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At the MEETING OF DESTINY


She Ran Away
Barbara Cartland
(BC 422)

Given the verge of being forced to marry a man she does not
love, Sandra decides to flee.
I did not want to marry without love. Much less with a
strangers who just wanted out of interest.With the help of a
groom, she travels to the north, leaving a letter to his father,
saying he had been called by one of the relatives of his mother.On
the way, is employed as a governess for a duke, who was raising
two orphaned nieces.For Sandra, it was only one solution
temporary.But fate had other plans ...

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Dear reader,
Sometimes we think that the man she loves will never arise in our lives.
However, when we least expect it is there, just ahead of us. The heart beats fast,
my throat dry, it is difficult to articulate a word. It is the first impact, the first clue
that he is the man of our life. Do not miss out! Long live the great love that came
into his life. Even for a short time!
Janice Florido Executive Editor
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

Queen Victoria was known as the "matchmaker" of Europe.


A large number of principalities was saved from Russian rule
as a result of their interventions.
The marriage of a prince with a noble English meant that the
country was under the protection of the flag of England.
Although it was of great interest to the Russians an exit in
the Mediterranean, they dared not face the wrath of the queen,
which could result in war.
There is no exaggeration to say that the queen has found
serious problems at getting brides blue blood.
The year 1896 marked the departure of the last bride
designed to save a principality in the Balkans.

Original title: She Ran Away


Copyright: © 1997 by Barbara Cartland
Translation: Nancy Pieri Mielle
Copyright to English: 1997
EDITOR NEW CULTURAL a division of the Book Circle Ltda.Alameda Ministro Rocha
Azevedo, 346 - CEP 01410-901 ll floor - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
and

