Chapter 13

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'Emma do put on a bonnet dear. It seems we're having an Indian summer day,' the baroness proclaimed.

'Mama, Viscount Thumpston is waiting downstairs,' Emma laughed.

'I know we should not keep him waiting dear, but do not go out in the sun without protection.'

'Okay,' Emma sighed. 'This beige one will do right?'

'Perfect,' the baroness smiled. She tied the ribbons for Emma. 'You look lovely dear,' the baroness complimented proudly.

'Thank you mama, bye,' Emma rushed downstairs to go riding with her betrothed.

Emma was surprised to see Lady Carissa in their lounge.

'Lady Carissa how lovely to see you. I was just about to go riding with Viscount Thumpston.'

'Morning Lady Emma,' Carissa smiled.

'I promised Lady Fallon I would show her my new horses. They arrived yesterday,' Carissa exclaimed excitedly.

Horseflesh was lost on Emma, but Carissa, Fallon and all the gentlemen could get quite carried away.

'She has not returned from the lending library yet, strange enough,' the baroness voiced. 'She should have returned by now,' the baroness looked with concern from Carissa to Emma.

'Shall we stop at the lending library?' the Viscount offered. 'We will be passing that way.'

'I would appreciate that,' the baroness exhaled with relief. 'Fallon tends to get carried away when she's with her books. 'Emma do remind your sister, Lady Carissa is awaiting her.'

'Yes mama. Shall we leave then?' She smiled shyly at Arthur.

''Yes my lady, he offered her his hand. 'Would you like to accompany us, Lady Carissa,' Emma reluctantly invited, which Carissa perceptively caught.

'Er___ perhaps, I may give Baroness Fulham company until Lady Fallon arrives,' Carissa wisely offered.

'As you wish Lady Carissa,' Emma smiled appreciatively.

'Lady Carissa tell me about our opera evening,' the baroness tucked her arm through Carissa's and guided her into the Sunflower room.

Carissa laughed softly. 'Actually the box belongs to the Earl of Hampton, but he has kindly allowed us the use of it.'

'Will he not be there?' the baroness tugged on the bell pull, summoning a maid.

'He is unable to attend, so he asked me to fill the box up,' Carissa smiled. 'Seeing you and Lady Fallon really love opera as much as I do, I thought we'd take advantage.'

'Thank you,' the baroness smiled as she poured some tea for Carissa.

'Of course, Viscount Burward will also attend with us and so will the Marquis of Dunbar. Carissa tried to keep the excitement out of her voice.

'The more the merrier dear,' the baroness supplied patronizingly. 'I do so enjoy it when we attend in large numbers.'

'A new artist from the continent will be performing,' Carissa smiled.

I cannot wait,' the baroness laughed softly.

'Fallon! Fallon!' Emma rushed out of Burward's carriage, when she spotted her younger sister in her leafy green morning dress. Fallon looked beautiful this morning. She was smiling. She looked pretty in her dress and not surprisingly, she seemed to have attracted the attention of the Duke of Baxendale.

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