Miranda turned round and smiled at Hugo.
“Hello, Hugo,” she said. “This is a pleasant surprise. How are you?”
He smiled back, but in complete shock. He was at a loss for words as he rose and gave her a small bow.
The young woman facing him was not the termagant he had berated at Lavenham Court for being wilful and spoiled. The plain girl with dreadful clothes, a sludge-coloured shawl, and a sharp tongue was no more. In her place stood a radiant beauty, her hair a riot of soft dark curls as she removed her bonnet and dropped it onto the nearest chair. She took off her gloves and tossed them onto a nearby table.
“There, that’s better.”
Her stylish walking dress of green cambric with a matching Spenser jacket, her tan boots, her kid leather gloves, and her modish bonnet turned her into a young woman of fashion. If he hadn’t known for a fact it was Miranda, Hugo would have thought her a complete stranger.
The new Miranda’s face glowed with pleasure; her radiant smile, her sparkling eyes, and the pink flush on her cheeks…everything was so strange to Hugo.
He didn’t like not being in control of the situation.
When she danced towards him, took both his hands, and smiled up at him with patent gratitude, he was still speechless.
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