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CHAPTER I

Lady Sandra had gone to bed early in the morning, after


attending one of the many parties that had been held in London
that season.
In the opinion of Lady Sandra, London was busier than ever.
The invitations were huddled in homes where there was some
debutante. There were nights when that happened more than one
party. It was therefore impossible for it to be the largest
commitment to attend all.
It was for this reason that lady Sandra was so excited and at
the same time so worried because he slept late. There was much
to do. Above all, it could not verify the match. The number of
cards and invitations that was handed over in recent weeks was
immense.
Being the daughter of the Earl of Alerton, a man of prestige
in Windsor Castle, Lady Sandra was further ordered.
They said that the queen had as one of his assistants
favorites. Sandra was glad to hear that. It was a good way to
distract from his father after the death of his mother. In
appreciation to Queen Victoria, her father was forced to
overcome the depression that kept him away from friends and
partying for months.
After his wife's death, the earl lived alone and miserable and
made his daughter also someone very unhappy.Sandra's mother
was missing and had to deal with that as the father.
She was relieved, therefore, where due to issues related to
court his father had no more time to worry about yourself and
the emptiness of his home, and had to start accepting the
invitations that were made.
Sandra debuted there when his mother was still alive. Thus,
once the mourning period was observed, the invitations did well.
It was his second season, that year.
As could be expected, the relatives were beginning to charge
you a boyfriend. Claimed they had a position to say whether the
choice would be good or bad, in which case she should refuse the
applicant to not regret later.
To the surprise of Sandra, men of various ages seemed
interested in dating her. Thus, it could still gestures of
encouragement to become serious flirtations.
Sandra, however, was determined to marry only for love. I
wanted to love her husband and be loved by him with all my heart,
as had happened between their parents.
The number of marriages for which were held in London
always surprised.
He remembered well what his mother told him the day they
had completed eighteen years of age: she would see mothers
pushing their children to marry when it joins with important
people in society. They were wise words. She was able to confirm
its veracity. That was why he had recorded the advice in his mind.
- Do not rush. If it is prudent and sensible, you will be very
happy. Accept only that which lh, offering not only an alliance, but
also your heart.I loved his father since the first moment we met.
But we were not precipitated. Before we married, we spent
almost two years getting to know.
- At the time of the story, his mother had paused and smiled.
- I was so scared that he married another, which prayed every
night that he loved me as I loved him.
- Then their prayers were answered, Mom.
- All prayers are heard if you have faith and persistence - his
mother replied.
Sandra learned that truth and put into practice on several
occasions.
As for the evidence that was receiving the balls, I knew the
answer even before the suitors have finished saying the words.
Was "no."
- I want to be in love with the man I married - Sandra spoke
to herself. - I want to make sure that my boyfriend loves me for
who I am and not because my father is an earl and enjoys the
respect and admiration of the queen, or because my mother was
descended from a wealthy family and traditional.
That thought went through the mind of Sandra every night
when she returned the balls and went to bed. It was fun and
flattering to be requested by young attractive to all contra, but
the fun was just before her dreams of love. He was sure that the
statements were starting from their hearts, but the calculations
made on the property she would inherit.
The mansion in Park Lane was beautiful and the country
estate that belonged to his family had several generations was
huge and beautiful. And if these gifts were not enough to an
ambitious suitor, still had the magnificent horses of his father,
who always competed for prizes for Rotten Row for its elegance
and speed.
Everyone admired them in England, from the simplest
footman to Prince of Wales.
Sandra called her maid to help her get dressed and asked if
his father, incidentally, was still at home.As he had already been
directed at Windsor Castle, she was alone at the dining room and
apologized for the lateness of the hour butler.
- Do not worry my lady - he replied. - There were more than
four hours when he got home and I figured it would not have the
strength to get up before ten.
- It was a lovely party - Sandra said. - I enjoyed myself and I
think the same happened with Dad.
- His Lordship came out a little - told the butler. - I was also
tired and was late for breakfast. Asked that we woke up and did
not serve him that anytime he wanted.
- I could have been lying until later, but there are many
letters waiting for me I decided to jump out of bed the minute I
opened my eyes. To be honest, I do not even realize the
correspondence he had received until yesterday.
The butler smiled.
- That's what happens when it reaches the popularity and
success. Milady should feel proud of herself and penalized for
those looking forward to a letter in your mail box and find no.
- I do not think that happens often this time of year -
Sandra replied. - Also last night we were commenting that they
were never offered so many parties in London. Certainly, the host
must be finding it hard to organize events that do not coincide
with others that are being offered by its rivals.
- The important thing is that my lady is being invited to all
parties - the butler murmured with satisfaction.
Sandra wanted to say that he was obliged to refuse some
requests when the bell rang.
Butler went to the hall to meet while Sandra was installed in
his father's library, where the papers were taken every morning.
As expected, the copies were on a stool in front of the
fireplace.
First, Sandra wanted to read the Morning Post had published
to see if something about the garden party at which she had
attended the previous evening, and also about what happened to
the prom night.
She was still checking the first page when the butler opened
the door and announced:
- Lady Carstairs want to see it, my lady.
Sandra looked around and sighed. It seemed discourteous to
anyone were to make a visit at that hour. Mainly because she
wanted to take care of other chores before exercising and
horses, as usual.
Lady Carstairs was an old family friend.He knew her well. She
would take hours to transmit only during a short message. Just to
explain the reason for your visit, Lady Carstairs took about forty
or fifty minutes.And the experience of Sandra, the reason was
never important.
But since the woman was a friend of his father and was also a
friend of his mother, Sandra not refused to receive it.
In the background, behind the insistence on accompanying
her and help her, Sandra thought she wanted to marry her
father.
Lady Carstairs, after all, was a widow.
His father, however, for having loved his mother very, render
not marry so soon, if they ever think of having another wife.
- Good morning, Sandra - Lady Carstairs greeted upon
entering the library. - I expected to find his father here, but I
am told by Butler that he left at eight-thirty.I would have come
sooner if he knew.
- If my father left so soon, His Majesty should have called
him to discuss something very important. Especially after a party,
he does not usually go to Windsor Castle before lunchtime.
Lady Carstairs went through the library and sat on the couch
next to Sandra, before the fire.
- I know why his father received a call so urgent and can tell
you that the motive is really important.
Sandra sighed and prepared to hear what Lady Carstairs had
to say.Do not know anyone who liked both a tattletale. It seemed
incredible, but she knew everything that happened not only in the
castle, but in every house in London's high society.
- Perhaps your father has already told you about the
predicament in which His Majesty is now located.
- No, I did not know she was in trouble - Sandra replied
frankly. - The Queen has, after all, with the support of my father
and many other influential gentlemen to rule the country.
- It's true. We must admit, however, that the problems of
His Majesty are different from those that arise in the lives of
others. I am very sorry that the situation is leaving alarmed.
Sandra sighed. It was not the first time I talked with Lady
Carstairs.His penchant for exaggeration and melodrama to was
great. He was sure that the case was not as severe as she
suggested. Most likely it was that Lady Carstairs was making a
storm in a teacup.
- What surprises me most is that his father has not
mentioned the matter to you. His Majesty must have asked for
confidentiality. That's the only explanation. She did not want him
to report on events until the release for it.
- But what the queen might want or not I know? - Sandra
asked. - I do not think people are worried that I come to know
about what is happening in Windsor Castle.My father never
comments. What happens at their meetings in the chateau is
strictly confidential. Lady Carstairs smiled.
- That's what he says. But much of what happens in the
castle and surrounding the queen comes to the attention of
people. Me, for example. - Lady Carstairs smiled again. - What if I
came to their home is because the matter relates.
- It concerns me? - Sandra asked flabbergasted. - What is
it?
This time Lady Carstairs was overstepping the bounds,
Sandra thought.There was work to do. The cards were piling up on
the desk and the dress she had seen in Bond Street would be
purchased by another.
- Well, as I was saying - lady continued Carstairs - The shock
that you are a couple of lucky, very lucky.I'm sure I'll be very
flattered when he hears about the intentions of His Majesty.
- I do not know what you're talking about - Sandra replied. -
Unfortunately I have an appointment. I hope I'm sorry to rush.I
still have to call one of the servants and ask that the coach is
prepared. Urgently need to put two letters in the mail.
- These matters can wait - Carstairs lady interrupted. -
Which brings me here is something extremely important and
personally involved.Want to be the first to congratulate him.
- I still do not know what you're talking about - Sandra
replied.
- I would not want his father to be angry with me for giving
him the news before it. On the other hand, maybe you'd better
be prepared for what could be a tremendous shock.
Lady Carstairs laugh all the time as he spoke.This took
Sandra to wonder several times if it does not had lost his
mind.But if the goal of the woman was letting her curious,
admitted he had achieved.
The court was given to gossip. That was not news to Sandra.
But if the mentioned problem involved her father and she, too, he
certainly would be very angry if the world had just learned about
himself than before.
Maybe it was something trivial, but the way that Lady
Carstairs spoke gave the impression that something very serious
was coming.
- Please tell me soon. It seems that a catastrophe is
threatening us and I want to be informed in advance to try to
circumvent it.
- Oh, no. This is not no disaster, my dear. The issue is
breathtaking, but I'd say it's wonderful. But as it is unexpected,
it may be advisable before I prepare it. I'm having some doubts.
I do not want to risk making mistakes. I do not want to play the
fool.
- I am sure you will be helping me with your information.
Please say that it is without further delay.
- Well, a little birdie told me last night, although he should
have kept secret, that the Queen is a very difficult situation. If
not for a friend of her father, she would be dead. He saved her.
- Saved from what? - Sandra frowned. There was a slight
pause.
- You've probably heard that the queen is the matchmaker
Europe's number one, no?
- Yes, but what that has to do with me and my father?
- You've probably heard about the shortage of brides of
noble birth who she can count.
Sandra did not answer. He had heard something about it
during one of the dinners that her father used to give friends.
They were commenting that Queen Victoria was very smart in
order to prevent the Russians dominate the Balkan principalities
through marriage.
- The czar's intention is to achieve an exit through the
Mediterranean and the easiest way would be to conquer the
Balkan principalities and make them part of the Russian empire.
These words were spoken by his father.
- That was the strategy used by Germany and the German
Empire that became so strong and powerful.
Sandra heard the report carefully, but not surprised by any
of the details. It was common knowledge that the queen arranged
marriages of young British blue blood and foreign princes. There
was nothing new there, mainly because his father was talking
about the rulers of the Balkans since the previous year, when the
Queen had called him to help her.
His father was becoming almost as famous as the Queen
Victoria in order to arrange such marriages.Each time the British
flag was hoisted alongside the flag of the Principality, the Count
was applauded by the Court.
- I was sure that you were responsible for more than a
wedding - one of his friends said last dinner. - I defended him at
White's Club and won the bet. Most did not believe that you could
find another princess to the queen sent to the Balkans.
- Glad you have multiplied your money - his father responded
and lowered his voice. - I could not have bet.It was by pure
chance I got when the bride was about to give up looking for her.
Fortunately another principality was saved.
The atmosphere was joyful, festive and friends said their
father was very smart.
According to Sandra, her father was not only smart, but
educated and intelligent. He was intimately familiar with the
history not only of England but other countries in Europe.Thus, he
knew about the existence of obscure members of royalty who had
practically been forgotten over the years, but whose daughters
were willing to marry princes, even strangers, and save her from
the clutches of Russian principalities.
- The ability to find brides in my father for the queen is
