A Duel of Hearts by Barbara Cartland

By Barbara Cartland

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Mrs. Miller gave Caroline a look which, translated into deeds, would have struck her to the ground, then she turned on her heel and swept from the room. Caroline, who had risen to her feet, stood by the bed, uncertain and a little afraid. What would happen now? she wondered. ' 'That is indeed a relief,' Lady Brecon said in perfectly steady tones, and looking at Caroline she smiled. 'Sit down, child. You may think this a strange household. ' Caroline was just going to ask if she had any other children besides Lord Brecon, but to her surprise she caught Dorcas' eye.

Her ladyship is asleep, Miss Fry. ' She stalked along the passage and Caroline followed her, her thoughts and feelings too chaotic and tumultuous for her to think of anything at the moment save Lord Brecon's face as it had been but a moment ago in the Library. 'Here is your room, Miss Fry. ' Dorcas opened the door of a small slip of a bedroom. It was cheerless and rather chill as if it had not been used for some time, but Caroline saw only one thing in it—Maria, standing demurely by the dressing-table.

I have been riding round my estate and thought it was time that I inspected the gardens. ' 'While you have been fault-finding, I, on the contrary, have been admiring your lordship's garden,' Caroline said. ' Lord Brecon said. ' 'Of course,' Caroline answered, extending her hand with a little gesture of invitation towards the stone steps. Even as she did so, she wondered whether as a companion she should not have risen to her feet at Lord Brecon's appearance and dropped him a curtsey. However, it was too late now, and as if to make up for her ill manners she smiled at him very enticingly as he lowered himself on to the step beside her.

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