The Best of Daughters

The Best of Daughters by Dilly Court Read Free Book Online

Book: The Best of Daughters by Dilly Court Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dilly Court
tell Mother now, or to wait until Father gets home and speak to him before dinner. What do you think?’
    â€˜I think they’re both going to slaughter you, and if Father really is going out of business who knows what will happen? We might have to leave Warwick Squareand move to the country. I’d really love living permanently in Rainbow’s End instead of just spending the summer holidays there.’
    â€˜It won’t come to that, silly.’ Daisy spoke with more conviction than she was feeling.
    â€˜I’m not silly. It’s the logical conclusion,’ Beatrice said huffily. ‘If we can’t afford to live in London then we’ll have to go and live in the house in Nutley Green. Maybe Mother will come off her high horse and stop trying to foist you off on poor Rupert. She’ll be starting on me next and I’m definitely not the sort of girl that toffs go for.’
    Momentarily diverted, Daisy chuckled. ‘And how do you define a toff?’
    â€˜The Honourable Rupert, of course. He’s a toff to end all toffs. You’d end up as Lady Pendleton if you got your hooks into him, and I’ll be the spinster sister living in the attic at Pendleton Park.’
    Daisy slid off the bed and went to sit beside Beatrice, giving her a sympathetic hug. ‘I’m not going to marry Rupert, and we don’t need to define ourselves by marriage. You and I are individuals, Bea. When we get the vote we’ll be able to change the world, and we won’t need a husband to assure our place in society.’
    â€˜And pigs might fly,’ Beatrice said, sighing. ‘But before all this happens you’ve got to convince Father that you’re not an empty-headed female out to cause trouble for the establishment. Good luck, Daisy. I’m glad it’s you and not me.’
    Daisy entered her father’s study, having decided to tell him everything and get the whole grisly business out in the open before dinner.
    Victor Lennox hung the telephone receiver back on the hook, looking up with a question in his eyes. ‘Daisy?’
    â€˜May I have a word, Father?’
    â€˜It’s not a good time, my dear.’
    â€˜I know, but this is really urgent.’
    A whimsical smile curved his lips. ‘Is it about your party tomorrow night?’
    â€˜No, Father. It’s something much more important.’
    â€˜Then sit down and tell me about it.’ He motioned her to take a seat and she sank down on the nearest chair. Taking a deep breath she launched into much the same account of the day’s happenings as told to Beatrice earlier. ‘I am so sorry, Father,’ she said when she came to the end. ‘I know this is a bad time. Rupert told me about the trouble you’re having.’
    He bowed his head, resting it on his hands. ‘It couldn’t be worse, Daisy. I’m almost certain to lose the business and my credibility in the City will be in ruins.’
    â€˜But what about Mr Carlton? Won’t the law catch up with him?’
    â€˜Possibly, but it’s not very likely. Jeremiah has already left the country. I doubt if I or my clients will ever see a penny of the money he took.’
    â€˜What will you do, Father?’
    He raised his head to look her in the eye. ‘You’re a sensible young woman, Daisy. At least you are for the most part, although heaven knows I don’t approve of the women’s suffrage movement. At least, I don’t agreewith the way they go about things. There are other methods of changing the law that don’t include violence or damage to the property of others.’ He raised his hand as she opened her mouth to argue. ‘But that’s neither here nor there. We have a family crisis on our hands, and the only solution I can think of will be to sell this house and remove to the country. At least I’ve invested my money wisely and I own both properties. I may be able to start off

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