nothing new to me. Just thought he had exhausted his list.
- It was exactly what happened - confirmed Lady Carstairs. -
Thus, one of his friends forced him to remember their ancestors
by the mother.His great-grandmother, as you probably know, was
a Swedish nobleman.
Sandra remembered the story that one of his governesses
told about the family of his grandmother, who lived alone and
never travel in Sweden, and how his grandfather, who was an
adventurer, had found and brought to England.
But, as she had not known the great-grandparents or
grandparents, the story had aroused no interest. And yet
awakened. He did not understand why Lady Carstairs be
mentioning it after so long.
- Lest any doubt, my dear, you are a direct descendant of the
kings of Sweden. Royal blood runs in her veins. More than the
daughter of an earl, so you might be called a princess.
Sandra took to respond.
- I think that neither mom nor dad gave importance to the
fact. And I confess that I knew I had a great grandfather as
king.
- Well, my dear, I think you should have understood why I
have it remembered about their ancestors. The fact is that His
Majesty no longer has any bride on whom to rely. She called her
father to the castle this morning for that reason. I'm sure he'll
give you the news so go home at the end of the day.
- What news?
- Well, my child, do not tell me that have not already guessed!
- Lady Carstairs said. - You will be the next bride to marry one of
the rulers of the Balkans!
Sandra's eyes widened.
- Are you telling me that the Queen and my father expected
me to travel to the Balkans to marry a man who never saw and
who never heard, nor would they know me?
- Of course, my dear. You should do what Her Majesty wants
to do. She was desperate, unable to count on no more bride.
- Are you really telling me they want to turn me into one of
these brides?
Lady Carstairs made a motion with his head yes.
- You will be very important. When acclaimed princess, queen
or even, I hope you remember old friends and me, mostly. - The
woman sighed and continued with dreamy voice. - I was thinking
last night, after hearing this information, I would love to know
the Balkans. I would be very glad if you invite me to be a guest in
his palace.
Sandra took a deep breath to calm down. That could not be
true.
- You are very lucky - Lady Carstairs repeated. - All the girls
envy of the world when they know they will be a queen.Or at least
a princess. I hear they have beautiful palaces in the Balkans.
Imagine being greeted by his subjects with reverence.
For a moment, Sandra could not answer.
- I confess I did not expect a story like this. Glad that
prepared me for when my father arrived. Now if you'll excuse me,
I have more time to talk. If not run, not be able to access mail.
- I understand your hurry, honey. - Lady Carstairs rose,
finally. - But I had to come and tell you what is happening.How to
know from an early age, I am very proud of you.
Sandra is a forced smile and kissed her visitor on both sides,
although his will would disappear from the earth.
- Thanks for the info.
- Sure. Do not tell your father I told him that he certainly
would be the first question to say. On the other hand, it might
not come home tonight. With so many issues to be discussed is
likely to hold His Majesty in his castle until the wee hours. The
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was complaining a few
days ago, tired. He told me that often can only go home when the
day is clearing.
In particular, Sandra knew that Lady Carstairs was not
exaggerating.But as yet I could barely speak due to shock, it
merely make a move with his head yes.
Lady Carstairs walked to the door.
- Do not want to delay it more for their purchases and
correspondence. I also have something to do. I see some people
before lunch at the home of a friend of his father. I'm sure they
will be astonished and delighted with the news.
Sandra would like to say that his father would not want to
know that his private affairs were being discussed in his absence,
but had no strength to answer.
- Farewell, my dear - Lady Carstairs fired up - and lots of
happiness.
Sandra was alone there were several minutes when he finally
found his voice. In such a memento, she sat in the chair that was
nearest. His legs were trembling. Could hardly stand.
Was this true? The Lady Carstairs said that could be true?
It was hard to face reality, but despite being famous for its
gossip, Lady Carstairs never made mistakes.She was proud of
herself, even when he said:
- I never cheated.
Sandra closed her eyes to hear those words echo in your
mind.
Then she told herself that should not have been so worried.
His father would understand when she said that night that he
would not marry anyone, even if he were a prince, without love.
Does it understand?
A doubt assailed her. His father did not listen. His father
followed the orders of the Queen and say that she needed to
obey them. Its acceptance would depend on the fate of a
principality in the Balkans.
- I do not care what the Russians want the principality. Not
for me to save him! Not at the expense of the dream of my life!
Sandra knew that his feelings were not considered important
and that she had no right to refuse a request from the Queen of
England. He also knew that his father would understand their
sadness and to deplore, but which would oblige her to yield to the
desire of the queen.
Sandra took a deep breath.
- It's not fair that I have to suffer and not them! But so far
it seemed unfair to order, she knew she would not be able to
resist.It would be his father and the queen against a poor dreamy
girl.
He loved his father. He had no complaints against him. He
had always been everything that any young person could want in a
father. Accompanied their grief after the loss of his wife. He
was so great that the count, although still young and attractive,
she thought of replacing it.
- How to make him understand that I want a husband who
loves me as he loved my mother, not a prince willing to accept me
just because they represent salvation from their domains?
The more I thought in the words of Lady Carstairs, Sandra
longer wanted to marry for love.
- I want a marriage like my parents. I want to run into the
arms of my husband when he returns home and offer my lips to
his kisses. Then, holding each other, we will go to the living room
and talk about the day's events.
Sandra remembered how their parents were when they
kissed a few hours away. It seemed that he had not seen for
centuries.
- That's how I feel about the man I marry - Sandra decided.
However, the queen and her father wanted to marry her to a
man who had never seen and that I would just out of interest.
- I can not accept a marriage of convenience. Do not want to
get married for convenience.
However, when his father arrived in the evening or the next
day, would not be an issue for her to say yes or say no. It would
be a matter of obedience to the queen.
- Oh, why were they remember my origins? - Sandra
lamented.
In one of the dinners offered by her father, she heard a man
say:
- We did everything possible to save the Balkans. The
Russians must be furious. If the rulers are not praying for Queen
Victoria in appreciation for what she did, it would be good to
start doing it!
- I am sure that they are very grateful to her - Sandra
remembered hearing his father answered. - But the rulers are
many and will be difficult to protect everyone.
- Ah, but England has many young people eager to become a
queen or princess-like in fairy tales - the man replied.
His father had agreed with the statement, but added that
not all girls do meet the requirements. I had to have royal blood
to marry a prince.
Sandra had heard such talk in the last six months, at least.
- Since I am the last descendant of young English noble, the
queen will not hesitate to force me to obey it.
The thought left Sandra so desperate that she closed her
eyes and prayed:
- Help me, Mommy! Help me! OH GOD! I know you understand
me if he was here.
While praying, Sandra felt her eyes fill with tears. When he
finished praying, as if his mother had heard, she knew what to do.
Needed to get away!
If you flee, there would be disobeying his father. After all,
he could not find her and the queen could not blame him.
- I need to go away - Sandra said to herself. - Maybe they
can send a miracle and another pretender to the throne of the
Balkans. Or else, I hope they recognize that it is useless to insist
on and let the Russians do what they want. - Sandra sighed. - The
problem is not mine.
Maybe his father got angry when he found out about his
escape, but was too late. The important thing was that no blame
would fall on his shoulders. He would've found out about the
gossip of Lady Carstairs, through the servants, but that did not
mean he needed to tell what happened to the queen.
She and others would think that Sandra had fled with a man
who was not accepted by his father for not being someone
important.
The friends of his father could no longer doubt be someone
in love with her. They lived praising her beauty and her own
father said with pride that she had inherited the perfect
features of her mother.
- I'm sorry to have to hurt my dad, but I can not marry a man
who does not love and who am not loved. If it is a matter of the
royalty or prefer the simplicity, I want to be a very ordinary
person. I want to be loved for who I am and not because I am the
daughter of someone who was appointed by the Queen as one of
his top advisers.
The important thing now was to think and find a solution to
your problem, Sandra thought.
His father always said that people were not using the brain
as they should.
- Your mother was a brilliant woman and I, not wanting to
brag, I also had success in my life. That is why I believe you will
find, when you grow up, you should always listen to what your
brain has to say before making any contract, so you never need to
regret later for having acted with prudence and no precipitation.
After recalling those words, Sandra tried to concentrate and
listen to the advice that his brain had to give.
The answer came immediately.
She needed to hide for a while until they found another
young man who wanted to save a principality, or to give up the
fruitless search.
Maybe if you were lucky, they would give up her up on a
marriage and she would be free forever.
It would be difficult, she acknowledged. Even impossible. His
father knew all the important English families, including the most
ancient and remote, and there were younger in age to marry.
- I need as soon as possible - Sandra spoke to herself. - Like
father should not return until dusk the castle, I have all day to
prepare.
Sandra was heading to his room when he began to pray again.
- What should I do? I have never traveled alone. Please Help
me, Mommy.I know what I'm doing seems wrong, but is the only
solution.
As if she responded to you, Sandra should know how to dress
during the flight and that it should carry. It was as if they had
had a book open before her eyes and she was reading the
directions.
When he finished praying, Sandra looked at the clock on the
mantelpiece.
It was ten o'clock. Had more than enough time to pack your
bags and leave London before his father returned.
Where he should go, however, she had no idea. His only
certainty was that his father could not find it. However much the
order of the queen made him suffer, his position as a loyal
subject would lead him to obey it. The queen, after all,
represented England, and no man in his position could fight
against their country.
The first thing she had to do was write a letter to his
father, inventing an excuse for its disappearance.
He sat down, then to the desk and picked up a sheet of paper
and a pen.
"Dear Dad,
I just received a letter from one of our relatives in northern
England, saying that our family is in dire straits. She wrote that
if my mother were alive, they would help. I thought a lot. Under
the circumstances, I felt it my duty to try to do what mom would
do. So I decided to go to them and find out what's wrong. I know
it will be uncomfortable with our friends, but I beg to apologize
to them for me. After all, there were many calls we receive in the
coming weeks.
I look forward to understanding su.Do not know why I'll need
time to get quan missing, but I promise to return as soon as
possible.
I love you, Dad, and I know you love me too. I'll miss our
conversations and our rides for Rotten Row. I'm sure I would
have done the same in my place. The world, unfortunately, was not
created solely for our amusement. I was enjoying the long balls
and parties that are happening this season, but duty called me.
I will pray every night that my absence will not spill.
His daughter, Sandra. "
Sandra read and reread the letter to make sure he did not
commit any error. Then folded the paper and put it in an envelope
and addressed to his father.
The second step would be to look after the luggage.
When she went into her room, two maids were making their
bed. She dismissed those who called him and asked her maid.
- I need to arrange my bags urgently. I was called by one of
my relatives who lives in the north and which is in serious trouble.
Do not forget to include my dress riding and some evening
dresses, if I am invited to some party.
The maid looked at her in amazement.
- Want to travel alone, my lady?
- Yes - Sandra replied. - I'll take me just a groom who want
to dispense as soon as possible. I admit that the call was sudden,
but I'm sure my mother would not refuse to help his family if he
were still alive.
The maid said nothing more. Instead, he opened the
cabinets.
Sandra left her with her chores. I was almost forgetting the
most important. Money! Without money, could not travel. And it
could not resort to loans. If looking for a relative or friend of his
father, he would surely be informed at a glance.
It was unpleasant to use the checkbook from his father, but
she had no choice. He highlighted a sheet and filled out the value
of five hundred pounds, which should be sufficient to cover
spending on food and lodging. Then he imitated her father's
signature. She was so perfect that no one would say that the
check had not been signed in his own handwriting.
With heart pounding, Sandra kept the check in an envelope
and apologized for what his father had done. Then he asked God
to help her so that nothing bad happened to him in his desperate
flight.
CHAPTER II

