The Convenient Marriage Novel PDF By Georgette Heyer

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The Convenient Marriage Book PDF Free Download

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The Convenient Marriage

LADY WINWOOD being denied, the morning caller inquired with some anxiety for Miss Winwood, or, in fact, for any of the young ladies.

In face of the rumor which had come to her ears, it would be too provoking if all the Winwood ladies were to withhold themselves.

But the porter held the door fully open and said that Miss Winwood was at home. Directing the coachman of her extremely smart town carriage to wait for her.

Mrs. Maulfrey stepped into the dim hall, and said briskly: “Where is Miss Winwood? You need not be at the trouble of announcing me.”

All the young ladies, it seemed, were in the small saloon. Mrs. Maulfrey nodded and walked across the hall with a click of her high heels.

As she ascended the stairs her amazing skirts, spread over very large paniers à codes, brushed the banisters on either side of her.

She reflected, not for the first time, that the stairway was too narrow, and the carpet positively shabby. She would be ashamed for her part of such old-fashioned furnishings.

But although she claimed cousinship, she was not, she admitted to herself, a Winwood of Winwood. The small saloon.

By which name the porter designated a back sitting-room given over to the use of the young ladies, lay up to one pair of stairs, and was well known to Mrs. Maulfrey.

She tapped with her gloved hand on one of the panels of the door and entered on the echo of her knock. The three Misses Winwood were grouped by the window, presenting an artless and agreeable picture.

Upon a faded yellow satin sopha sat Miss Winwood and Miss Charlotte, their arms entwined about each other’s waists. They were much alike, but Miss Winwood was held to be the greater beauty.

Miss Charlotte was not seen to advantage beside the Beauty of the Family, but she was a true Winwood, with the famous straight nose and the same blue eyes.

Hef curls, not quite so fair as her sisters, owed their existence to hot irons, her eyes were of a shallower blue, and her coloring inclined towards the sallow; but she was allowed to be a very well-looking young lady.

Miss Horatia, the youngest of the three, had nothing that declared her lineage except her nose. Her hair was dark, her eyes a profound grey, and her brows, nearly black and rather thick, were quite straight, and gave her a serious, almost frowning, expression.

No amount of careful training would induce an arch in them. She was quite half a head shorter than her sisters, and, at the age of seventeen, was obliged regretfully to admit that she was not likely to grow any taller.

Miss Charlotte set a chair for her, observing with a reproving note in her voice:, “We believe Lord Rule to be a most eligible gentleman. Though no one,” she added, clasping Miss Winwood’s hand tenderly, “however genteel, could be worthy of our dearest Lizzie!”

“Lord, Charlc^te!” said Mrs. Maulfrey tartly, “Rule’s the biggest prize in thfc market, and you know it. It is the most amazing piece of good fortune ever I heard. Though I will say, Lizzie, you deserve it. Yes, you do, and I am quite enchanted for you. Only to think of the Settlements!”

“I find the thought of Settlements particularly indelicate, Theresa,” said Miss Charlotte. “Mama will no doubt arrange with Lord Rule, but Lizzie cannot be supposed to concern herself with such sordid questions as the size of Lord Rule?s fortune.”

The youngest Miss Win wood, who all the time had continued to sit with her chin in her hands, suddenly raised her head and delivered herself of ne shattering word. “S-stuffI” she said, in a deep little voice that just quivered on a stammer.

Miss Charlotte looked pained; Miss Winwood gave a rather wan smile. “Indeed, I fear Horry is in the right,” she said sadly. “It is just the Fortune.” She sank on to the sopha again, and gazed fixedly out of the window.

Mrs. Maulfrey became aware that the steady blue eyes were swimming in tears. “Why, Lizzie!” she said. “One would think you had had dark tidings instead of a splendid Offer!”

“Theresa!” intoned Miss Charlotte, putting both arms about her sister. “Is this worthy of you? Can it be that you have forgotten Mr. Heron?”

Miss Charlotte released her sister’s hand, and said palpitatingly: “Nothing — nothing would induce me to marry Lord Rule, even if he had offered for me! The very notion of Matrimony is repugnant to me.

I have long made up my mind to be a Prop to Mama.” She drew a breath. “If ever any gentleman could induce me to contemplate the Married State, I assure you, my dear Horry, it would be one far other than Lord Rule.”

Mrs. Maulfrey had no difficulty in interpreting this announcement. “For my part, I like a rake,” she observed. “And Rule is so extremely handsome!”

“I think,” said Horatia obstinately, “that M-Mama might have suggested Charlotte.”

Elizabeth turned her head: “You don’t understand, Horry dear. Mama could not do such an odd thing.”

“Docs my Aunt force you to it, Lizzie?” inquired Mrs. Maulfrey, pleasantly intrigued.

“Oh no, no!” Elizabeth replied earnestly. “You know MaAia’s tenderness. She is all consideration, all sensibility! It is only my own consciousness of mfy Duty to the Family that leads me to take a step so — so disastrous to my happiness.’

“M-mortgages,” said Horatia cryptically.

“Pelham, I suppose?” said Mrs. Maulfrey.

“Of course it is Pelham,” replied Charlotte with a touch of bitterness. “Everything is his fault. Ruin stares us in the face.”

AuthorGeorgette Heyer
PDF Size16.1 MB
CategoryFiction & Novel


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