((OOC: Lin and Liz, I look forward to continuing the Hyde Park thread when you're back. I haven't forgotten it.))
When Viola finally arrived back from her ride, the rain was too heavy for her to venture outside any more that morning and she curled up in her bedroom with the latest edition of the Society News. It provided substantial interest.
Most importantly, it mentioned Lord Linley's broken engagement. The lady at the theatre... it was all making sense now. Miss H. F.... Viola tapped her fingers on the paper. Clearly the lady at the theatre. Viola's quick brain then stumbled upon the truth. Miss H. F. must be the Miss Harriet Fforde whom Miss Hampton had mentioned as being an accomplished musician. Viola stared into space. A friend of Elise's who had broken Arthur's heart. Arthur had a heart to be broken, of this she was sure. Diplomacy would be needed here. She simply had to see Geoffrey soon!
The mentions of Miss Hampton were interesting indeed and seemed to clear up her embarrassment in the park. Yet it seemed so incredible. She had been seen in the company of a rake? Sweet Miss Hampton? Surely not! Well, thought Viola with a little grimness, at least she was embarrassed about it; everybody made mistakes in their first season. If she had been her sister however... Such an adventure could irreparibly damage her reputation.
The rest was of less interest. Elise's guardian's amorous adventures were only a source of amusement. Poor Lady Newburry! Though not always sympathetic to Lady Newburry who really needed to "get over it" in Viola's opinion, she thought she probably was worst off in this situation.
The weather improved a little after lunch and when her aunt informed her she needed to make some purchases in advance of Almack's, she determined to accompany her to the bookshop. Once in Bond Street, Mrs. Greystone was deposited outside the dressmaker's and Viola and her maid continued to Decker's. She left Caroline in the carriage with the second volume of The Abbey of St. Asaph to keep her amused and entered the shop.
A bell tinkled and she greeted the shop keeper with an incline of her head and a few words on the weather. She was the only customer so far. She passed over the many copies of Adam Lane's books: she had read all of them, but paused at a table consisting of a display of new books.
"Yes, just come in they have," said Mr. Decker seeing her interest.
Viola read the title outloud. "Sense and Sensibility, by a Lady. A new author I presume?"
"Yes indeed. Somewhat in the style of Miss Edgeworth I fancy. Well worth your Ladyship's attention."
Viola opened the book to flick through before deciding to buy, when the door bell tinkled again and another customer entered the shop.
After her interesting encounter with Lady Lydia Ashborne Mireille was determined to finish her shopping and return home. It seemed ages since she had seen her darling children. Also if she did not return home she feared that she would be too fatigued tomorrow and have puffy eyes at the ball. Any stops that she made would have to be brief.
Mireille decided that she would be wise to stop at a bookshop for something to read tomorrow since she had not been in town long enough to make any plans for the day tomorrow. Besides that the weather was so unfortunately dismal that she would not be going out this evening either. She wished that she had not read all of the books she had on her voyage to England. She requested that the coachman drive to the best bookshop that he knew. When the Carriage pulled near the entry to the shop Mireille alighted with Annette behind her.
Once she entered the shop she took a look around and perceived a lady who was being assisted by a gentleman. She nodded to the gentleman and took another look at the lady. She was quite elegantly dressed though not wearing anything that made Annette take notice. This was always a comfort to Mireille who was always in need of being amongst the most well dressed ladies in any room. Well to be honest she liked to be the best dressed lady of her age and rank. So if Annette was impressed enough by a lady’s attire Mireille knew that she was better dressed than herself. At any rate having observed the fashions in the room and been made quite comfortable in what she was wearing Mireille moved onto the object of her visit to the shop, books.
She walked over to the first table of books near her and picked up a book. It was by Mrs. Radcliffe it was a book that she had already read. The next book she picked up was May Yet Be Found by an Adam Lane. She had not heard of the author or the title so decided that she would take it home with her. If she did not like she would just put it on the shelf or give it to Annette to read.
When the gentleman came over to address her he introduced himself to as Mr. Decker and asked “Is there anything I could help you find this afternoon?”
Mireille replied “Well Mr. Decker, I would like to take this book that I have just picked up and If you have anything else that you think I may find diverting I should like to take that too. I am not quite sure what I will be in the mood to read tomorrow. I am certain that I should not like it to be anything too serious.”
Mr. Decker walked over to near where the lady was standing and returned with a book in his hand. It looked to be the same title that the lady was looking over. “I have just gotten this title in, quite new.”
Mireille read the title of the book Sense and Sensibility, by A Lady. She decided that the book did not appear to be too serious and so she told Mr Decker that she would take it along with the other book she had already chosen. Then she turned to Annette and asked her if there was anything that she wished to purchase today. Annette said “Non, Madame I have not a need of anything new to read.” Then Mireille turned back to Mr. Decker and said “Then that will be all for me today, thank you very much.” She followed him to the counter and made her purchase.
As she walked past the lady Mireille smiled and nodded to her. Then she walked through the door into the street.
When they were back in the barouche Annette said to her “Merci Madame, I am very glad that you did not take a very long time in that shop. Books do give me such an headache. I so much prefer fashion plates.”
Mireille patted Annette on the knee and said “I know dear Annette, I always make my trips into bookshops with you as brief as possible.”
They drove on with Mireille keeping her eye on the shop windows as they passed for anything else that she should need to purchase for tomorrow.
((OOC: Mireille Out))