Congratulations were given. Although, there was a sense: a mere hint—my new social standing had been raised uncomfortably high. Certainly not in the position to question my good fortune, I still felt something chilly in the room. It occurred to me, I knew nothing of my intended’s background. Trade was still verboten for the idle rich, but not for third plus sons. As was my wont, I could not turn off my speculations and spun wilder and wilder fantasies. I was jolted from my reverie when Mr. Jones-Smyth, Sir, stroked my exposed backside as if soothing a fractious horse.
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