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Chapter 13

The remainder of Anne's time at Uppercross, comprehending only two days, was spent entirely at the Mansion House; and she had the satisfaction of knowing herself extremely useful there, both as an immediate companion, and as assisting in all those arrangements for the future, which, in Mr and Mrs Musgrove's distressed state of spirits, would have been difficulties.

They had an early account from Lyme the next morning. Louisa was much the same. No symptoms worse than before had appeared. Charles came a few hours afterwards, to bring a later and more particular account. He was tolerably cheerful. A speedy cure must not be hoped, but everything was going on as well as the nature of the case admitted. In speaking of the Harvilles, he seemed unable to satisfy his own sense of their kindness, especially of Mrs Harville's exertions as a nurse. "She really left nothing for Mary to do. He and Mary had been persuaded to go early to their inn last night. Mary had been hysterical again this morning. When he came away, she was going to walk out with Captain Benwick, which, he hoped, would do her good. He almost wished she had been prevailed on to come home the day before; but the truth was, that Mrs Harville left nothing for anybody to do. "

Charles was to return to Lyme the same afternoon, and his father had at first half a mind to go with him, but the ladies could not consent. It would be going only to multiply trouble to the others, and increase his own distress; and a much better scheme followed and was acted upon. A chaise was sent for from Crewkherne, and Charles conveyed back a far more useful person in the old nursery-maid of the family, one who having brought up all the children, and seen the very last, the lingering and long-petted Master Harry, sent to school after his brothers, was now living in her deserted nursery to mend stockings and dress all the blains and bruises she could get near her, and who, consequently, was only too happy in being allowed to go and help nurse dear Miss Louisa. Vague wishes of getting Sarah thither, had occurred before to Mrs Musgrove and Henrietta; but without Anne, it would hardly have been resolved on, and found practicable so soon.

They were indebted, the next day, to Charles Hayter, for all the minute knowledge of Louisa, which it was so essential to obtain every twenty-four hours. He made it his business to go to Lyme, and his account was still encouraging. The intervals of sense and consciousness were believed to be stronger. Every report agreed in Captain Wentworth's appearing fixed in Lyme.

Anne was to leave them on the morrow, an event which they all dreaded. "What should they do without her? They were wretched comforters for one another. " And so much was said in this way, that Anne thought she could not do better than impart among them the general inclination to which she was privy, and persuaded them all to go to Lyme at once. She had little difficulty; it was soon determined that they would go; go to-morrow, fix themselves at the inn, or get into lodgings, as it suited, and there remain till dear Louisa could be moved. They must be taking off some trouble from the good people she was with; they might at least relieve Mrs Harville from the care of her own children; and in short, they were so happy in the decision, that Anne was delighted with what she had done, and felt that she could not spend her last morning at Uppercross better than in assisting their preparations, and sending them off at an early hour, though her being left to the solitary range of the house was the consequence.

She was the last, excepting the little boys at the cottage, she was the very last, the only remaining one of all that had filled and animated both houses, of all that had given Uppercross its cheerful character. A few days had made a change indeed!

If Louisa recovered, it would all be well again. More than former happiness would be restored. There could not be a doubt, to her mind there was none, of what would follow her recovery. A few months hence, and the room now so deserted, occupied but by her silent, pensive self, might be filled again with all that was happy and gay, all that was glowing and bright in prosperous love, all that was most unlike Anne Elliot!

An hour's complete leisure for such reflections as these, on a dark November day, a small thick rain almost blotting out the very few objects ever to be discerned from the windows, was enough to make the sound of Lady Russell's carriage exceedingly welcome; and yet, though desirous to be gone, she could not quit the Mansion House, or look an adieu to the Cottage, with its black, dripping and comfortless veranda, or even notice through the misty glasses the last humble tenements of the village, without a saddened heart. Scenes had passed in Uppercross which made it precious. It stood the record of many sensations of pain, once severe, but now softened; and of some instances of relenting feeling, some breathings of friendship and reconciliation, which could never be looked for again, and which could never cease to be dear. She left it all behind her, all but the recollection that such things had been.

Anne had never entered Kellynch since her quitting Lady Russell's house in September. It had not been necessary, and the few occasions of its being possible for her to go to the Hall she had contrived to evade and escape from. Her first return was to resume her place in the modern and elegant apartments of the Lodge, and to gladden the eyes of its mistress.

