“Before you—we—commence flogging Ruby,” he said with grave intent, “I wish a moment of privacy.” Both Mrs. Cleanknockers and Miss Frothinglips acquiesced and departed. The soft thud of the tufted leather paneled door seemed portentous. I craned my head. “Do not strain, dear one.” Mr. Jones-Smyth knelt on a knee so that our eyes were level. “I would understand your confusion, Ruby, and we have much to discuss, but I crave you listen.” I widened my eyes and nodded. “We have only short acquaintance, yet I feel such comfort and respect for you. Ruby, will you marry me?”
You can go to this page which has links to all the complete previous chapters.