellington! Come to heel’, and knocked boldly on the door.
    When there was no response she faced the cobbled yard with its assorted outbuildings, the backs of her hands upon her slender hips. Where were they? All she wanted was to know they were all right. Should she investigate

Similar Books

Forager

Peter R. Stone

Omega

Susannah Sandlin

Burned Away

Kristen Simmons

The Fourth Hand

John Irving

Spirit Sanguine

Lou Harper

All Over Creation

Ruth Ozeki