There was some anxiety mixed with Lady Russell's joy in meeting her. She knew who had been frequenting Uppercross. But happily, either Anne was improved in plumpness and looks, or Lady Russell fancied her so; and Anne, in receiving her compliments on the occasion, had the amusement of connecting them with the silent admiration of her cousin, and of hoping that she was to be blessed with a second spring of youth and beauty.

When they came to converse, she was soon sensible of some mental change. The subjects of which her heart had been full on leaving Kellynch, and which she had felt slighted, and been compelled to smother among the Musgroves, were now become but of secondary interest. She had lately lost sight even of her father and sister and Bath. Their concerns had been sunk under those of Uppercross; and when Lady Russell reverted to their former hopes and fears, and spoke her satisfaction in the house in Camden Place, which had been taken, and her regret that Mrs Clay should still be with them, Anne would have been ashamed to have it known how much more she was thinking of Lyme and Louisa Musgrove, and all her acquaintance there; how much more interesting to her was the home and the friendship of the Harvilles and Captain Benwick, than her own father's house in Camden Place, or her own sister's intimacy with Mrs Clay. She was actually forced to exert herself to meet Lady Russell with anything like the appearance of equal solicitude, on topics which had by nature the first claim on her.

There was a little awkwardness at first in their discourse on another subject. They must speak of the accident at Lyme. Lady Russell had not been arrived five minutes the day before, when a full account of the whole had burst on her; but still it must be talked of, she must make enquiries, she must regret the imprudence, lament the result, and Captain Wentworth's name must be mentioned by both. Anne was conscious of not doing it so well as Lady Russell. She could not speak the name, and look straight forward to Lady Russell's eye, till she had adopted the expedient of telling her briefly what she thought of the attachment between him and Louisa. When this was told, his name distressed her no longer.

Lady Russell had only to listen composedly, and wish them happy, but internally her heart revelled in angry pleasure, in pleased contempt, that the man who at twenty-three had seemed to understand somewhat of the value of an Anne Elliot, should, eight years afterwards, be charmed by a Louisa Musgrove.

The first three or four days passed most quietly, with no circumstance to mark them excepting the receipt of a note or two from Lyme, which found their way to Anne, she could not tell how, and brought a rather improving account of Louisa. At the end of that period, Lady Russell's politeness could repose no longer, and the fainter self-threatenings of the past became in a decided tone, "I must call on Mrs Croft; I really must call upon her soon. Anne, have you courage to go with me, and pay a visit in that house? It will be some trial to us both. "

Anne did not shrink from it; on the contrary, she truly felt as she said, in observing--

"I think you are very likely to suffer the most of the two; your feelings are less reconciled to the change than mine. By remaining in the neighbourhood, I am become inured to it. "

She could have said more on the subject; for she had in fact so high an opinion of the Crofts, and considered her father so very fortunate in his tenants, felt the parish to be so sure of a good example, and the poor of the best attention and relief, that however sorry and ashamed for the necessity of the removal, she could not but in conscience feel that they were gone who deserved not to stay, and that Kellynch Hall had passed into better hands than its owners'. These convictions must unquestionably have their own pain, and severe was its kind; but they precluded that pain which Lady Russell would suffer in entering the house again, and returning through the well-known apartments.

In such moments Anne had no power of saying to herself, "These rooms ought to belong only to us. Oh, how fallen in their destination! How unworthily occupied! An ancient family to be so driven away! Strangers filling their place!" No, except when she thought of her mother, and remembered where she had been used to sit and preside, she had no sigh of that description to heave.

Mrs Croft always met her with a kindness which gave her the pleasure of fancying herself a favourite, and on the present occasion, receiving her in that house, there was particular attention.

The sad accident at Lyme was soon the prevailing topic, and on comparing their latest accounts of the invalid, it appeared that each lady dated her intelligence from the same hour of yestermorn; that Captain Wentworth had been in Kellynch yesterday (the first time since the accident), had brought Anne the last note, which she had not been able to trace the exact steps of; had staid a few hours and then returned again to Lyme, and without any present intention of quitting it any more. He had enquired after her, she found, particularly; had expressed his hope of Miss Elliot's not being the worse for her exertions, and had spoken of those exertions as great. This was handsome, and gave her more pleasure than almost anything else could have done.

