To Catch a Husband...

To Catch a Husband... by Sarah Mallory

Book: To Catch a Husband... by Sarah Mallory Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Mallory
said my lady, studying her closely. Kitty held her breath. At length her godmother smiled. ‘But is looks quite perfect upon you, my love. And no one will recognise the seamstress, you may be sure of that.’ She blinked rapidly and began to hunt for her handkerchief. ‘You look like an angel, my dear.’
    ‘She does indeed!’
    Kitty spun round to see a rather portly young gentleman in the doorway, regarding her through his quizzing glass.
    ‘Garston!’ Lady Leaconham flew up from her chair in a flutter of lace. ‘My dear boy, when did you return to Town?’
    ‘At noon, Mama,’ replied Lord Leaconham, suffering her embrace. ‘Thought I should come and tell you I was back. Didn’t know you had company…’
    ‘My love, this is my goddaughter Katherine, come to keep me company for a few weeks,’ said Lady Leaconham. ‘Kitty, my dear, allow me to present my son Garston to you.’
    Kitty dropped into a curtsy, blushing a little as Lord Leaconham bowed over her hand.
    ‘Delighted, Miss Wythenshawe. Proule informs me that you are about to go out, so I know that all this splendour is not in my honour.’
    ‘We are off to Harworth House,’ replied Lady Leaconham, a note of triumph creeping into her voice. ‘Your cousin Ann has taken a great liking to dear Kitty. Why do you not come with us, my son? I am sure your auntwould have invited you, had she known you were back in Town.’
    Lord Leaconham was still casting an admiring eye over Kitty, who found the prolonged scrutiny a little unnerving.
    ‘I am dining with friends at my club tonight but I may well look in later.’
    ‘Well, if you are coming, pray be in time to dance with Kitty and do not spend all your time in the supper room,’ replied his mother, picking up her wrap. ‘Now, we must be off. Come along, my dear, we will go downstairs to wait for the carriage.’
    Lady Harworth might complain that her house was not situated on the magnificent west side of Cavendish Square but it seemed to Kitty that the whole of fashionable London was intent upon attending the ball. The square was crowded with vehicles. Coachmen and postillions traded insults while liveried footmen directed the carriages to the entrance before tenderly handing down the occupants and escorting them into the house.
    Kitty followed Lady Leaconham up the wide sweeping staircase, her nervousness somewhat alleviated when she saw Ann waiting for her at the top of the stairs, a beaming smile upon her face as she held out her hand to Kitty.
    ‘Is this not wonderful? I have never seen so many carriages in the square before. It is going to be such a squeeze, and Mama has hired a whole host of musicians to play for us. I cannot wait for the dancing to begin!’
    ‘Well, you must contain yourself a little longer,’ put in her mother, directing a smile towards Kitty. ‘There are any number of people still to arrive. Now pray, Ann, allow Miss Wythenshawe to move on, that the other guests may approach.’
    Kitty glanced behind her: a column of gorgeously gowned ladies and elegant gentlemen stretched all the way down the stairs. It was quite unnerving to see so many strange faces. She knew so few people, despite having been in Town for a whole month. Kitty was so daunted by this thought that when she saw Daniel Blackwood enter the house and join the line she could not suppress a smile of relief.
    It was unfortunate that the gentleman should glance up at that moment, raising his brows when he saw her smiling down at him. Kitty quickly turned away, blushing furiously. What had possessed her to smile at the man? Resolutely putting this aberration aside, she followed her godmother into the ballroom, only to stop on the threshold and gaze about her in astonishment. The lofty room was ablaze with light from several glittering chandeliers. Everywhere was colourful and noisy confusion, the sounds of the musicians tuning up adding to the laughter and chatter of the guests.
    ‘Good evening, Aunt, Miss

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