“I feel as if I owe you an apology, Miss de Bourgh, though I fear it is abominably overdue,” said Elizabeth, the very moment they were left alone.
“Indeed, Mrs Darcy?” I declare, I am in earnest,” said Anne, touching a handkerchief delicately to her nose. “I am unaware of any harm you have caused me. In fact, I have every reason to thank you.”
Elizabeth was quite taken aback, sure her expression made it plain, when Anne de Bourgh, of all people, began to laugh.
“My dear, Mrs Darcy, Elizabeth, if I may, I never did harbour dreams of marriage to my cousin, dear as he may be to me. Indeed, to see you and he thwart my mother’s will has been more than diverting. Additionally, you have granted me my freedom, for now, should events come to pass as I wish,” she said more softly, “I may yet find myself most satisfactorily espoused.”
The great Lady Catherine soon called for all attention, leaving Elizabeth with many unanswered questions. Yet, she was now quite certain she would enjoy her visits to Rosings much more than ever before, knowing that one more secret romance was unfolding beneath Lady Catherine’s nose!