With the check in the pocket, Sandra walked out the back
door and across the little lawn towards the stables.
As expected, the chief hostler was lunchtime and she found
just the young groom and Jones, the old assistant. According to
his father's orders, the workers were not allowed to leave the
place all at once, as always there might be need to prepare or seal
any horse carriages.
Sandra used to hang out in the afternoons or for shopping or
going to a party or tea.
When they saw the men arose and placed his orders.
- I need to travel - Sandra reported. - I'll take the small
carriage pulled by two horses with me and Jones. Peter should
stay and be with my father. Let the horses are quicker to use it.
You never know when it might be called to resolve some urgent
matter. For me it is sufficient that the horses are healthy and
strong.
- Milady's right. His Lordship is always saying to run. I think
he u break his own record a bunch of times.
Sandra smiled.
- Another reason for not taking the fastest horses. My
luggage is already tidiness m ada.So if you have put hands to work
from this moment, I think everybody will be ready shortly.
Given the order, Sandra returned home by the same path he
had walked a few minutes earlier and was relieved to find one of
the bags in the hall, already fully done.
Jones did not take more than fifteen minutes to bring the
carriage to the main door. Sandra looked at her and nodded his
head with approval. Neither the coach nor the horses were
worthy of admiration. And because they are common, would be
more difficult for people to notice him.
It would be a disaster if his father resolved to follow it and
people will recall the passage of a well-dressed woman in an
elegant carriage drawn by two splendid horses.
If women were interpellated certainly describe the outfit
she was wearing. The men would worry more with the coach and
horses. Thus, she chose the simplest of their dresses to wear on
her trip and also the oldest hat and unattractive. More
specifically, it was the hat he used to walk alone through the
garden, especially when threatened rain.
"I do not want anyone to notice me," Sandra thought. "And
the sooner I leave, the set will be less likely to make me annoying
questions."
Butler appeared in the hall at the moment when Jones kept
the last box on the back of the carriage.
- His decision to travel was very sudden, my lady. I'm sure his
father will be surprised when you get home and not find it. Where
do I say that my lady is speaking?
- I left him a letter on the desk of the library. There are all
explanations. I'm leaving to meet one of my relatives who need my
help. You will recall, my mother never refused to assist those who
begged for his help.
- That's true - the butler agreed. - I wish you a safe journey,
my lady. Hope you come back soon. It's a shame that should be
out just in full season. Invitations to parties and balls were still
coming in every day.
- Yes, I know - Sandra replied with a sigh. - If someone
comes to visit me a call or bring in person, give him my apologies
and know that I will return to London as soon as possible.
Then Sandra Butler said goodbye and climbed into the car
immediately began to move.
Once the house out of sight, Sandra asked Jones to take her
to the seat of Hill Street.
The check was delivered to the box.
- My father asked me to come to cash this check. He said I
should take half the amount in coins.
The box has carefully examined the signature. When he
asked her to wait and disappeared into a room, Sandra felt his
pulse quicken. It was with relief that saw him return to the
window and count the money they split into five smaller bags
containing a hundred pounds each.
As had been preparing for it and brought most of their bags,
Sandra had no difficulty in saving money.
What would be the most dangerous stage of his plan at the
time was surpassed.
Back on the train, she instructed him to get Jones for a road
trip to northern England.
Jones, who was a quiet man by nature, merely to make a sign
of agreement.
The streets were nearly empty that day and that facilitated
their escape. It was a relief to know that was not seen by any
known.
London was soon back. The houses began to move away from
each other and the city soon gave way to the field.
- I got it, but I should not facilitate. My father may have
someone on my tail when I come home late in the afternoon or
evening. Be careful. I must try to guess what he could do to find
me.
So he read the letter, his father probably would believe his
words about it have been called by a sick relative. Soon after,
however, he puzzled the lack of specific details such as name of
relative and their address.
His father knew, of course, the existence of several
relatives of his deceased wife who lived in the north. It was for
this reason that Sandra was sure he would soon send someone to
your search at least to feel relaxed about their security.
Another way to locate it, he would be writing letters to all
the relatives.
The important thing was that whatever alternative is chosen,
it would take time and it was time she needed.
The horses that Jones had chosen and which were hardly
used in the streets of London proved to be good runners, perhaps
because they were rested and well fed.
After two hours of travel, so Sandra has noted with great
satisfaction that were farther than she had expected to arrive.
Small villages occasionally appeared in the countryside, but
they did not stop at no. Sandra did not want to risk the
possibility of someone going to recognize it later.
On his last trip north with his father, had visited the city of
Birmingham and two other cities in development that have not
attracted Sandra for being too busy.
At that time, she was consulting the map.
Farsighted as was his father always kept a map in each of its
carriages. She had learned to be guided by them. Thus, Jones was
able to guide so that it would not be lost on the paths. And she
also knew that the horses should not force or the trip would not
yield, rather than needed.
At noon, he gave orders to stop at an inn where Jones could
have lunch and treat the horses.
- Bring the horses to the back and make sure there is
someone to care for them. Then comes lunch. I want to stay the
least time possible.
- As far as my lady want to go today? - Jones dared to ask a
question for the first time since he left London.
- I'll give you the answer then we both have lunch, but as I
intend to cover a great distance today, try to eat well.
Jones did not seem too pleased with the prospect of a long
and tiring journey, but Sandra did not care. Without giving any
reason for fear that the compromise he turned and entered the
inn.
There was a bar at the entrance that was almost empty at
that hour. In the back, as she expected, there was a small
restaurant.
He went to the table that was nearest the window.
- The view is very beautiful here this time of year - the
waiter said while she pulled a chair to sit. - In winter, however,
some customers commented that the window should remain
closed. According to them, the sight of snow spoil your appetite.
Sandra smiled.
- I think when the appetite is big, a view can not spoil it. Your
clients should take much imagination or they wanted to make a
joke.
- The dish is very tasty today - said the waiter. - And he is
also substantial. If you are planning to have a long journey ahead,
I advise. It's roast beef with potatoes.
- I really need energy. Roast beef with potatoes looks great.
The dish was not as delicious as the waiter promised, but it
was not bad. When you finish eating it, Sandra felt invigorated.
After drinking a cup of coffee, she paid the bill and included
a tip to the waiter. Then he left to meet with Jones.
Both he and the horses seemed more willing after the meal
and rest. Good. She wanted to put a much greater distance
between them and London before nightfall.
Almost four hours later, Sandra Jones and decided that the
horses had already fulfilled its quota.
- Stop at the first hotel we find. We've come many miles
today. Now rest. I'm sure tomorrow, after a good night's sleep,
get to cover a greater distance.
Jones made a motion with his head yes, but not answered.
Should be thinking that she was demanding too much. But how was
an educated man and had been trained for their work, said
nothing.
He slowed down when entering the village below, but found no
such hotel, the journey went on for another few minutes.
It was with relief that they saw one, which looks nice and
clean, periphery.
Sandra opened the map and tried to locate it. His distance
was safe. There was no big city nearby. And to be removed,
owners should not count on many guests.
- I'll come and ask if they have rooms available - she told
Jones. - I hope. You never know when the whole city will be
crowded because of a horse race.
Jones tired of expression was an indication that he was
hoping that the hotel was empty and they did not need to move
forward.
- I have not told you before, but I do not think I use my real
name on this trip - Sandra continued. - Because my father was a
well-known man, people estranharão the lack of a chaperone.
Thus, I want to call me Mrs. Crawshaw in all hotels where we
go.And if someone asks you questions about me being alone, say
I'm a widow.
Jones made a sign of acquiescence.
- I do not think that people prove indiscreet. But as it is
better safe than sorry, I'll call like you asked. After all, their
horses are too attractive not to belong to someone important.
And the lady is young and beautiful. It's really strange to be
traveling without a husband or a chaperone.
- That's what I thought from the start, Jones, and is why we
will sign the record as Mrs. Crawshaw.Remember to tell whoever
it was curious that I'm traveling north responding to a call from
my family.
Sandra entered the hotel, which was easy as she expected. A
gray-haired man came to meet him.
- Good afternoon. How may I help you?
- Good afternoon - Sandra replied. - We are very tired.
There would be rooms available for me and my driver and a barn
where my horses could remake itself?
- Of course, madam. I'll tell my wife that once you prepare a
good bed and a sumptuous dinner.
- This is exactly what I need - Sandra replied with a smile.
- The hotel and the stables are almost empty - the owner
said - but there are occasions when we can not even host all that
we seek, especially when racing.
The owner put a couple on hand to take the luggage to the
room. Sandra, who had pointed out to Jones that the suitcase
would need for that night, followed the charger to the car and
then headed to the first floor of the house.
The room was small but clean and the bed, perhaps because
she was exhausted, looked comfortable and inviting.
Tired and hungry as he was, decided that Sandra would not
change clothes, but just to refresh. A few minutes later, so was
ready to descend to the dining room.
Found your desk tidy by the fireplace. Seeing her, the owner
followed her and offered cold lemonade, since Sandra rather
drink something that does not contain alcohol.
While the dinner was not served, he said that the move went
weak in recent times and that she was his first guest this week.
- I'm sorry and I hope soon to increase its profits.
- Oh, yes. I stopped worrying about money since His Highness
returned to settle in his country house a few months ago. If they
organize races, as he did last year, will have its full complement.
- Who are you talking about? - Sandra asked, distressed. If
the man in question was a friend of his father or the queen, her
secret would be uncovered.
- The Duke of Langford. You may have heard about you and
your horses.
The name actually it was not known, but she was sure had
never been presented to him and who had never attended a single
party.
- It means that His Highness has a racetrack on his land.
- Yes, but it is a private runway. He uses it only with friends.
What I think a lot is that your friends do not care to come from
all parts of the country with their animals when he organizes
races. The first to arrive, or perhaps the closest, are on their
property. Others come to me and also to other hotels in the area,
not many.
Sandra heard the story carefully and struggled to remember
if only his father had made a comment about the Duke.
- He is young? - Sandra could not resist the curiosity.
- Yes, he is very young - the owner replied. - Your older
brother must have inherited the title, but he died along with his
wife in an accident while they were traveling abroad. The county
was in mourning for his memory.
- What a tragic story! - Sandra exclaimed. - Must have been
a terrible shock to the current Duke and for the whole family.
- Mainly for two orphaned children.
- Two children! - Sandra repeated, horrified.
- Yes, the poor Duke is facing serious difficulties with them.
- In what sense?
- They do not obey it. Maybe they are angry at the loss of
parents and decided not to accept it. The Duke cares about their
education. I think he's right. Important people need to study and
learn to behave.
- Of course, the duke is right and you too. How old are the
children?
The man scratched his head.
- I think sixteen. They are twins. - He made a paused and
laughed. - Look like little monkeys.They are always ready to do
some mischief. The poor Duke is unable to control them. Neither
does he live hiring housekeepers. The case has been extended to
public awareness. People make bets on the direction of how long
each new housekeeper will employment.
Sandra's interest began to grow and she asked the hotel
owner will provide more details, especially about horses.
- His Highness the love. His animals are the best in the
county. I always tell my wife that if he resolved to take them to
the south and enroll for the races, his horses would win all the
trophies. But apparently, the Duke prefers to keep them on your
property only for his own amusement.
- It's a shame they do not compete with Derby, but if the
duke arranges his own racing, I have no doubt that their horses
are really good.
Sandra could not stop thinking about her father at that time.
He kept saying it had become difficult in recent times to get
good horses and that when a new issue arose at Tattersall's, the
competition was great.
Sandra used to play with his dad when he regretted having
lost a purchase for another passionate about horses.
- You know, Daddy, this is his greatest weakness.Can not
resist a new acquisition. Remember that you must exercise the
animals and not just buy them. In recent times, you hardly have
ridden with me.
- I know, alive and tried to follow it. But as can be with the
queen and you and my horses at the same time? I can only trust
that you, my dear, will exercise them whenever I can until I can
divide my time between my home and the queen.
- It's what I hope.
Suddenly, Sandra felt a strong desire to see the horses of
the duke. After all, it would be something interesting to tell his
father back home. Perhaps because of his enthusiasm, he would
forgive the trail.
Could return home immediately if he knew that the queen had
found another bride able to prevent the Russians invaded the
Balkans. But how else would find it difficult, at least for the
moment, she needed to conform to remain hidden.
- If you want to see the horses, I advise you to go to the
castle tomorrow very early, because when the Duke is the
exercise in his race track. And a gorgeous spectacle, I assure you.
- Yes I know - Sandra replied. - Secondly, what should I say
to the duke? I can not lie I'm just passing, not to say that I went
there because you told me about the horses.
- I think you're right. It would sound very strange. However,
if you do not look for and ask permission, you can not see the
horses. The hedges are high and the property is fenced with
barbed wire.
Sandra did not know what to say. Had been impressed with
the history of the hotel owner and would like to find an excuse to
see the horses he so praised.
Quite unexpectedly, the man snapped his fingers.
- I had an idea. It may seem strange, but I'll tell you why I
feel I was very disappointed. Can you notice how much like horses.
Those who brought her up here, for example, are magnificent.
- It's true. The horses mean a lot to me. I'm used to riding
every day when I'm home. My father has a great stable.
- He believes that his father's horses are as good as Duke?
- Oh, I do not know and leave sad if you can not compare
them, even through a small opening in the hedge.
The owner cleared his throat.
- As I said, I have an idea but do not know if I should say it.
- Say please.
- Do not spend two or three weeks without a new
housekeeper between the castle.
Sandra looked at him steadily.
- Why do you say that?
- Why is the truth. The two girls do not know nothing and
want to learn anything. Duke has placed ads in newspapers and I
knew he looked at several agencies in large cities. In vain. The
housekeepers, without exception, the claim that the Duke
dispense the early days with the claim that her nieces are
impossible to bear.
The man smiled.
- One of them was here last week and called the girls of imps.
She said she would pray for that the Duke found someone who
could put a bit of opinion in the minds of those girls.
- Do you think they are so terrible as they say? - Sandra
wondered.
- Worst! - Exclaimed the man. - Everyone feels sorry for
Duke. He is young, after all, and should not have to worry about
the daughters of his brother, but in having their own children.
- I'm sorry for him - Sandra confessed - but what interests
me most is to see their horses.
- All you have to do then is go to the castle and say that I
heard that they are looking for a housekeeper who came and
introduce yourself to the job.
- I can not do that! - Sandra protested. - I'm not a
housekeeper and not know how to play the role.
- I would not worry about it instead. In two or three days, I
would have gotten to see the horses and could continue their
journey. - The man paused and snapped his fingers. - You know
what?There need not even accept the job. Say you'd like to talk
personally with the Duke before accepting the job. When they
take the runway, you can examine the horses and then say that he
changed his mind and will not be in the castle.
Sandra was pondering the words of the owner of the hotel.It
seemed incredible that no one could make the children read a
book at all, or take an interest in either subject.
As she did not answer, the man took a deep breath and
asked:
- Why not try?
- Why not? - Sandra agreed.
At this point, she was curious to know the story more closely.
How could two young people prefer ignorance to culture, the love
of a rebellious uncle and the people? And how was it possible that
the Duke was the owner of such wonderful horses without his
father knew of its existence?
She had nothing to lose. Unlike. Besides seeing the horses of
the duke, would have the opportunity to earn some money. It was
not yet decided on what would be their final destination, but was
considering going to Scotland. Not knowing when they could
return home, some days longer in England, in a safe place, would
not you no harm.
- The Duke does not know me. Like never part of the
Southern races, not run the risk of encountering any of the
friends of my father in his lane.
When he lay that night, extremely tired, Sandra recalled a
conversation he had with the hotel owner. I found it difficult
that the Duke had horses so beautiful and expensive as those of
his father. The man could feel impressed because I did not know
better horses. Anyway, no point make conjectures. Need to see
them to reach a conclusion. As for the suggestion that he had
given it to the Duke came to the door and offered as a governess,
she admitted that the idea never crossed his mind.
Before falling asleep, Sandra prayed as he did every night
and spent a quiet night.
In the morning the sun was seeping through the curtains
when Sandra agreed. A rooster crowed. For a moment she could
not remember where I was.
- We've come a long way - she murmured to herself at the
thought of his escape. - I can not continue. I would not be quiet if
they did. I need to see the horses of the Duke and discover
whether or not they constitute a challenge for my father.
Sandra sat on his bed and found, to his surprise, that he had
slept more than usual. It was half past nine.
- Do not understand how Jones has not asked for me. He
knows that I always get up early to ride.
It was quarter to ten when she finally descended to the
dining room.
The breakfast was ready. The aroma of bacon and eggs and
toast whetted her appetite.
- Do not wake up because we have not left instructions to
this effect - said the wife of the owner. - I knew the lady come a
long way yesterday. You were right to rest.
Thank you very much. And her husband? He is not in the hotel
this morning?
- He had to go into town to buy wine. I told the lady that he
fired her, if not come before his departure.
- Actually, I will not go away so quickly. I enjoy the unhurried
meal you prepared and is so tasty as dinner yesterday.
- Will be here for lunch too?
- I hope so - Sandra replied. - I still have one or two things
to do before closing the account.
- I appreciate knowing - the woman said. - My husband really
liked talking with you. Before leaving this morning, he asked me to
tell him to think hard on his suggestion before you decide.
Sandra smiled. She knew perfectly well that suggestion and
said he had admired it by stealth. By the words of the woman, the
conversation was not revealed to anyone.
Before leaving the room, Sandra decided it would be for
lunch.
- I can not lose the opportunity to experience one more of
their dishes.
The woman thanked the meeting and followed Sandra to the
door that led into the funds and to the stable.
The horses were still in the stalls. Upon seeing her, Jones
was embarrassed for not having them tied to the chariot.
- Do not worry - Sandra calmed him. - I'm not in a hurry. The
horses struggled a lot yesterday and deserve an extended rest.
Just like you.
- Thank you, milady. The shadows of the trees are very
inviting and I'm not gonna lie that is not needing a few more
hours off.
Sandra smiled.
- We were lucky to find a hotel so comfortable. We must
seize. Do not think about leaving here until this afternoon.
After talking to the groom, Sandra took a stroll through the
garden. At one point, her eyes were drawn to a tower that should
belong to the castle. I could not see it clearly, but was sure that
was where the Duke lived.
- I feel like walking the neighborhood - she told Jones. - This
place is very nice. Maybe he should stay until tomorrow and not
only until the afternoon.
The houses were scarce. After spending last, Sandra noticed
that the street curved to the right and proceeded without
hesitation. It was hot, but her dress was light and she was
protecting himself with an umbrella that the maid had not
forgotten to include in your luggage.
- I can not stand to wait anymore. I have to see the horses
of the Duke and judge for myself whether or not they are better
than my father.
Not too far from home, Sandra was faced with a huge iron
gate and golden bands. As was open and there was a lookout, she
went for a long road lined by towering oaks.
The property appeared abandoned as silent. However much
he tried to calm down, Sandra felt her heart pounding.
In front came a bridge and she wondered whether to reach
the race track should cross it.
The instinct led to a reduction step.
The thoughts ricocheted through his mind as he went
towards the bridge.
After walking over a long stretch, Sandra had the first sight
of the castle that was undoubtedly the most beautiful he had the
opportunity to see so far.
The flag was hoisted to the Duke, which meant that he was
present.
As she approached, most admired Sandra stayed with the
exuberance of the castle. Many had already visited with his
father, but none of them seemed so wonderful.
The gardens that surrounded him were magnificent.
The sun's rays were reflected in the windows and the
impression was that the old castle was illuminated by the stars.
In front of the castle had a patio with flower beds.
- It's beautiful! - Sandra exclaimed. - Looks like a fairy
castle. If Duke's horses are as perfect as his castle, he is a lucky
man.
As I was approaching the castle and still no signs of people or
horses, Sandra hesitated.
Perhaps it should not take that away surprised and back to
the hotel.
The owner's words echoed in his mind as he prepared to
leave. He was right. Now that she had come to the castle, why
should I give up on seeing the horses?
- I have nothing to lose - Sandra murmured. - If the Duke
comes to me and want me as governess to her nieces, I will tell
you that I will give the answer in two days and tomorrow will
follow the same trip.
Sandra took a few more steps. Everything seemed to be
helping her to see the horses, after all. I could not lose courage.
He mounted the steps leading to the bridge. He was in the
middle of the crossing when he thought there was no turning
back.
- If I was brave enough to run away from home, I will be
brave enough to see the racetrack and the horses! - She took a
deep breath. - If I go back now, without seeing them, I have
nothing new or interesting to tell my father, and I am sure I will
regret for my weakness and my foolishness.

