Cecilia made another unlucky attempt at judicious interference. This time, she tried a gentle remonstrance.
"Remember, Emily, how Mr. Morris was situated. He could hardly be rude to a lady. And I daresay Miss Jethro had good reasons for not wishing to explain herself."
Francine opened the drawing-room door and heard Cecilia's last words.
"Miss Jethro again!" she exclaimed.
"Where is Mr. Mirabel?" Emily asked. "I sent him a message."
"He regrets to say he is otherwise engaged for the present," Francine replied with spiteful politeness. "Don't let me interrupt the conversation. Who is this Miss Jethro, whose name is on everybody's lips?"
Alban could keep silent no longer. "We have done with the subject," he said sharply.
"Because we have said more than enough about Miss Jethro already."