As to the sad catastrophe itself, it could be canvassed only in one style by a couple of steady, sensible women, whose judgements had to work on ascertained events; and it was perfectly decided that it had been the consequence of much thoughtlessness and much imprudence; that its effects were most alarming, and that it was frightful to think, how long Miss Musgrove's recovery might yet be doubtful, and how liable she would still remain to suffer from the concussion hereafter! The Admiral wound it up summarily by exclaiming--

"Ay, a very bad business indeed. A new sort of way this, for a young fellow to be making love, by breaking his mistress's head, is not it, Miss Elliot? This is breaking a head and giving a plaster, truly!"

Admiral Croft's manners were not quite of the tone to suit Lady Russell, but they delighted Anne. His goodness of heart and simplicity of character were irresistible.

"Now, this must be very bad for you, " said he, suddenly rousing from a little reverie, "to be coming and finding us here. I had not recollected it before, I declare, but it must be very bad. But now, do not stand upon ceremony. Get up and go over all the rooms in the house if you like it. "

"Another time, Sir, I thank you, not now. "

"Well, whenever it suits you. You can slip in from the shrubbery at any time; and there you will find we keep our umbrellas hanging up by that door. A good place is not it? But, " (checking himself), "you will not think it a good place, for yours were always kept in the butler's room. Ay, so it always is, I believe. One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best. And so you must judge for yourself, whether it would be better for you to go about the house or not. "

Anne, finding she might decline it, did so, very gratefully.

"We have made very few changes either, " continued the Admiral, after thinking a moment. "Very few. We told you about the laundry-door, at Uppercross. That has been a very great improvement. The wonder was, how any family upon earth could bear with the inconvenience of its opening as it did, so long! You will tell Sir Walter what we have done, and that Mr Shepherd thinks it the greatest improvement the house ever had. Indeed, I must do ourselves the justice to say, that the few alterations we have made have been all very much for the better. My wife should have the credit of them, however. I have done very little besides sending away some of the large looking-glasses from my dressing-room, which was your father's. A very good man, and very much the gentleman I am sure: but I should think, Miss Elliot, " (looking with serious reflection), "I should think he must be rather a dressy man for his time of life. Such a number of looking-glasses! oh Lord! there was no getting away from one's self. So I got Sophy to lend me a hand, and we soon shifted their quarters; and now I am quite snug, with my little shaving glass in one corner, and another great thing that I never go near. "

Anne, amused in spite of herself, was rather distressed for an answer, and the Admiral, fearing he might not have been civil enough, took up the subject again, to say--

"The next time you write to your good father, Miss Elliot, pray give him my compliments and Mrs Croft's, and say that we are settled here quite to our liking, and have no fault at all to find with the place. The breakfast-room chimney smokes a little, I grant you, but it is only when the wind is due north and blows hard, which may not happen three times a winter. And take it altogether, now that we have been into most of the houses hereabouts and can judge, there is not one that we like better than this. Pray say so, with my compliments. He will be glad to hear it. "

Lady Russell and Mrs Croft were very well pleased with each other: but the acquaintance which this visit began was fated not to proceed far at present; for when it was returned, the Crofts announced themselves to be going away for a few weeks, to visit their connexions in the north of the county, and probably might not be at home again before Lady Russell would be removing to Bath.

So ended all danger to Anne of meeting Captain Wentworth at Kellynch Hall, or of seeing him in company with her friend. Everything was safe enough, and she smiled over the many anxious feelings she had wasted on the subject.

安妮在厄泼克劳斯余下的时间只有两天了,完全是在大宅里度过的。她满意地发现,她在那里极为有用,既是个离不开的伙伴,又可以帮助为将来做好一切安排。若不然,默斯格罗夫夫妇处于如此痛苦的心境,要做这些安排可就难了。

次日一早,莱姆就有人来报消息。路易莎还依然如故,没有出现比以前恶化的迹象。过了几个钟头之后,查尔斯带来了更新、更具体的情况。他倒挺乐观的。虽不能指望迅速痊愈,但就伤势的严重程度而言,情况进展得还是很顺利的。说起哈维尔夫妇,他怎么也道不尽他们的恩惠,特别是哈维尔夫人的精心护理。她的确什么事也不留给玛丽干。昨天晚上,查尔斯和玛丽经她劝说,很早就回到了旅馆。今天早上,玛丽的歇斯底里病又发作了。查尔斯离开的时候,她正要和本威克中校出去散步,他希望这对她会有好处。他眼有些遗憾,前一天没有说服她跟着回家。不过说实话,哈维尔夫人什么事情也不留给别人干。