CHAPTER III

Sandra went to the front door and rang the bell of bronze.
As if being expected, the door was opened almost immediately,
not a lackey as was the custom, but by the butler in elegant libre.
- Morning - Sandra greeted. - I was informed that His
Highness is in need of a housekeeper and decided to come by to
see if the vacancy has been filled or not.
The butler seemed surprised at his words.
- No, we're still looking for the right person.
- If so, I could talk with the Duke?
- His Highness is riding at the moment but if you want, I can
introduce her to his nieces.
- It's a good idea - Sandra replied. - So they can tell me what
you want to learn and I'll tell you what I am able to teach,
provided, of course, who wants to listen.
Sandra Butler hesitated and read his thoughts. He was
considering whether or not to tell how the girls were hard or not
and whether it would be appropriate that she behaved differently
from previous governesses.
The man shook his head and asked Sandra to follow him just
as if he had decided that girls could not do him any harm at first.
- It's very kind of you - Sandra thanked and followed him. -
What a magnificent castle! He should like to live here.
- Yes, I really like. Not only me, but everyone who works for
the duke.
- I'm sure.
They were climbing the stairs to the first floor and at each
step Sandra was more admired. Everything in the castle was
glorious. The tables were numerous and valuable. If she could, she
would examine one by one.
"I have to tell Dad about these paintings," she thought. "I
never heard him mention the Duke of Langford, but he must know
it."
Were rising to the second floor now, and the conditions of
the castle and furniture remained impeccable. Some parts were
very old. Should be at the castle since its construction.
- I hope I have chance to meet him in full - Sandra spoke to
herself. - I would tell him about Papa. - She gulped. - If one day
can go home. Or if he wants me.
That thought had been torturing her. She could not
understand, try as I might, by his father agreed to send it to a
distant place where you probably never see him again.
Each time this nightmare came to mind, safer Sandra felt
that he had made the right decision. Never, under any
circumstances, agree to go to the Balkans and marry an unknown
man whose only sense it would represent the gratitude for a pass
against the Russians.
- I have to put that thought aside and forget that I'm
running away from a threat, or the girls will think I'm a grumpy
housekeeper.
The butler stood before a door and waited for Sandra to
catch up.
- The Duke's nieces are here - whispered. - After speaking
with them, they still want the job, I'll be in the hall at your
disposal.
The manner in which the butler said, it was obvious he did not
expect Sandra wanted the job.
Passed through his mind that the Duke should have done
otherwise. Instead of bringing her nieces to the castle, he could
have them registered in a good college or inside or outside of
England and allowed them to learn to behave with others of your
age and not older professors.
The butler opened the door and said, before presenting it:
- A visit to His Highness, but he is not at the time, I brought
her here so they can entertain her.
The information sounded loud and clear. Maybe too high.
Apparently, the girls used to refuse to hear it. Or, so he acted to
prevent what they have countered the effect that they did not
want to see anybody.
The second alternative seemed correct, because as soon as
she stepped into the room, the door was closed behind him.
Sandra looked around. The room was great. Should have
served rather as playroom. Later, perhaps to accommodate the
nieces of the Duke, had been converted into a suite.
The girls were sitting on a sofa near the window. One of them
was still in her nightgown and barefoot. Sandra went across both
staring at them while they were ostensibly the same.
Because they are twins, identical girls expect to find Sandra.
However, one was blonde and the other was a redhead. As for
beauty, both were lovely. It seemed incredible that no governess
knew handle them.
Sandra was a few steps away. Likewise, no one moved.
- Sorry for the unexpected visit, but I'm sure you will
understand my motives if I hear. - Sandra turned to the door, as
if to make sure that nobody could hear her, and whispered: - I
told the steward that I was informed that you were in need of a
housekeeper, but what I really want is to see racetrack and the
horses of his uncle, who are excellent at what I knew.
The two girls were still staring at her. Suddenly, it was the
blonde replied:
- You mean that lady is not a housekeeper?
- No - Sandra replied. - To be honest, I'm on vacation and
want to have fun. What I like best in the world are horses,
especially the fast.
- My uncle has horses and they are very, very fast - the
redhead said.
Sandra sighed.
- Oh, tell me about them. I love to ride and dream about
running, but, as you are female and have noticed men do not leave
us.
The girls laughed.
- Yes - agreed the blonde. - Uncle George always insisted we
set up with calm and prudence.
- Now, why would I not believe you obey him?
The two became a laugh.
- He always pretends surprise when we run, but I think he
got used to our ability and not just force us to ride the horse
tamer.
- I am noticing that you understand me because they love
horses like me. Understand, also, why am I so eager to know the
horses of his uncle, who told me to be the best in the county?
- They really are - one of the girls said.
- But I doubt that Uncle George will give him permission to
build the fastest, if you stay here. We have fought great battles
to exchange the most gentle for the most skittish.
- She's right - the sister said. - Since we arrived here, he
left us to change just because our horses. In this step, only
succeed when we are the fastest to the graveside.
Sandra could not help laughing.
- Maybe it's not recommended to run, but I love it.
- If you want to stay in the castle for that reason alone -
said the blonde - I think my uncle to disappoint.
- What do you think of making a bet that I'll get? - Sandra
proposed. - Of course I have to agree with my stay here in the
first place, or I'll forget this idea of betting.
The sisters looked at each other.
- I'm willing to bet ten shillings a pound or even that I can
convince her uncle to let me ride the fastest of his horses within
two weeks!
The twins stared at, mouths open.
- We accept the bet, but we're confident that you will lose
your money.
- Well, I think you have to pay me and help me in order to get
his uncle in surprise. I find this far better than tire him with
entreaties. What I mean is that I displayed when he least
expected, not just running with your horse, but jumping high
obstacles.
- I think the lady is bragging - the redhead said.
- Maybe, but only because we do not know the track, or
horses, or his uncle. Wait and see.
The sisters turned to look at each other.
- You are very different from other governesses.
Sandra smiled to herself. Was making rapid progress.
Without realizing it, the girls were treating them as equals.
Suddenly, Sandra pretended he was nervous and made a sign
to the twins speak low.
- Be careful! If they find out that I'm not a housekeeper, his
uncle me away and I will not have a chance to prove I'm right.
- Wow, you really are a very strange housekeeper.
- We are tied, then - Sandra said. - I heard that girls are
strange and do not want to learn anything. Is this true?
One of them nodded his head.
- The classes are boring. We just want to learn interesting
subjects.
- I think you are right there - Sandra agreed. - Any person of
common sense must admit that the young need to learn, above all,
to be beautiful, elegant and attractive. Otherwise, how do men
fall in love with us?
- Is that what you think? - One of the girls asked, eyes wide.
- Absolutely - Sandra replied. - All young people dream of
marrying the man she loved and not in studying boring subjects. -
Sandra paused. - Look for yourself. Both are beautiful, but could
become more beautiful and be admired by all.
There was a brief silence.
- What would we do? - Asked one of them.
- The answer is simple. In the first lug r, need to dress
appropriately.I heard that your age is sixteen. There are only two
years, therefore, to report to court and being touted as the most
beautiful debutantes that London has ever seen.
Sandra noted that the twins listened to carefully contained
and a smile.
- It is not easy, but I'm sure that will happen if you follow my
advice.
The blonde sat on the edge of the sofa and propped his chin
in his hands.
- Say exactly what you expect us to do. Sandra looked at one
and then another.
- For starters, your hair does not match their faces. May
make them more attractive if they visit a good hairdresser. In
fact, if I were his housekeeper, I would send the county's best
hairdresser come to the castle once a week to fix them.
- What else? - Redhead asked, interested.
- Clothing. Stylish clothes. If they give attention to clothing,
are considered beautiful in their own county, even before going to
London.
The girls smiled.
- His uncle needed to throw parties at the castle for you to
learn the steps of the dances. I see no reason to wait until he was
eighteen to become a success.
Suddenly, the girls gasped.
- It sounds exciting, but I have the impression that Uncle
George will not approve their ideas and that require us to have
regular lessons through books and we continue to lead this life
dull and monotonous.
- How can they say that life in a castle like this is pretty
bland and boring? - Sandra asked. - Not to mention the horses.
What you need is to learn to say the right words at the right
times and behave with kindness for people to consider the
cheerful, smart and intelligent. - Sandra lowered his voice. - The
people to whom I refer are men. I'm sure that women prefer to
run away from you because of jealousy.
- You are dreaming too high - one of the twins said. - I do not
think we will be able to behave in this way.
- But of course it will! - Sandra said. - I'll prove it to you.
Since I want here to help them. Otherwise, continue to be equal
to the entire world.
- You are telling us a fairy story, but the truth is that we
want to believe their promises. If you are able to become a
success, then we are ready to learn its lessons.
- I agree - said another.
- Then listen - Sandra asked. - The most important thing is
being smart. If they say your uncle that I intend to teach them
like never before and that my goal is to make them even more
beautiful and interesting to conquer all the men they meet on
their way, he turn me away instantly.
Sandra looked back at the door.
- Sixteen, people think they're still children and we should
not be heard. I will make are not only heard, but admired. Soon all
the youth of the county are imitating them. So they do not win, it
is essential that they become more interesting and smart.
- In what way?
- Do not think you are going too fast? - Sandra joked. - Still
not even know if the Duke will accept me as his housekeeper. And
so it will not let me go if I get the job, you have to pretend they
are learning all the materials that schools INAM ens.At the same
time, I'll tell them exciting stories and preparing them to debut
in the Court within two years.
- It sounds too good to be true - one of them said.
- But it's true - Sandra said. - Do not find it interesting to
learn to speak properly for all men to admire and applaud?I advise
them, however, to be nice and gentle with women, too. After all,
do not want enemies, do they? And finally, when his uncle asked
what they are learning, they should respond that they are
learning all that is necessary for women to become special.
- How?
- I'll tell you how in due time - Sandra replied. - It will be
quite an adventure, eh?
The twins made a motion with his head yes.
- We are willing to try. We will hear their advice and will do
everything in order. But be advised that our uncle is not an easy
man.
- She's right - the sister confirmed. - I think he's tired of
hearing complaints from our housekeepers and is thinking of
sending us to boarding school to get rid of us.
- If he wanted to get rid of us, it would have done - the
other replied. - He knows that Mom was against it because he
studied in boarding schools and was a very unhappy. She said that
the schools are for boys and girls should study in their own homes
with their families.
- I agree with her - Sandra replied. - But I'm not against all
types of colleges. I studied in France at half-time and enjoyed
having many friends.
- You mean you know France?
- Oh, yes, I lived there for several years and learned a lot,
mainly to talk to people and stimulate them with interesting
topics and fun.
- Oh, please, teach us to be like you! We are sure that your
lessons will be unlike anything we had experienced.
- Remember they need to get people to pay attention to your
conversations. A good start is the praise. Everyone likes to be
considered charming and attractive, especially men.
- T io George always tells us to behave in front of his
friends.But he rarely invites us to attend their dinners. He thinks
we are too young.
- Leave it to me. I'll talk to him about it. As for you, try to
dress up and act as if they were older than men to consider the
attractive women and not girls with nothing silly in the head.
The twins laughed at the remark.
- We will do what you say. It'll be fun.
- Of course it will - Sandra vowed. - Although it may be
unable to stay long here, I'm sure that will be the most charming
debutantes and ordered from London in two years. More than
that. If you follow my guidance, will have all the young people
most beautiful of the season at his feet, begging me to marry
them.
- I can not wait to see this day. Uncle George has a big
surprise. He will end up forgetting that he had nieces difficult
and annoying.
- I'm sure of it, but for this to happen, will have to convince
him that these things are not. Unlike. Need to praise him and
spoil him. He'll be so happy and surprised that will soon be
praising them and spoiling them too.
The girls cheered.
- None of governesses taught us these lessons.I think I know
why. They do not know how you be interesting. That is why we
have become governesses. Neither man wanted to marry them!
- Perhaps this is the answer - Sandra whispered, mindful of
their situation. - I can tell you a secret?But first I want a
promise that they will not tell anybody anything.
- We promise - the twins replied in unison.
- I ran away from home because I was afraid my father would
oblige me to marry a man she did not love. No one can know I'm
here. I do not want to find me and take me back.
There was silence. The girls listened, astonished.
- If I stay in the castle, I need your help if they start asking
questions about me. And I hope you join me in riding horse, or his
uncle will not give permission for me to close the stables.
- Stay calm. We love to ride.
- But first, we had our first lesson and that includes an
inspection in wardrobe and a visit to the best and most expensive
hair salon in the county.
The girls got up from the couch of a jump and started
running toward the bedroom.
- Wait a minute - Sandra called them. - Are missing the most
important.
What?!
- I still do not know if his uncle will accept me as a governess.
You must take me to the track and the stables where he stands.
- What should we say?
- I myself will tell you that I am a candidate for the job.
- And if he does not want?
- Show me wishing that permanence and are willing to learn
what I have to teach them.
- Okay!
Like Minnie, the redhead was still in her nightgown, Sandra
came down with Betty, who was already dressed.
- I find the two minutes with my riding habit -: Minnie
promised.
- So do not waste any more time. I still have to go back to
the hotel and ask the groom to bring my luggage. If you stay with
the job.
- Of course it will - Minnie guaranteed. - We want to never
want another governess. I'm just afraid that Uncle George to
judge too different.
- Maybe not. Maybe he feels relieved to have got more a
woman willing to take care of his nieces.
- I hope so. Do not want to take classes with those women
who only give us accounts and force us to memorize lists with
names of kings and queens. It is very monotonous.
- I do not think - Sandra replied. - Some of these kings and
queens left very interesting stories. You have to learn something
about our country. What would you say if a soldier would take
them to dance at a party and then wanted to talk a little?
I don't know.
- For starters, they could say they admire the soldiers
because they are very important.
- And if we do not admire them?
- Treat them as if they admire really. Courtesy should always
be present. In return, they will do everything to please them.
Betty smiled and put her hand in the crook of the arm of
Sandra.
- You do not look like the others we had governesses. It's
smart and funny.
- You must also be, especially with his uncle, or he turn me
away.
- How should we proceed so that he will be convinced you're
right and the other governesses wrong?
- The best way to attract someone's praise. Say he is an
amazing person.And remember to laugh whenever he makes a
joke.
- I confess I never thought about doing it - Minnie replied. -
But I promise to follow all their advice. It was horrible to live
here until you arrive. And our uncle should think the same. His
greatest desire to be rid of us.
- Why would he still did not? - Sandra asked herself more.
- Perhaps because fugiríamos warned that at the first
opportunity if the school is not pleased us.
The explanation given was so firmly that violence and Sandra
understand the situation. The Duke did not dare to enroll in a
college nieces for fear of scandal that would cause them if they
fulfilled the promised and were lost.
Sandra and Betty fell to the ground floor and out through a
side door towards the stables.
After crossing the garden and glimpse a part of the stables,
Sandra felt even more willing to see the horses. The stables were
spacious and modern. Inside, were also well-cared for. She toured
the stalls and was surprised at why each one passed. Each horse
looked more beautiful than the last.
I was wondering what seemed to be the fastest of all when
he heard voices and turned around.
A tall, handsome man was talking to Betty and Minnie, who
should have just arrived.
- I went through the castle and Walters said they were in
the stables with a visitor.
- Mrs. Crawshaw is our new governess - Betty said. - She
asked to see their horses.Was very impressed with what he was
told about them.
At that moment, Sandra approached the door.
- I decided to introduce me to his castle, my lord, because he
knew he was finding it hard to hire a governess for his two nieces.
- Sandra paused and smiled. - However, I am so delighted with
the beauty of their horses that I think perhaps it would be useful
if your highness will work as stable.
While Sandra was speaking, the twins did not fit into each
other in amazement. And the astonishment grew further when
she went after hearing the comment of his uncle.
- I realize that like to ride, but to be frank, these horses
that are mounted just seen only by me.
- Let me say it's very selfish on his part. The horse is in the
last pen, for example, is magnificent and I'm sure it's even faster
than those usually found in Rotten Row or at racetracks.
The Duke smiled.
- Really hit me. But by being too fast, Lightning is dangerous
both for you and for my nieces.
- It is a challenge? - Sandra asked. - Or are you just bragging
about it to me cause envy?
This time the Duke laughed.
- The truth is that I hate to see lightning knocking it over,
what he has done with several of my friends and riders who call
themselves experts in racing.
- It's what I like to see - Sandra said. - Therefore, I implore
you not send me away before I see your track and the rest of
their horses.
- I have no intention of sending her away - the Duke
answered. - If it is as good a teacher as a conversation, I am sure
that will arouse the interest of my nieces.
Betty, who was listening in silence up to that point, used to
say:
- We want her to stay, Uncle George. She can teach us things
we never learned before.If you agree to hire her, we promise
that you will not regret.
Duke proved to be perplexed.
Sandra smiled to herself. It was obvious he had never seen
her nieces speak with such enthusiasm, especially with a view to
learning and living with a new housekeeper.
- True, it has something new to teach them? - The Duke
wanted to know.
- Yes, yes, and I am sure that your highness will be pleased
with the result. For this to happen, however, ask that you not
interfere with my methods. The reward will come when you least
expect it your highness.
The perplexity was visible in the eyes of the Duke who was
the handsomest man that Sandra had ever seen.
Finally, as if suddenly noticing that the conversation should
be happening in another room than in his stables, Duke proposed:
- I drove to the castle, there a few moments to tea. When
Walters told me about his visit and about the girls, I decided to
find them. I now invite them to accompany me to continue our
conversation with more comfort.
- It's a great idea - Sandra agreed. - Later, we assemble
some of their horses?
- Yes, but I make sure to pick them personally and do not like
my nieces Ride alone.
- They have told me about it and lament their excessive
caution. Apparently, his nieces inherit her passion.
The Duke smiled.
- Did I detect that same passion in his voice?
- Absolutely! I learned to ride about the same time I learned
to ride. I'm not afraid of running or jumping.
The Duke shook his head, as if not believing his ears.
- The lady is really different from all the governesses who
have performed here. I wonder if the same is available in two
weeks.
- I say yes, provided, of course, allow me to run with his
horses.
- I'll think about it while we had tea, okay?
The three left the stables and headed for the castle. The
Duke made her come, not by the side door he had left, but the
front door.
That should be the most beautiful part of the castle. The
music room in particular was amazing. There was a grand piano on
a platform and other instruments, all looking like new.
- I find that listening to music.
- It's true that my nieces and I want to learn to play an
instrument. Could you teach them? - He asked.
- I think I can play better than teaching, but I think I am
able to at least help them to develop musical taste. If possible, I
wish they had free access to this lovely room.
- And the first governess who asks to use this room - the
Duc said. - There is a piano in the rooms they occupy, and I
confess that I never heard any chord.
- Must be an old piano. I bet your niece will feel more
enthusiastic if they can hear the magnificent sound of this model
that was launched just two
years.
- How do you know? - The Duke asked. - I believe only three
people have this brand and model of piano in England. I was first,
followed by two friends.
Sandra had seen a piano like that while living in France, but
chose not to make any comment about it.
- Your Highness is fortunate to count on a piano like this.
Music is important because it speaks to the heart and often says
more than words.
The Duke looked at her in silence for a moment.
- Need I say where and why they came. My impression is that
an angel brought directly from heaven.
Sandra just smiled.

