Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/137

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107
THE WATSONS

her to come home till the following morning, unless the Edwardeses would send her, which was hardly to be expected, or she could meet with any chance conveyance, or did not mind walking so far. She had scarcely run her eye through the whole, before she found herself obliged to listen to Tom Musgrave’s farther account. ‘I received that note from the fair hands of Miss Watson only ten minutes ago,’ said he; ‘I met her in the village of Stanton, whither my good Stars prompted me to turn my Horses’ heads; she was at that moment in quest of a person to employ on the Errand, and I was fortunate enough to convince her that she could not find a more willing or speedy Messenger than myself Remember, I say nothing of my Disinterestedness. My reward is to be the indulgence of conveying you to Stanton in my Curricle. Though they are not written down, I bring your Sister’s Orders for the same.’ Emma felt distressed; she did not like the proposal; she did not wish to be on terms of intimacy with the Proposer, and yet fearful of encroaching on the Edwardeses, as well as wishing to go home herself, she was at a loss how entirely to decline what he offered. Mrs. Edwardes continued silent, either not understanding the case, or waiting to see how the young Lady’s inclination lay. Emma thanked him, but professed herself very unwilling to give him so much trouble. ‘The Trouble was, of course, Honour, Pleasure, Delight. What had he or his Horses to do?’ Still she hesitated. ‘She believed she must beg leave to decline his assistance; she was rather afraid of the sort of carriage. The distance was not beyond a walk.’ Mrs. Edwardes was silent no longer. She enquired into the particulars, and then said: ‘We shall be extremely happy, Miss Emma, if you can give us the pleasure of your company till tomorrow; but if you can not conveniently do so, our Carriage is quite at your Service, and Mary will be pleased with the opportunity of