Part the Second
Gazing through the frilly lace curtains at the filigree of frost upon the desiccated vines in the xystus, Muriel frowned slightly. Shaking her head, she turned to Rosemund and said, ‘We leave today, as we planned; they said they’d come this afternoon to fetch us. I suppose we should get out the dust-cloths and pack away the books.’ Rosemund stifled a whimper and bowed her watery eyes; she hadn’t the faintest notion what Muriel meant, but she was sure she didn’t like it. Richard, Elspeth and Isobel were quieter than before, carefully eying the remains of their oatmeal and hoping, by a studied ignorance, to avoid any personal inconvenience. Young Herbert, of course, was oblivious and happily crumbled his toast into the saltcellar.