Long before dinner Lady Helena came in search of Beatrice--it was high time, she said, that orders should be sent to London for her trousseau, and the list must be made out at once.
She sat calmly in Lady Helena's room, writing in obedience to her words, thinking all the time how she should tell Lillian, how best make her understand the deadly error committed, yet save herself as much as she could. Lady Earle talked of laces and embroidery, of morning dresses and jewels, while Beatrice went over in her mind every word of her confession.
"That will do," said Lady Earle, with a smile; "I have been very explicit, but I fear it has been in vain. Have you heard anything I have said, Beatrice?"
She blushed, and looked so confused that Lady Helena said, laughingly:
"You may go--do not be ashamed. Many years ago I was just as much in love myself, and just as unable to think of anything else as you are now."
There was some difficulty in finding Lillian; she was discovered at last in the library, looking over some fine old engravings with Mr. Dacre. He looked up hastily when Beatrice asked her sister to spare her half an hour.
"Do not go, Lily," he said, jestingly; "it is only some nonsense about wedding dresses. Let us finish this folio."
But Beatrice had no gay repartee for him. She looked grave, although she tried to force a smile.