"Well he said I had grown into quite a nice young man probably because my grandfather was present, and how we were sure to be matched equally. But I had never seen you and had no idea of who you were, how could I form any kind of attachment to you? Then Sir Paul showed me this picture of you," he took a small drawing of my face and showed it.
"He kept a picture of me?" It was always surprising to know my grandfather did love me, even if in his own way.
"Yes and he asked me to show it to you when it was time for me to ask for your hand."
"How could you agree to such a thing?"
"In all truth I thought I would meet you and if you revealed yourself to be unfit for marriage then you never had to know about this. But before I could get to you Joseph had monopolized your friendship and I did not know how to catch your attention."
"Joseph talked highly of you, as if you were my sister's equal and Lilly was the highest compliment he could offer. All of this to say your grandfather was right, marry me, you are my equal Alice," Henry put his hand on my dress surprising me with everything he said and did.
"You believe I am fit for marriage when yesterday you caught me dancing with the staff?"
"Yes that is what makes you special you are not these replicated society ladies, you know what freedom is and I enjoyed every minute of it with you," he came in for a kiss but I did not let him and ended the conversation.
"The fishes are waiting for you Henry," I reminded him of where he needed to go.
"If you go we might talk about this later."
"Do not think too hard if it will lead you to saying no."
"Go, there are people waiting for you."
"Fine, and you may keep the picture," I nodded putting it in my pocket and he just shook his head going out to fish the rest of the day.
It was much too quick Mr. Henry's proposal; we had been friends for some months, was it enough? Alas a decision was to be made and I could hear the arguments telling me to say yes, Mrs. Miller would deliver me to Mr. Henry within the minute. Mother would probably nod but I would not involve anyone who might sway me to accept based on the expectation of uniting titles and old money.
Marriage, I had been asked to think on it for the second time, and this time I was more disposed to accept it. Mr. Henry was not Mr. Howard's son, and he most likely would not be called back to Stanley Hall since Mr. Howard did not like his family and had only invited them for Joseph's sake to marry him off to Miss Lilly. And there was another good reason to marry Mr. Henry; he knew what he wanted, his intentions were clear and honorable unlike Mr. Howard who treated matters of the heart like a sport, yes this much was true.
YOU ARE READING
The Greatest JourneyHistorical Fiction
Miss Alice Stewart is a poor girl, recently fatherless with a mother and two younger siblings to take care when she finds a job in service as a maid with her aunt Mrs. Green. Soon the family she works for loses money and lets go of her, in need of w...