She made an overly dramatic sad face. You find yours? Cuz I got some mistletoe if you need.

Yes, yes, Lady Danbury said, rather dismissively, so I’ve heard. I – Something seemed to catch her attention, and then she leaned in with a terrifying look in her eye. I’m going to do you a very big favor.

That, I’m afraid, is broken, he answered.Oh, dear, Honoria said. I thought they might have to cut it off.

They had to cut off your boot? Miss Royle echoed. Oh, but that’s terrible.His ankle was horribly swollen, Honoria told her. It was the only way.But a boot, Miss Royle persisted.

It wasn’t one of my favorite boots, Marcus said, trying to cheer poor Miss Royle up. She looked as if someone had decapitated a puppy.I wonder if one could have a single boot made, Honoria mused. To match the other. Then it wouldn’t be a complete waste.

Oh, no, that would never work, Miss Royle said, apparently an expert on such topics. The leather would never quite match.

Marcus was saved from a lengthy discussion of footwear by the arrival of Mrs. Wetherby, his longtime housekeeper. I had already started on the tea before you asked for it, she announced, bustling in with a tray.He doesn’t have family!

Lady Winstead caught her lower lip between her teeth. He was such a nice boy, but I just don’t think . . .Honoria planted her hands on her hips. If you do not come with me, I will go alone.

Honoria! Lady Winstead drew back with shock, and for the first time in the conversation, a spark flared in her pale eyes. You will do no such thing. Your reputation will be in tatters.I’m sure it’s not as serious as that.

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