查尔斯当天下午要回到莱姆,起初他父亲也有点想跟着他去,无奈夫人小姐不同意。那样只会给别人增添麻烦,给他自己增加痛劳。后来提出了个更好的计划,而且照办了。查尔斯让人从克鲁克思赶来了一辆两轮轻便马车,然后拉回了一个更管用的家庭老保为 她带大了所有的孩子,并且眼见着最后一个孩子(那位玩心太重、长期娇生惯养的哈里少爷)跟着哥哥们去上学。她现在还住在那空荡荡的保育室里补补袜子,给周围的人治治脓疤、包包伤口,因此一听说让她去帮助护理亲爱的路易莎小姐,真是喜不自禁。先前,默斯格罗夫太太和亨丽埃塔也膜模糊糊地有过让萨拉去帮忙的愿望。但是,假若安妮不在的话,这事情就很难确定下来,不会这么快就被发觉是切实可行的。

第二天,多亏了查尔斯·海特,他们听到了路易莎的详细情况,这种情况有必要每二十四小时就听到一次。他特意去了一趟莱姆,介绍的情况仍然是令人鼓舞的。据信,路易莎神志清醒的时间越来越长。所有报告都说,温特沃思上校似乎在莱姆住下了。

安妮明天就要离开,这是大家都为之担忧的一桩事。“她走了我们该怎么办?我们相互之间谁也安慰不了谁。”大家如此这般地说来说去,安妮心里明白他们都有个共同的心愿,觉得最好帮他们挑明了,动员他们马上都去莱姆。她没遇到什么困难,大伙当即决定要去那里,而且明天就去,或者住进旅馆,或者住进公寓,怎么合适怎么办,直呆到亲爱的路易莎可以挪动为止。他们一定能给护理她的好心人减少点麻烦,至少可以帮助哈维尔夫人照应一下她的孩子。总而言之,他们为这一决定感到欣喜,安妮也对自己的所作所为感到高兴。她觉得,她呆在厄泼克劳斯的最后一个上午,最好用来帮助他们做做准备,早早地打发他们上路,虽说这样一来,这大宅里就冷冷清清地剩下她一个人了。

除了乡舍里的小家伙以外,给两家人带来勃勃生气、给厄泼克劳斯带来欢快气息的人们当中,现在只剩下安妮一个人了,孤单单的一个人。几天来的变化可真大啊!

路易莎要是痊愈了,一切都会重新好起来。她将重温以往的幸福,而且要胜过以往。她痊愈之后会出现什么情况,这是毋庸置疑的,而在安妮看来,也是如此。她的屋子虽说现在冷冷清清,只住着一个沉闷不乐的她,但是几个月之后,屋里便会重新充满欢乐和幸福,充满热烈而美满的爱情,一切都与安妮·埃利奥特的境况迥然不同。

这是十一月间一个昏沉沉的日子,一场霏霏细雨几乎遮断了窗外本来清晰可辨的景物。安妮就这样百无聊赖地沉思了一个钟头,这就使她极高兴听到拉塞尔夫人的马车到来的声音。然而,她虽说很想走掉,但是离开大宅,告别乡舍,眼望着它那黑沉沉、湿淋淋、令人难受的游廊,甚至透过模糊的窗玻璃看到庄上最后的几座寒舍时,她的心中不由得感到十分悲哀。厄泼克劳斯发生的一幕幕情景促使她十分珍惜这个地方。这里记载着许多痛楚,这种痛楚一度是剧烈的,现在减弱了。这里还记载着一些不记仇隙的往事,一些友谊与和解的气息,这种气息永远不能再期望了,但却是永远一值得珍惜的。她把这一切都抛到后面了,只留下这样的记忆,即这些事情的确发生过。

安妮自从九月间离开拉塞尔夫人的小屋以来,从未进入过凯林奇。不过,这也大可不必。有那么几回,她本来是可以到大厦里去的,但她都设法躲避开了。她这头一次回来,就是要在小屋那些漂亮别致的房间里住下来,好给女主人增添些欢乐。

拉塞尔夫人见到她,欣喜之余还夹带着几分忧虑。她知道谁常去厄泼克劳斯。然而幸运的是,要么安妮变得更丰润更漂亮了,要么拉塞尔夫人认为她如此。安妮听到她的恭维以后,乐滋滋地把这些恭维话同她堂兄的默然爱慕联系了起来,希望自己能获得青春和美的第二个春天。

