Pearl dozed for a bit and then awoke to the clatter of a buggy pulling in front of the house. She heard John Morgan's low voice slowing the horses, and was surprised that he walked straight through the front door without ringing. She unfolded a silk fan before her face, but remained reclining in the darkened room as John stormed in.
"Pearl!" he roared at her "What were you doing shameless with that bastard Washo last night! I saw you...."
"Sir," cried Pearl, using a high, weak voice. "You are mistaken. Pearl has gone for a walk." She turned her head away and added "I am not feeling well."
"Forgive me, Lily" he begged, and flustered, ran clumsily from the room. Pearl allowed herself a giggle as he drove off, then felt a twinge of shame. John was a boring old silly but he would make a proper husband for her, when she was ready. Now, how to explain Washo to him ... and who was with Washo last night if it wasn't her? Was Lily truly his lover, pale, fey Lily? How dare she! They would have a quarrel over this, and Rebecca, the oldest,
would have her way.