She was to be their mother, a direct deputy and representative. Before the vision of that other woman parading in such a character, she felt capable of ingenuities and subtleties. The foremost of these was tremulously to watch her father. Five days after they had dined together at Mrs. Churchley's he asked her if she had been to see that lady.
"No indeed, why should I?" Adela knew that he knew she had not been, since Mrs. Churchley would have told him.
"Don't you call on people after you dine with them?" said Colonel Chart.
"Yes, in the course of time. I don't rush off within the week."
Her father looked at her, and his eyes were colder than she had ever seen them, which was probably, she reflected, just the way her own appeared to him. "Then you'll please rush off to-morrow. She's to dine with us on the 12th, and I shall expect your sisters to come down."
Adela stared. "To a dinner party?"
"It's not to be a dinner party. I want them to know Mrs. Churchley."
"Is there to be nobody else?"
"Godfrey, of course. A family party."
The girl asked her brother that evening if that was not tantamount to an announcement. He looked at her queerly, and then he said, "I've been to see her."
"What on earth did you do that for?"
"Father told me he wished it."
"Then he has told you?"
"Told me what?" Godfrey asked, while her heart sank with the sense that he was making difficulties for her.