Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/169

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137
CANCELLED CHAPTER OF ‘PERSUASION’

a Nobody to her! After being allowed to feel quite secure—indifferent—at her ease, to have it burst on her that she was to be the next moment in the same room with him! No time for recollection! for planning behaviour, or regulating manners! There was time only to turn pale, before she had passed through the door, and met the astonished eyes of Capt. Wentworth, who was sitting by the fire pretending to read and prepared for no greater surprise than the Admiral’s hasty return. Equally unexpected was the meeting, on each side. There was nothing to be done, however, but to stifle feelings and be quietly polite; and the Admiral was too much on the alert, to leave any troublesome pause. He repeated again what he had said before about his wife and everybody, insisted on Anne’s sitting down and being perfectly comfortable, was sorry he must leave her himself, but was sure Mrs. Croft would be down very soon, and would go upstairs and give her notice directly. Anne was sitting down, but now she arose again, to entreat him not to interrupt Mrs. Croft, and re-urge the wish of going away and calling another time. But the Admiral would not hear of it; and if she did not return to the charge with unconquerable Perseverance, or did not with a more passive Determination walk quietly out of the room (as certainly she might have done) may she not be pardoned! If she had no horror of a few minutes’ téte-à-téte with Captain Wentworth, may she not be pardoned for not wishing to give him the idea that she had? She reseated herself, and the Admiral took leave; but on reaching the door, said: ‘Frederick, a word with you, if you please.’ Captain Wentworth went to him; and instantly, before they were well out of the room, the Admiral continued: ‘As I am going to leave you together, it is but fair I should give you something to talk of, and so, if you please——’ Here the door was very firmly closed; she could guess by which of the two; and she