CHAPTER IV
After tea, which went up in joyous and festive atmosphere,
the Duke invited Sandra to meet the castle.
- It's what all people who come here want to do first.
- What should not surprise you - Sandra replied. - The little
that I had the opportunity to see let me dazzled, especially the
paintings. It is rare to find such magnificent works in England.
- He speaks as if he had traveled and seen tables outside.
Sandra realized he had made another mistake.
- I was in France. As you may know, there are important art
museums in the country.
- If you know them, the collection I inherited from my
ancestors did not impress much.
- Your Grace is mistaken. From what I see, your pictures are
beautiful. Incidentally, I intend to teach history to his nieces.
Not just art history but also world history. I find it particularly
interesting to learn about the kings and queens, who are people
who have lived differently from us, but they also experienced the
love and lust.
- I confess I never thought about it.
- But what I intend to do. For his nieces to succeed, and I
know I will, because they are very beautiful, it is essential to
know the history of people who contributed to the formation of
our country and what influenced the change in our world in one
way or another. The Duke was beside himself with amazement.
- It's a housekeeper different, whether it is really a
housekeeper.
- I try to be human above all else - Sandra replied. - I find it
important that all too aware of it. Most people do not understand
their own feelings. In my opinion we should learn to judge who are
our friends and who are our enemies.
At that moment, the Duke showed him the ballroom, which
was even more beautiful than imagined Sandra.
The pictures on the fireplace should be the most beautiful in
England.
- They are fantastic! - Sandra exclaimed. - Anyone that has
bought and decorated the walls must have been inspired by the
stars.
- I've shown these pictures, which were purchased by my
great-aunt, a large number of people. None of them had their
sensitivity. Thank you very much.
Sandra smiled.
- Nice to hear you talk like that. It's like I want to teach her
nieces to behave. Gently. I'm determined to turn them into
debutantes of the year's most admired, not only for its beauty,
but by culture.
- If you are able to fulfill its promise, is an extraordinary
person - the Duke answered. - In the past I used to say that
women in general are very ignorant and know that only talk about
themselves and the lives of others.
- That was not kind - Sandra replied. - Makes me think that
your highness was wounded in love and began to despise women
from that era.
The duke made a significant gesture that would rather not
talk about it.
- You scare me. At the same time, I feel like being at his side
and, if possible, to help her win.
- I hope in both directions. I confess I enjoyed his nieces
and I want to stay here to see them blossom as bright and
irresistible women. But what most want is to know your racetrack
and his other horses.
- You'll see them tomorrow - the Duke answered. - I'll give in
one of them and show you the track and the obstacles.
- I'll be counting the hours - Sandra replied. - But please,
continue to show me his castle, which is so beautiful it seems to
have emerged from the pages of a book. Who built it must have
been a very unusual person.
- And what I think - the Duke agreed. - Despite being huge, it
is easy to be careful and very comfortable.
After showing the Sandra the ballroom, the duke took her to
the gallery, which was the site that left almost hypnotized.She
came to stand before a table and talking to herself.
- As the ancestor of the Duke had the good fortune and good
taste to get a picture of the artist when he painted only a
handful of screens before dying in a duel?
The duke, who wished to tell the same story Sandra, his eyes
widened in amazement. He had never seen a housekeeper with so
much knowledge.
The same was happening with Betty and Minnie, who followed
the adults, saplings and perplexed.
- Your Highness is lucky to have pictures like these. I would
spend hours examining every one of them without getting tired.
How to know the history of each of the painters who made them
and paint each of the screens, I'm sure your nieces will enjoy
coming to this gallery as much as I do.
- If you tell us a story, we will like to learn about the
paintings and painters - one of the twins said. - The latest
housekeepers just wanted us to know the dates of the paintings
and the names of painters, without saying whether there was a
reason why they were created.
- Of course there was a reason - Sandra said before that the
Duke had time to say something. - The artists paint with their
hearts. They transfer to the brush and canvas for your feelings
and your desires. When you get overwhelmed at a table and feel
good to see him, the artist painted it lovingly. Instead, when you
think that a painting is ugly and loathing for him, the artist
painted it with anger, disappointment or sadness.
- Is there really a story behind every picture? - Betty asked.
- Sure there is - Sandra guaranteed. - If your uncle never
thought about it, or if in doubt about my words, I suggest a
consultation with the books on the subject. I promise that this
form of learning is much more interesting than memorize lists of
dates. My proposal is to discover what painters feel when they
created certain frames. The feelings are always present. Never
mind that the screens were painted on the date of yesterday or a
century ago.
The Duke made a motion with his head yes.
- I think is right. Moreover, there are many painters in this
room whose lives have not been particularly blameless. I wonder if
you want to comment inappropriate actions with my nieces.
Sandra did not answer immediately.
- I think you forgot your Highness, that her nieces are
getting girls. Before entering the world that awaits them in two
years, I believe that they should learn to discern between good
and evil, and imitate what is right and ignore what is wrong.
The sisters looked at her uncle with anxiety, as if fearing
that he could dispense with the new housekeeper not to accept
your ideas.
He turned serious for a moment but then smiled.
- You are right. I never thought in that light. I admit that
there deep in thought and decided to tackle what most people
would rather keep hidden.
- Such is life - Sandra said - and we must live it. What I
teach her nieces is that life can be difficult sometimes, but that
if we use our intelligence and our good sense all times will be
worthy to be lived.
- It's very smart.Have answers for everything. Thus, I will
not contradict them or provoke discussion. Like my nieces, I will
answer them in order to learn facts that did not know existed.
- Thanks for the compliment - Sandra murmured. - Always
remember him fondly.
- I hope you have success with my nieces. Only God knows
where their thoughts will lead them, as it is impossible. But I'm
willing to take the risk.
The girls cheered.
- Ra And that's what we wanted to say!The new governess has
new ideas and give us lessons fun. With it we'll feel more inclined
to run away.
- I hope not, as I hope they do not get too smart to the point
that men flee from his presence because they know more than
them.
- I promise it will not happen. They will learn that men are
wonderful and they should respect them. - Sandra lowered his
voice. - But because women are dangerous, it is always advisable
that men treat them with kindness and charm.
The Duke smiled again.
- I feel that my nieces really expect to turn and make them a
success. What I fear is that they become too smart and they
start laughing at all men.
- They need to be foolish to behave this way. I will teach
that men are always right, they are the most important creatures
in the world and therefore must respect them and obey them.
- I can not imagine the fury they provoke in the ballrooms of
London when talking as if they put the lady.
- They cause delusions because they are adorable - Sandra
replied. - All who dance with them not be content with a single
song. They find it so compelling that not turn away even for a
moment.
- Well, as I said, do not intend to interfere in their methods,
but I confess that I am uneasy to think what could happen in two
years.
- Be sure that as they are beautiful and cultured, nieces, will
be the subject of the season. In addition to receiving invitations
to all the dances and parties, they will receive more marriage
proposals than any other rookie. - Sandra paused and looked at
the duke with a twinkle in his eye. - If you do not believe me, I am
prepared to wager that I can beat him in a race with any one of
their horses.
- My answer is no - the duke replied emphatically. - For the
simple reason that you can earn. If you want to make a bet, then
I challenge with one of the pictures of my gallery.
- And I bet a horse that is almost as fast as lightning -
Sandra replied.
Both the Duke and the twins let out a gasp of astonishment.
- It's a big gamble, uncle. You have to accept!
- Well, I accepted - the uncle agreed - because I am sure of
my victory.
Sandra smiled at the twins.
- I hate to give one of the horses from my father, why am I
need to win. You must help me.
- We will help you. We will work day and night to prove to
Uncle George that he is wrong and you're right.
- It seems that you managed to captivate them for real. They
prefer to believe in his words than in mine. With its methods,
captured their imagination.
- Your Highness is right on the imagination. It is a battle that
we face. It may seem impossible, but his nieces will surprise you
with the immense success that will be in London society.
Sandra spoke so enthusiastically applauded the twins.
- And what we want, Uncle. You will be proud of us. As Mrs.
Crawshaw believes, we will cause a tremendous impact in London.
The duke took a hand to his head.
- I can not believe this is happening. The world made a
comeback in the last hour. This castle was silent and sad now is
full of light and laughter. It seems unreal. You must be a fallen
angel from heaven.
- What I can say is that where his nieces are really willing to
follow my advice, I agree to work here.
- Please let us not even think about. His arrival at the castle
which was the most unusual happened to me since the inheritance
that my brother left me. Still can not believe that is not
dreaming.
- This is not a dream but reality - Sandra said. - I hope you
forgive me if I ask you to do some changes in their habits. My
first request is to allow your niece to accompany the meals from
the day after tomorrow.
- From the day after tomorrow? - Duke repeated, surprised.
- It is time that calculation is necessary to prepare them -
Sandra explained. - I want to take them shopping tomorrow if
Your Highness will give me permission.
- Of course I take. I am ready to bear all costs.
- That means no need to think about saving? The new
governess was very shrewd and Duke felt like laughing your way.
- Say I'm willing to be generous, but not too much.
- Thank you, my lord - Sandra replied. - I hope you
understand that this is one of the most important movements of
the game. After all has age and experience and is compelling
enough to know that the appearance of a woman is often more
important than their ideas. But if both factors are combined, the
success is sure.
- Okay, the lady won! - The Duke raised his hands up. - Do not
worry about expenses. I have the impression that my money is not
wasted.
- I promise I will not.
The twins went to their rooms as if they gain a new life.
Never had so much liked to live with his uncle.
Later, Sandra told Jones that they would both be staying at
the castle for some time.
- I thought that my lady could not resist the horses and the
racetrack.
- And a chance that I can not lose - Sandra replied. -
Remember, though, that I am here under the name of Mrs.
Crawshaw and that I am a housekeeper.I do not think my father
think about looking for me. But can it pass through the castle just
to ask Duke if he had news of some young man who was traveling
alone to the north. My fear is having no time to hide.
- I have not told anyone about his true iden tity.If he asks
questions, people can only say that they saw a woman named Mrs.
Crawshaw.
- Thank you, Jones. I knew I could count on you.
- Yes, you can trust me.
- I trust and thank you for bringing me here. I think it will be
good for both of us stand for a few days and admire the horses
of the duke.
- They are splendid - Jones agreed. - I hope that my lady is
allowed to ride them.From what I heard in the village, His
Highness is very demanding and careful with their pets and not
allow them to ride his nieces.
Those words have sharpened even more the wishes of Sandra
to run with the fastest. But do not dare to anger the Duke. She
felt safe in the castle and did not want to risk losing their jobs.
If his father to follow, never imagined to find her working as
a housekeeper at the castle, much less of an unknown duke. His
security was what mattered most. Just thinking about being sent
to the Balkans by the queen, she began to tremble.
- I will not! - Sandra exclaimed. - With the help of God and
the angels, I'll be perfectly safe in this place and never goes
through the mind of the duke I'm not who I pretend to be.
Sandra got up early the next day and headed to the stables.
As expected, there was nobody there except the groom who
had spent the night watchman and was watering the horses when
she arrived.
He was rubbing his eyes, very sleepy, and she decided to take
the opportunity to choose the horse. I wanted to take a walk
before the Duke rose. But he dared not look at the famous
Lightning.
He chose what was in the stall next door and it seemed
almost as fast. The board said that it was called Thunder.
Being accustomed to saddle their own horses, Sandra sealed
it alone.
Once set up, he realized he had made an excellent choice.
The animal seemed so eager to run as her and took her to the
track which lay beyond the paddock and it was as good as the
people said.His father certainly approve. The obstacles were
placed in strategic places and perfect.
Sandra leaned over the horse and whispered in his ear.
- How am I doing something wrong, I hope you help me not
look like a fool, let me fall or dropping one of the obstacles.
Remember that I'll come back every day and who will I choose it
if I'm not disappointed.
As he spoke, Sandra stroked the animal's neck. It was with
joy that she jumped over the first hurdle, when you actually
started to enjoy. After three spectacular jumps, Sandra agreed
that the Duke had reason to be proud of their horses. Thunder,
at least, was one of the best horses that ever ridden.
She reached the finish line, turned around and went back to
jumping.
After the sixth hurdle, he saw the Duke watching from a
distance.
It was still too early to the twins get up, but Duke was
probably like her. He liked to ride in the early hours, when the
sun came up in the window as an invitation.
As they approached the Duke, Sandra was preparing for the
storm that could trigger.
She stood before him and waited, quiet and a little fearful.
- I've never seen a woman ride like the lady.How is this
possible? - He asked, amazed, and she sighed with relief.
- Sorry, could not resist trying out his remarkable race
track.It was as if she were calling and m.I had to obey.
- After seeing what he can do, I understand. Sandra's eyes
shone with joy.
- Are you serious? Do not get angry?
- Actually I was furious when he learned he was out to ride
alone with no one to help her if necessary. Now I know that I
need not have worried. Where in the name of God, learned to ride
as well?
- I ride as a child - Sandra explained. - My father had
excellent horses. That's why I could not resist the temptation.
- Was his father who taught her to ride? What were their
horses?
- At the moment, I just want to talk about their - Sandra
interrupted. - Thunder is great. It should feel very proud of him.
- I feel - the Duke agreed. - What was not expected that a
woman could ride it and show off with such grace and
competence.
Sandra smiled.
- This is a real compliment that I appreciate. I would like to
welcome you in writing.
- That's impossible - the Duke replied. - Do not write nor
speak to others about it. I never allowed women ran into my lane
because it is very dangerous and do not intend to change his mind
in the future.
- Would not I be an exception? - Sandra pleaded.
- How can I deny a request from him when I saw the
perfection with which rides? To be honest, I've never seen
anyone ride as well. If you had told me yesterday about what he
would do, I would consider something prohibited by impractical.
- Your track is the most beautiful and well made I have ever
seen - Sandra praised. - No wonder people make comments about
it.No wonder neither them say their horses are a success.
- I appreciate your words, but I understand the intention
that lies behind them.
Sandra could not help laughing.
- If I get up early so that people can not see, I can continue
enjoying your track?
- Can you follow me now - the Duke answered - since it really
keep secret.This track is too dangerous for beginners in the
sport and even for those who know how to ride. Other women
could have their legs broken or hurt one of my horses. Its
performance is unique. I can not believe it's a creature of flesh
and bone. Make himself beloved by my nieces, who all claim to be
impossible for children to handle.Now, I see riding one of my
horses without my permission, but I can not annoy me. In what
way?
- Glad to hear it - Sandra replied. - And now, allow me to
follow before someone sees me and claim the same privilege.
- Yes, come on.
Then the Duke jumped over the first hurdle and Sandra
wanted to applaud you, as the perfection of movement. Then he
jumped on the second. Only then she imitated him.
Mr. Wilson: Hi yes Id consider selling direct to you! The skirt
is on its way & was posted so should reach you soon!! I will look up
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back to you. Kindest Regards LOLITA J A thousand thanks! -
Sandra thanked the approach of the duke. - This morning was the
most exciting of my life. If I can not repeat this experience, at
least I can save the images in my memory until my last day of life.
- More exciting and more dangerous, you mean - the duke
said, by Sandra shook it a nod.
- I ride almost since I learned to take the first few steps
first.Although my father had not a clue as good as yours, I had
the opportunity to have great lessons.
- As I said, is the first time that I allow a woman to use. I
insist that you keep it a secret.
- I understand and I urge you not to worry. And it is still
early, we could ride a little while Highness shows me his
magnificent property?
- Of course - the Duke agreed.
Followed by the fields until they reached a wood cut by a
lovely creek. In this passage, due to narrowing of the track, they
needed to be placed in single file.
Inside the woods was a clearing with a small lake.
- When he was little - Sandra whispered, once again alongside
the Duke - he believed that there were mermaids in the lake?
- How did you guess?
- We had a place like this in my house and I believed that
mermaids and fairies slept during the day and woke at night to
dance on the lake. I tried the mushroom in each that rose.
- This is one of the stories I heard as a child and what I miss
most - the Duke confessed. - If you ever have a son, I'll bring him
here and tell the same story that so fascinated me.
- I think you're right - Sandra replied. - I used to make
requests to them and most of them have been met.
- I can say the same - the duke said - but people would laugh
at us by our superstition, if we told
them.
- What do they think does not matter. The important thing is
that everything around you seems really a fairy tale. The castle,
horses, racetrack, and now the fairies. I'm afraid to wake up and
discover it was a dream.
- No, it is no dream. The lady is the answer to one of the
requests and did not intend to let her go. If you try to leave us,
I'll have to look for it and beg to come back.
The way in which the Duke spoke was so intense that Sandra
had not courage to sustain it look. A strange heat rose to her
face and lacked air.
They continued walking in silence and Sandra could no longer
stop to think that this adventure was to be something different
than she expected.
The Duke was a fascinating man. It was like no other I knew,
both London and the countryside. And she was so happy in her
castle, in his company and nieces did not want to go home.
- Please God - she prayed quietly - help me for this moment
to never end.
Were returning to the castle. She realized this when he
noticed in the distance, the flag waving at the top of the central
tower. And the way the rising sun has been shining the flag as an
answer to his prayer.
CHAPTER V

