"You shall judge for yourself," Emily replied with a smile. "Mr. Mirabel has been speaking to me of a relative who is very dear to him--his sister."
Cecilia was surprised. "Why has he never spoken to _us_ of his sister?" she asked.
"It's a sad subject to speak of, my dear. His sister lives a life of suffering--she has been for years a prisoner in her room. He writes to her constantly. His letters from Monksmoor have interested her, poor soul. It seems he said something about me--and she has sent a kind message, inviting me to visit her one of these days. Do you understand it now, Cecilia?"
"Of course I do! Tell me--is Mr. Mirabel's sister older or younger than he is?"
"Does she live with her brother?" Alban asked.
"Oh, no! She has her own house--far away in Northumberland."
"Is she near Sir Jervis Redwood?"
"I fancy not. Her house is on the coast."