‘I am sure Rupert is full of fun,’ said Katherine.
‘Oh, but he is quite a boy, is not he?’ said Harriet.
‘Nineteen, and at Oxford,’ said Katherine.
‘Oh! I call that quite a boy—don’t you, Lucy?’ said Harriet; ’is he handsome?’
‘Yes, very,’ said Katherine.
‘Not like his sister, then, I suppose,’ said Harriet.
‘Oh! do not you, think Anne pretty?’ said Katherine.
‘I do not know—no, too small and pale to suit me,’ said Harriet.
‘Rupert is not like Anne,’ said Katherine, ’he has a very bright pink and white complexion, and light hair.’
‘Is he tall?’
’No, not so tall as your brother George, but slighter. He has had two of his front teeth knocked out by a stone at school,’ said Katherine.
‘What a fuss they did make about those teeth!’ muttered Helen.
‘Was that the school where Horace is?’ said Harriet.
‘Yes,’ said Katherine, ‘Sandleford.’
‘How you must miss Horace!’ said Lucy.
‘Poor little fellow, yes, that we do,’ said Katherine, ’but he was so riotous, he would pull all my things to pieces. Nobody could manage him but Lizzie, and she never minds what she has on.’
‘What a tear he did make in my frock!’ said Harriet, laughing; ‘didn’t he, Lucy?’
‘How tired you look, Lucy,’ said Helen, ’I am sure you ought to be in bed.’
‘Oh no, I am not very sleepy,’ said Lucy, smiling.
‘I am dead tired, I am sure,’ said Harriet, yawning; ’it was so hot in the railway carriage.’
’Cannot the rest of those things be put away to-morrow morning, Harriet?’ said Helen.
‘Oh!’ said Harriet, yawning, ’there will not be time; Lucy may as well do them all now she has begun. How sleepy I am! we walked about London all the morning.’
‘Come, Helen,’ said Katherine, ’it is quite time for us to be gone; we must be up early to-morrow.’
The morning of the twenty-eighth of August was as fine as heart could wish, and the three sisters rose almost as soon as it was light, to fulfil their promise of attending to all the small nondescript matters of arrangement, needful when a large party is expected by a family not much in the habit of receiving company. Katherine, who had quite given up all thoughts of equalling her elder sister in talent, and who prided herself on being the useful member of the family, made herself very busy in the store-room; Helen, arranged the fruit with much taste; and Elizabeth was up-stairs and down, here, there, and everywhere, till it was difficult to find anything which she had not rectified by labour of head or hand.
‘Well,’ said she, as she brought Helen a fresh supply of vine leaves from the garden, ’I wonder whether Rupert will come in time. I shall be very sorry if he does not, for he has done a great deal for the church.’