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26. CHAPTER XXVI: THE AYLMER PARK HASHED CHICKEN COMES TO AN END (continued)
'I must say, Miss Aylmer, that I disregard the servants. After what passed downstairs, of course I have had to consider what I should do. Will you tell your mother that I will stay here, if she will permit it?'
'Of course. She will be delighted.'
'I will remain, if she will permit it, till the morning after Captain Aylmer's arrival. Then I shall go.'
'Where to, Miss Amedroz?'
'I have already written to a friend, asking her to receive me.'
Miss Aylmer paused a moment before she asked her next question but she did ask it, showing by her tone and manner that she had been driven to summon up all her courage to enable her to do so. 'To what friend, Miss Amedroz? Mamma will be glad to know.'
'That is a question which Lady Aylmer can have no right to ask,' said Clara.
'Oh very well. Of course, if you don't like to tell, there's no more to be said.'
'I do not like to tell, Miss Aylmer.'
Clara had her tea in her room that evening, and lived there the whole of the next day. The family downstairs was not comfortable. Sir Anthony could not be made to understand why his guest kept her room which was not odd, as Lady Aylmer was very sparing in the information she gave him; and Belinda found it to be impossible to sit at table, or to say a few words to her father and mother, without showing at every moment her consciousness that a crisis had occurred. By the next day's post the letter to Mrs Askerton was sent, and at the appointed time Captain Aylmer arrived. About an hour after he entered the house, Belinda went upstairs with a message from him would Miss Amedroz see him? Miss Amedroz would see him, but made it a condition of doing so that she should not be required to meet Lady Aylmer. She need not be afraid,' said Lady Aylmer. 'Unless she sends me a full apology, with a promise that she will have no further intercourse whatever with that woman, I will never willingly see her again.' A meeting was therefore arranged between Captain Aylmer and Miss Amedroz in a sitting-room upstairs.
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