Sophie's Halloo

Sophie's Halloo by Patricia Wynn Read Free Book Online

Book: Sophie's Halloo by Patricia Wynn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Wynn
Tags: Regency Romance
thought. “I suppose you could return some of these things?”
    Lady Corby drew herself up with offended dignity.  “No, Sir John, I could not. But perhaps you could take your new hunter back to Tattersall’s.”
    Her husband’s chest swelled alarmingly as he drew in his breath. His expression of outrage was comical. “Madam, I am shocked that you could suggest such a thing! That horse may well prove to be the finest in my stud. And how you could expect me to get along with less than twelve hunters now that Dolly is gone, I cannot imagine. Do you think I would pay such a price for it if I were not reasonably assured of getting a good few seasons out of it?” Sir John’s frustration with the poor understanding of his wife and daughter was pitiable.
    He picked up his hat and pulled it down firmly on his head. “I am going to my club,” he said loudly, “and I do not expect to be back before dinner. Perhaps there I will find someone who can talk sense.” He marched to the door and after giving them one more offended look over his shoulder, stormed out.
    Sophie had watched this whole scene with a mixture of emotions: surprise that her mother had taken a firm stand against her father’s position; dismay, since the quarrel had been about purchases for herself; and frustration over the illogic of the argument.
    But as her father walked angrily out the door, she remembered Tony’s smile when he confided to her that he found her father rather amusing. And immediately, the absurdity of her father’s position struck her. The door had barely closed when she began to giggle.
    Lady Corby looked at her in surprise. She had been feeling very ill-used. “Sophia!” she exclaimed.
    Sophie stopped giggling immediately, but with difficulty. “I’m sorry. Mama. It was just that Papa...”  She paused, uncertain how to explain. “He was so—absurd!” Her mouth quivered with suppressed laughter.
    Lady Corby regarded her with amazement.  “Sophie,” she began, “I am shocked to hear you refer to your father in such...” but she did not finish.  The mirth in her daughter’s eyes seemed to affect her strangely. Her posture, which had been stiffly erect throughout the exchange with Sir John, relaxed, her expression softened and she smiled reluctantly.
    “I suppose he is rather ridiculous whenever anything threatens his hunting. I had not thought of it that way,” she admitted. “But he has never overreached his income to pay for it,” she reminded Sophie justly. “We have always been able to count on him for whatever we need and know that the bailiffs will not be at the door.  This is the first time I have been resentful of his extravagances in the field. But,” she added firmly, “I will not let him be so extravagant that we cannot present you in the proper style.”
    Some of Sophie’s earlier emotions returned. She sobered instantly. “I am sorry, Mama, if our coming to London will be the cause of any discord between you.”
    Lady Corby patted her hand lovingly, then returned to unpacking their parcels in better cheer. “Never think of it, my dear. Your father will likely find a sympathetic companion at his club, and by the time they have discussed the merits and defects of his recent purchase thoroughly, he will be restored to good humour.”
    Sophie’s anxious frown cleared immediately. She giggled again. “Let’s hope he doesn’t find that he has bought a crammer, or we might get blamed for that, too.”
    Her mother declined to answer, but lifted her eyebrows expressively.
    Fortunately, however, Sir John returned to his home an hour before dinnertime restored to good humour as predicted. He appeared to have forgotten the altercation completely.
    Greeting his wife and daughter in the parlour where he found them, he sat down with an air of satisfaction. “Clarissa, my dear,” he announced. “I have invited a gentleman to dinner. Sophie, you will need to put on one of your prettiest gowns. This fellow

Similar Books

Wicked Dreams

Lily Harper Hart

Secrets & Lies

Raymond Benson

My Surrender

Connie Brockway

Instead of Three Wishes

Megan Whalen Turner

The Devil's Workshop

Alex Grecian