Chapter 5: Possibilities of a Pleasant Outing
It was a family saying that "you never knew which way Charlotte
Bartlett would turn." She was perfectly pleasant and sensible
over Lucy's adventure, found the abridged account of it quite
adequate, and paid suitable tribute to the courtesy of Mr. George
Emerson. She and Miss Lavish had had an adventure also. They had
been stopped at the Dazio coming back, and the young officials
there, who seemed impudent and desoeuvre, had tried to search
their reticules for provisions. It might have been most
unpleasant. Fortunately Miss Lavish was a match for any one.
For good or for evil, Lucy was left to face her problem alone.
None of her friends had seen her, either in the Piazza or, later
on, by the embankment. Mr. Beebe, indeed, noticing her startled
eyes at dinner-time, had again passed to himself the remark of
"Too much Beethoven." But he only supposed that she was ready for
an adventure, not that she had encountered it. This solitude
oppressed her; she was accustomed to have her thoughts confirmed
by others or, at all events, contradicted; it was too dreadful
not to know whether she was thinking right or wrong.
At breakfast next morning she took decisive action. There were
two plans between which she had to choose. Mr. Beebe was walking
up to the Torre del Gallo with the Emersons and some American
ladies. Would Miss Bartlett and Miss Honeychurch join the party?
Charlotte declined for herself; she had been there in the rain
the previous afternoon. But she thought it an admirable idea for
Lucy, who hated shopping, changing money, fetching letters, and
other irksome duties--all of which Miss Bartlett must accomplish
this morning and could easily accomplish alone.
"No, Charlotte!" cried the girl, with real warmth. "It's very
kind of Mr. Beebe, but I am certainly coming with you. I had much
"Very well, dear," said Miss Bartlett, with a faint flush of
pleasure that called forth a deep flush of shame on the cheeks of
Lucy. How abominably she behaved to Charlotte, now as always! But
now she should alter. All morning she would be really nice to