她们一开始交谈,安妮就觉察到自己思想上起了变化。她刚离开凯林奇的时候,满脑子都在思付一些问题,后来她觉得这些问题在默斯格罗夫府上没有得到重视一下得不埋藏在心底,而现在却好,这些问题都变成了次要问题。她最近甚至不想她的父亲、姐姐和巴思。她对厄泼克劳斯的关切胜过了对他们的关切。当拉塞尔夫人旧话重提,谈到她们以往的希望和忧虑,谈到她对他们在卡姆登巷租下的房子感到满意,对克莱夫人仍然和他们住在一起感到遗憾时,安妮实在不好意思让她知道:她考虑得更多的是莱姆和路易莎·默斯格罗夫,以及她在那里的所有朋友;她更感兴趣的是哈维尔夫妇和本威克中校的寓所和友谊,而不是她父亲在卡姆登巷的住宅,不是她姐姐同克莱夫人的亲密关系。实际上,她是为了迎合拉塞尔夫人,才无可奈何地对那些她本应特别关心的问题,竭力装出同等关心的样子。

她们谈到另外一个话题时,起先有点尴尬。她们必然要谈起莱姆的那起事故。前一天,拉塞尔夫人刚到达五分钟,就有人把整个事情原原本本地说给她听了。不过她们还是要谈及这件事,拉塞尔夫人总会进行询问,总会对这轻率的行为表示遗憾,对事情的结果表示伤心,而两人总会提到温特沃思上校的名字。安妮意识到,她不及拉塞尔夫人来得坦然。她说不出他的名字,不敢正视拉塞尔夫人的目光,后来干脆采取权宜之计,简单述说了她对他与路易莎谈恋爱的看法。说出这件事之后,他的名字不再使她感到烦恼了。

拉塞尔夫人只得镇静自若地听着,并且祝愿他们幸福,可内心里却感到既气愤又得意,既高兴又鄙夷,因为这家伙二十三岁时似乎还多少懂得一点安妮·埃利奥特小姐的价值,可是八年过后,他居然被一位路易莎·默斯格罗夫小姐给迷住了。

平平静静地过了三四天,没有出现什么特殊情况,只是收到了莱姆发来的一两封短信,信是怎么送到安妮手里的,她也说不上来,反正带来了路易莎大有好转的消息。拉塞尔夫人是个礼貌周到的人,几天过后,她再也沉不住气了,过去只是隐隐约约地折磨着自己,现在她终于带着明确果断的口气说道:“我应当去拜访克罗夫特夫人,我的确应当马上去拜访她。安妮,你有勇气和我一起去大厦拜访吗?这对我们两个都是一桩痛苦的事情。”

安妮并没有畏缩,相反,她心里想的正像她嘴里说的那样:

“我想,你很可能比我更痛苦些。你感情上不及我那样能适应这一变化。我一直呆在这一带,对此已经习以为常了。”

她在这个话题上本来还可以多说几句,因为她实在太推崇克罗夫特夫妇了,认为她父亲能找到这样的房客真够幸运,觉得教区里肯定有了个好榜样,穷人们肯定会受到无微不至的关怀和接济。

她家不得已搬走了,她不管感到多么懊恼,多么羞愧,良知上却觉得,不配留下的人搬走了,凯林奇大厦落到了比它的主人们更合适的人手里。毫无疑问,这种认识必然孕育着痛苦,而且是一种极大的痛苦。不过,她与拉塞尔夫人不同,重新进入大厦,走过那些十分熟悉的房间时,不会感到她所感到的那种痛苦。

此时此刻,安妮无法对自己说:“这些房间应该仅仅属于我们。哦,它们的命运多么悲惨!大厦里住上了身份多么不相称的人!一个名门世家就这样给撵走了!让几个陌生人给取而代之了!”不,除非她想起自己的母亲,想起她坐在那儿掌管家务的地方,否则她不会发出那样的叹息。