The Duke had an appointment that night, but before leaving


he warned Butler that the new housekeeper and nieces dine in the
room. The meal was a fun opportunity for girls Sandra. Even the
butler, in general very seriously, was forced to retire several
times to not get caught grinning.
When saying goodbye, the girls gave an affectionate kiss on
Sandra.
- We like you because it's wonderful. We are loving having
her here with us. What do have planned for tomorrow?
- If I tell, you will not get to sleep anxiety. Why not lie down
and rest for we ride early? - Sandra paused for a moment. - I'm
not willing to take them to the track, nor to the place you usually
go, but for the fields that stretch out of sight, where you will
find new attractions.
- Hopefully soon dawns - said one of the girls. They were
made to kiss before heading Sandra the room.Sandra followed
them. It was a long time since I felt so happy. Incidentally, do not
remember having felt so ever in London.
The image of the Duke came to mind at the moment when the
sheets are curled.He was the most interesting man she had ever
met. It had no doubt.
The men who met in London were full of pomp and pride. Most
looked at each other as if they were not worthy to breathe the
same air. When he deigned to talk with people was just to
showcase their titles or positions they occupied important at
Windsor Castle.
The duke, however, bore himself with naturalness. She had
not heard boasting of his title or his wealth. And far less than
what he was doing well to take the daughters of his brother.
- It is an unusual guy. Do good and do not brag. What I most
hope for at this moment is that Dad does not find me, if you're
looking for me. If this happens, I will not have alternative but to
flee again and this time further afield, perhaps to Scotland.
Sandra was willing to make any sacrifice to not be delivered
to a Balkan prince as her savior.
The memory made her sigh. Prince does not want to think
about waiting for the bride who never came, nor the Queen and
his anger when it was informed that she had disappeared.
When he managed to fall asleep, Sandra gave fresh hope that
tomorrow would be as exciting as the day outside.
Sandra woke early to the sound of singing of birds that
seemed to call it.
- If you want to ride horses faster than usual, so I better
call the girls and bring them into the fields where Duke did not
think of looking for us. If we delay, he may insist that only
trotted around the paddock and forbid us to explore other parts
of the property.
Sandra wore her riding habit and was the fourth of the
twins.When he opened the door, had the pleasant surprise of
finding them almost ready.
- I was thinking of calling it - said Betty - but feared that
Minnie got angry. One of the housekeepers who worked there
hated being awake early.
- I do not care - said Sandra. - So if I happen to lose one
day's time, please knock on my door.
- Let? - Minnie proposed. - I do not want to risk going down
after Uncle George and he usually get up early. If we find our
plans go down the drain and we must be content to ride the same
pang of time.
- If your uncle to hear about it - Sandra scolded the girl -
will punish us all, preventing us from riding.
- It would be horrible. - Betty sighed. - We better get out
soon, on tiptoe, so that nobody would hear us in the castle.
The three walked down the hall and down the stairs in
accordance with the suggestion of Betty, and went out into the
garden by the side door to the shortest path to the stables.
Sandra As expected, the stables were being saved only by
the young groom in charge of watching the horses during the
night.
They already were finishing the saddle animals when he has
chosen for their attendance.
Although yearned to bring Thunder, Sandra managed, it
would be unfair to be taken by one of the best and fastest horses
of the duke, when his nieces would be unable to accompany her.
Thus, she chose three good horses that would be considered
fast in accordance with normal standards, but not fast enough for
her and the duke.
Betty and Minnie were so enthusiastic that they kept
laughing and talking. So is the first time he would ride a real,
without being guided by old housekeepers who could not do
anything but fulfill the orders of Duke.
Moreover, Sandra knew what he was doing could lead to
unpleasant consequences, and sought to move the girls a sense of
responsibility.
- Are we wrong in our behavior to take advantage of what
others are sleeping in order to escape the surveillance. We must
be very careful. If we hurt or hurt the horses, we never allowed
to ride them.
- We understand and we promise to be careful.
- So remember to control the reins. If we make a mistake,
you may never feel the taste of this kind of adventure.
- We will not turn away from his side. We will do just what
you have.
Sandra went ahead without saying another word. The
previous day had seen fields of corn cultivation and thought it
would be in danger if they could run through the passages in
which the feet had been cut.
As they walked there, Sandra peered the way we rode the
sisters and their concern has decreased. Both were expert
Amazons and were following it as promised.
"I love these girls," Sandra thought, "despite having just met
them. They are kind and intelligent. I do not understand how
other governesses conque ist failed them. "
Upon arriving at a piece of property where the vegetation
was taller and therefore gave them greater coverage, Sandra
suggested that followed into the woods.
The girls made a motion with his head yes and smiled.
- Have you been here before? - Sandra asked Betty, who was
who was closest.
- No, never - Betty replied. - Always ride just for the
paddock and the fields around you. I confess I had no idea that
the property of Uncle George was so big and there was a grove in
its fields.
- This is just one part of the property. There is much to be
explored - Sandra said. - But I wanted to bring them here
because I think this is magic and beautiful woodland that there
are fairies living among the trees.
The girls stared agape.
- Why do you think that?
- I will answer them when we reach the small lake that is in
its clearing.
The twins continued to follow Sandra, barely able to contain
her curiosity.
- I'm sure that there are fairies here - Sandra told -
because this lake is very similar to what was in my house when I
was little. The fairies came out to dance in the evening and left
marks on the ground when collected.
- Do you really believe in fairies? - Betty asked.
- Of course I do - Sandra replied with conviction.
- Who believes is sensitive. Take the great writers, painters
and musicians, for example.They are inspired by fairies and write,
compose and paint over them. They claim that they exist to help
us be happy. They are fools who refuse to believe in its existence.
- I confess I have always believed in fairies - Betty assured -
but he said it to one of the housekeepers, she called me stupid
and said that fairies do not exist and never existed.
- In some she said that angels do not exist - Sandra
continued. - While we can not see them, I firmly believe that they
live in heaven and that protect us and guide us.And as there are
angels, I do not see why there can be no fairy too.
Sandra paused a moment.
- So who are we to doubt whether the birds sing in his honor,
the butterflies fly around and poets dedicated their poems?
How to realize that the girls listened with interest, Sandra
continued:
- I'll read some poems for you to talk about fairies, but
better than hearing about them would find its traces among the
trees.There is much poetry in nature.
- I believe in fairies - Betty said. - Really. I believe in them
since my babysitter told me beautiful stories and impossible to
forget. Do not like it when the housekeeper made light of my
belief and said that only fools believe in such beings.
- Well, I think only fools say these things - Sandra replied. -
What do you have to learn in life, and I've learned is that we
should give a chance to fantasy and adventure.
The girls made a motion with his head yes.
- Those who only face the serious side of life become
discouraged and bitter - Sandra concluded.
- It's different from others, as I said - Betty said. - I never
imagined that there could be someone like you. The other
governesses only wanted to teach us lessons boring and make us
lose time.
- Well, what you can do is waste time - Sandra said. - If you
want to be beautiful and clever and become the most celebrated
debutantes of London society must strive and work hard. They
need to enjoy every minute of every day.
- If the work that awaits us is something like what he has
shown us since yesterday, we'll do it with pleasure. In truth,
we're thinking that you are one of the fairies that live in this
lake, and knocked on our door to help us.
- I am delighted to hear it from you. Now, let's enjoy this
moment. The fairy people hear and grant their wishes when they
think they deserve them. Make your requests to them. And also
to the sirens. It is quite likely that there are sirens in the
background of this beautiful lake.
The girls dismounted, fascinated by the stories they were
hearing, and tied their horses to a trunk according to the
instructions of Sandra.
- Walk to the edge and think fondly on the application they
want to do. Believe that fairies are listening to them and will do
everything possible to make your wishes come true.
- This is the most beautiful moment of our lives - Betty
murmured. - You do not even know that this lake existed.
- It would be very sad if you were out of the castle, someday,
not knowing that there are wonders here as this magic lake. I'm
sure we'll find treasures like this both inside and outside the
castle, with the passing days. Think of the paintings, in books and
musical instruments that are there and sort that have to be able
to see them and touch them as nieces of the Duke.
- The way you talk, the castle looks like a dream. I think we
were foolish not to have noticed before how is it different from
other houses.
- You have been blessed by having an uncle as Duke and a
home like this castle - Sandra murmured. - I hope they are happy
here all his life and marry someone who loves and who also love
them. Then later, they can bring their children here and tell the
same stories they told.
As we neared the lake, Sandra, who had seen only a horse the
day before, thought he looked really magical and she was telling
the plain truth to the girls about the possibility of requests being
serviced by the fairies, more sooner or later.The three stayed
together in silence for a long time. Then, when Sandra knelt and
dipped a toe in the water, the twins imitated.
- Now make your requests - she whispered. - Your orders will
also be heard by the angels in heaven as if in prayer.
After saying those words, Sandra made the sign of the cross
into the water and wanted to find love. The love that had united
his father and mother and that was from God.
- I love someone who loves me - she prayed. - Do not want to
marry a prince who wants me just to be safe from the Russians,
whom I do not mean anything other than a British flag.
When they arose, Sandra noticed that there was an
expression of happiness on the faces of the girls she had not
seen before, and had joined together in a fantasy world that
should not be invaded by the common thoughts of the unbelieving
people.
Maybe if they kept a little more focused, listen to the songs
sung by the fairies.
There was no need to talk. The girls were behaving as if they
had understood and how they also consider that sacred place.
Simply being there was a blessing.
Later, again mounted on horses, Sandra led them out of the
woods and the cornfields, where they could roam freely and also
gallop.
For a moment, Sandra gave himself the pleasure of riding and
forgot the rest of the world.
It was as if it took a shock when he saw in the distance, the
figure of the duke on his horse.
The instinct led to a reduction in speed. Soon after, the girls
did the same. So, until they approached the Duke, already were
just a light gallop.
Sandra prepared to hear words of reproach. What was their
surprise when the duke, instead of getting angry, he gave a
beautiful smile.
The truth was that she could be fired for cause. Besides
taking the twins to ride in animals that were forbidden to them,
she encourages them to run at a speed that had never
experienced before.
Sandra looked at Duke and pleaded with her, without
speaking, not to spoil that moment of joy that his nieces were
living for the first time in their lives.
- How is it that these horses run at a speed which I thought
not capable? - He just ask without showing the slightest sign of
annoyance. - You touched them with his magic wand?
Sandra smiled, relieved.
- How do you know that I took them to his magic lake? -
Sandra asked.
- If there is magic in my land, this happened after his arrival
- the Duke responded that only Sandra's listening. Then he
turned to her nieces. - I am proud that my nieces know ride as
well. You were lucky to get Mrs. Crawshaw to guide them."Me too!"
And now, after so many years, I propose that we return to take
the delicious breakfast we were ready.
Sandra noticed that the girls were staring the uncle in
astonishment. They had not yet recovered from the fear they
felt that he was getting angry by his orders were disobeyed.
The three followed the duke, after exchanging a smile of
relief.
They were received by three grooms in the stables. They
helped them to dismount and lead the horses to the stalls to feed
them. The Duke is not accompanied them up there. The horses
were kept of their choice elsewhere.
As they walked through the garden toward the castle, the
girls could not stop wondering whether the uncle would punish for
disobedience.
It was with great surprise that the meal went so smooth and
pleasant, without a word of censure was said.