克罗夫特夫人待她总是和和气气的,使她愉快地感到自己很受喜爱。眼下这次,她在大厦里接待她,更是关怀备至。

莱姆发生的可悲事件很快便成了主要话题。她们交换了一下病人的最新消息,显然两位女士都是头天上午同一时刻得到消息的。原来,温特沃思上校昨天回到了凯林奇(这是出事以后的头一回),给安妮带来了最后一封信,可她却查不出这信究竟是怎么送到的。温特沃思上校逗留了几个小时,然后又回到莱姆,目前,不打算再离开了。安妮特别发觉,他还询问了她的情况,希望埃利奥特小姐没有累坏身子,并且把她的劳苦功高美言了一番。这是很宽怀大度的,几乎比任何其他事情都使她感到愉快。

她们两个都是稳重而理智的女人,判断问题都以确凿的事实为依据,因此谈论起这次可悲的灾难来,只能采取一种方式。她们不折不扣地断定,这是过于轻率鲁莽造成的,后果可怕之至,一想到默斯格罗夫小姐还不知道何时何日才能痊愈,很可能还要留下后遗症,真叫人不寒而栗!将军概括地大声说道:

“晦!这事真糟糕透了。小伙子谈恋爱,把女友的脑袋都摔破了,埃利奥特小姐,这莫非是一种新式恋爱法?这真叫摔破脑袋上石膏啊!”

克罗夫特将军的语气神态并不很中拉塞尔夫人的意,但是却让安妮感到高兴。他心地善良,个性直爽,具有莫大的魅力。

“晤,你进来发现我们住在这儿,”他猛然打断了沉思,说道,“心里一定觉得不好受。说实话,我先前没想到这一点,可你一定觉得很不好受。不过,请你不要客气。你要是愿意的话,可以起来到各个屋里转转。”

“下次吧,先生,谢谢您。这次不啦。”

“哈,什么时候都行。你随时都可以从矮树丛那里走进来。你会发现,我们的伞都挂在那门口附近。那是个很适合的地方,对吧?不过,”他顿了顿,“你不会觉得那是个很适合的地方,因为你们的伞总是放在男管家的屋里。是的,我想情况总是如此的。一个人的做事方式可能与别人的同样切实可行,但我们还是最喜欢自己的做事方式。因此是不是要到屋里转转,得由你自己作主。”

安妮觉得她还是可以谢绝的,便十分感激地作了表示。

“我们做的改动很少,”将军略思片刻,继续说道。“很少。我们在厄泼克劳斯对你说过那洗衣房的门。我们对它改动很大。那小门洞那么不方便,天下有的人家居然能忍受这么长时间,真叫人感到奇怪!请你告诉沃尔特爵士,我们做了改建,谢泼德先生认为,这是这幢房子历来所做出的最了不起的改建。的确,我应该替我们自己说句公道话,我们所做的几处修缮,都比原来强多了。不过,这都是我妻子的功劳。我的贡献很小,我只是让人搬走了我化妆室里的几面大镜子,那都是你父亲的。真是个了不起的人,一个真正的绅士。可是我倒觉得,埃利奥特小姐,”他带着沉思的神情,“我倒觉得就他的年龄而言,他倒是个讲究衣着的人。摆上这么多的镜子!哦,上帝!你说什么也躲不开自己的影子。于是我找索菲来帮忙,很快就把镜子搬走了。现在我就舒服多了,角落里有面小镜子刮脸用,还有个大家伙我从不挨近。”

安妮情不自禁地乐了,可又苦苦地不知道回答什么是好。将军唯恐自己不够客气,便接着这话头继续说道:

“埃利奥特小姐,你下次给令尊写信的时候,请代我和克罗夫特夫人问候他,告诉他我们称心如意地住下来了,对这地方没有什么可挑剔的。就算餐厅的烟囱有点漏烟吧,可那只是刮正北风,而且刮得很厉害的时候,一冬或许碰不上三次。总的说来,我们去过附近的大多数房子,可以断言,我们最喜欢的还是这一幢。请你就这么告诉他,并转达我的问候。他听到了会高兴的。”

拉塞尔夫人和克罗夫特夫人相互都十分中意,不过也是命中注定,由这次拜访开始的结交暂时不会有什么进展,因为克罗夫特夫妇回访时宣布,他们要离开几个星期,去探望郡北部的亲戚,可能到拉塞尔夫人去巴思的时候还回不来。

于是,危险消除了,安妮不可能在凯林奇大厦遇见温特沃思上校了,不可能见到他同她的朋友在一起了。一切都保险了,她为这事担心来担心去的,全是白费心思,她不禁感到好笑。



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