The breakfast consisted of a fish dish with eggs and bacon,
tea, milk, coffee and juice, and toast.
At the end of the meal, when the servants left them alone,
the Duke raised his coffee cup and said:
- Tonight you toast with champagne. Since I could not wait
that long, I decided to make use of this cup of coffee to say that
I'm surprised and glad to see that you know ride as well! They
went to the woods and the lake. If the fairies wished they would
help them to ride faster horses, their wishes were met. Starting
today, can ride them every day because they are under the
protection of these beings to help those who believe in its
powers.
The girls looked to her uncle in astonishment. Mal waited for
him to finish talking to rise up and embrace.
- Is it true that you are not angry at us and said that we can
continue riding the horses we choose? - Betty asked. And before
the duke could reply, Minnie continued:
- The day is especially wonderful because you were not angry
for what we did, Uncle George.
- What I'm feeling is pride. And very good to have you in our
family. All I ask not to lose sight of Mrs. Crawshaw.She brought
us luck and joy, that was what was most lacking in this home.
That's why I drink to your health and also thank you for your
presence and beg us to continue to show us the way to happiness.
The young women looked at Sandra and smiled. Sandra smiled
back to them as well for Duke.
Thank you very, very much!
Later, when Sandra was in the chambers of the girls, Betty
said:
- How did Uncle George did not get angry when he saw us
coming out of the woods? He always refused to give permission so
that we changed our pangas.
- I still can not believe - Minnie admitted. - But Uncle George
was smiling and treated us with consideration and not as if we
used even diapers.
- Yes, he was pleased to see his prowess, but be careful not
to make mistakes. My suggestion, after what happened today is
that you strive to learn something new and surprise you.
The sisters looked at each other.
- I think what most would like our uncle was a lesson on the
history of this castle and the kings who were in power at the time
of its construction - said Betty.
- I agree with Betty - Minnie replied.
- This is easy - said Sandra. - I am sure we will find books in
the library of the castle that his uncle has placed at our disposal.
- Never been interested in reading any book - both girls
confessed.
- Do not know what they are missing. There are books of all
kinds. The adventures, especially the longer impatient to reach
the end. And also the history. When I start to tell them about
the kings and queens who ruled Europe at the time of
construction of the castle, you will be perplexed. And his uncle
was delighted to hear them talk about their knowledge.
- It could teach us something very interesting until the
dinner hour?
- They are not referring to lunch, maybe? - Sandra asked.
- No. I heard when my uncle said he wanted to toast with
champagne tonight. I'm thinking of a surprise to him in this
celebration. A kind of magic night ...
- You can not imagine how much I leave happy with their
goodwill. And if it is a magical dinner they want, then I suggest
we finish the evening with a magical music. Some of you know how
to play piano?
The girls denied with a nod.
- The other governesses only bothered to teach us
arithmetic. They said that in today's world the arithmetic needs
to come first.
- It was the money that they were referring to - Sandra
explained. - Just did not want to be clear.
Sandra Betty sighed and continued:
- You are much smarter than those who had governesses. We
will prove that tonight. As the Duke invited us for a special
dinner, I lend them two of my most beautiful dresses for him to
see how girls and not as children.
- I always wanted to attend the parties that offers our
uncle, but he never allowed descêssemos - Minnie said.
- It seems that his wish was fulfilled - Sandra murmured. -
Are invited for dinner tonight. Now come to my room. I want to
show my party dresses.
The twins were fascinated to see the models that Sandra had
brought from Paris.
- It would be great if we could use some jewelry that my
mother left us and which are stored in a safe not to be stolen. I
think I'll ask the butler to get some and not tell anyone, much
less to Uncle George. I want to surprise you in every way - said
Betty, the more extroverted of the two.
- What a great idea! - Minnie said. - The jewelry will complete
our transformation!
- Another detail that will surprise you with respect to the
hairstyles of you. I asked Walters called the castle of the best
hairdressers in the county and he got the man to come here this
morning.
- What should we ask him to do? - Betty asked hesitantly.
- Leave it all to me - Sandra replied. - I will ask him to show
you how to comb it every day to make them even more beautiful.
And also ask to come back late in the afternoon to hold their hair
so as to appear more adult. Is your uncle a chance to glimpse the
beautiful debutantes who will be in two years.
- Oh, I'm dreaming! - Betty exclaimed. - You do not exist.
It's too perfect. With his arrival, he changed our lives. What was
monotony and sadness, joy and excitement is now. Perhaps one of
the fairies who live in the lake. I hope that does not resolve to
become invisible and disappear.
- I promise I will not do that, but try to learn quickly in case
something unforeseen that force me to leave.
As he spoke, Sandra was with a mind for the parent. If he
knew about his whereabouts, she had no chance of escape. Soon,
however, tried to drive away the negative thoughts. What good
anticipate problems?
The important thing was to seize the moment. He was happy
and gave joy to others. Why should anticipate the worst?
The image of the duke made him invade their thoughts and
provoke a strange feeling I never experienced before.
To frighten her, Sandra focused on presentation of the
dresses that Betty and Minnie would use that night and that
would make them even more beautiful than they already were.
To make sure that Butler would not comment to anyone about
the jewelry, the girls said they wanted to just look at them and
admiring them. Do not want to risk being barred from using them,
above all else.
They spent much of the day entertained with the history of
the castle. When I heard that the duke had left, Sandra took the
opportunity to take the girls to the music room.
- I know you have to play the piano and tell me if I could
follow up with some other instrument. Remember that tonight is
special and we should do a tribute to his uncle for being so kind
and understanding.
Since neither of the twins had learned to play an instrument,
Sandra asked to sing.
After rehearsing for almost an hour, Sandra gave herself to
be.
- Do you sing divinely. If they had music classes, would be
even better. There is one person who does not approve the
presentation of young people like you after dinner. I'm sure will
be much applauded.
- Then you must also teach us to sing - Betty asked. - My
father used to say I had a beautiful voice.
Sandra agreed with this view and sought to enhance the voice
of Betty with its monitoring and the choice of suitable music.
It was very important to surprise the Duke, showing him that
his nieces were not unbearable beings who did believe, but they
had special gifts that would be proven, since that would give them
a chance.
In his opinion, the ex-housekeepers had ignored altogether,
forcing them to learn only the most basic materials and a heavy
form and unmotivated.
The sisters only agreed to stop testing for fear that the
uncle returned and the surprise was ruined.
Sandra took to the garden, saying they were all in need of
fresh air.
It was the first time she was able to really explore the
garden of the castle, which was even more beautiful than I
expected.
There were flowers in profusion, especially roses. And the
fact that several white doves have chosen this place to build
their nests made him even more charming.
Sandra never tired of thanking the angels for them to have
led to such a wonderful place where people treated her as if they
knew long ago.
- I love this garden - she said. - My suggestion is to see that
a party is held here. It's not fair that people remember only the
horses and the racetrack to his uncle. All these flowers and birds
need to be admired as they deserve.
- It's true. I think we should do a tribute to the gardeners
who work here every day and who care not only flowers, but the
delicious fruits that feed us.
- You are right. We must never forget those less fortunate.
And whenever possible, try to send the fruits of the land to the
needy, especially children and the sick.
The girls looked at each other.
- Never thought of this.
- As the castle is part of their lives and the people of this
village are dependent on his uncle to survive, I think that would
help him look after the children in order to share with them a bit
precious of foods that are born here. - Sandra paused. - And at
Christmas time, could offer a spectacle to which everyone would
be invited.
Betty and Minnie approved the idea, but as Christmas was
still distant, they surrendered to the more immediate plans,
which would be to distribute the surplus of grapes, strawberries
and raspberries from the orchards and vineyards.
- To facilitate your work, I think we should look for the
priest and ask him if there is someone sick in the village. Can you
imagine how he will be thrilled to receive a gift from you? With
their fruit to feed it with flowers to decorate your room and the
affection of his gesture, he will certainly feel better.
Amazed by the look of the sisters, Sandra realized that no
one had suggested to them a public welfare before.
- When we tell about our plans to Uncle George? - Betty
wondered.
- There is no hurry. Just watch the fruits are not wasted.
When you find that there is more than enough to feed everyone
living in the castle, remember to send them to the sick, or
perhaps women who have just had babies.
- You will go with us to help us? - Minnie asked. Sandra would
like to say yes, but did not know how long it would stay with them.
About an hour before dinner, Betty and Minnie came to
Sandra's room to get ready.
The hairdresser, as arranged, had visited the morning and
provided a cut in their hair.
- They are cute, but it will be much more hairstyles in a
different way - he advised.
- Please show us how.
After he had the answer, Sandra pulled him aside and asked
to return at dusk to comb them for a special dinner, they should
look two years older.
The hairdresser agreed immediately and said he had great
pleasure in preparing young people as if they were debutantes,
for he had great respect for Duke and would be honored to help
them to prepare him that nice surprise.
Betty and Minnie were already dressed in clothes borrowed
from the hairdresser when Sandra finally arrived.
Then Sandra Butler called and whispered:
- There will be a surprise to the duke. We appreciate your
cooperation so that he does not suspect that his nieces attend
the dinner as distinguished visitors adults.
Butler thought life in the castle was different from what had
been before. Much more pleasant and enjoyable. So when Sandra
asked him to fetch the jewels that had belonged to the girls'
mother, he hurried to meet it.
The collection was much larger and more beautiful than
expected Sandra. It would be hard to choose.
According to the hairdresser, hair should be adorned with
small gems rather than a tiara, as Betty and Minnie were still very
young.
Were placed in the hair of diamonds and sapphires in Betty
Minnie.
The girls were so adorable that the hairdresser lamented not
having a camera to photograph them.
- All women of the city would want to copy them to view
them.
- They still have to wait two years for that to happen - Betty
answered proudly. - Thank you, thank you for what you did for us.
Sandra followed the hairdresser to the door and gave him a
generous tip. He fired back saying that whenever it was called.
Not just to comb the j ovens for a special occasion, but also to
teach them the hairstyles alone.
- Thank you for your attention - Sandra said goodbye.
- It was a privilege to serve them - he replied. - You can not
imagine how much enjoyed meeting this castle.
- Next, the stylist dropped her voice. - You, madame, is so
beautiful it need not give any advice to modify their appearance.
But I'm also at your disposal if you want my services.
After the hairdresser's gone, Sandra asked that the girls
were ready to descend.
She had worn one of her best dresses. Instead of applying
jewels in her hair, adorned with a pearl necklace of her mother
and the earrings which were set and matched perfectly with their
delicate skin.
- If the Duke's nephews become as beautiful as the lady,
Your Highness will not need to ask for anything more - Butler
praised it when it went down.
- Thank you - Sandra thanked. - Thanks for the help they
gave us. This night will be memorable for them. I have never felt
so happy.
- I agree - said Butler. - If you want my opinion, women who
were trying to work here did not know what they were saying,
much less what they did. Since she arrived here, they are
cheerful and obedient.
Sandra smiled and nodded his head so that the sisters gave
her hands and began to slowly descend the stairs. The other
signal, the butler saw to it that a trumpet was played.
The duke, who was having a drink in the living room, stood up
in surprise. When addressing the hall, he felt an intense perfume
and was surprised to note the profusion of flowers that adorned
the environment.
He had prepared for a surprise dinner, but would not have
imagined that scene for the world.
For a moment he did not recognize her nieces.
- I did not know who would be pleased to receive visitors so
beautiful and important tonight - he confessed to each of the
nieces when they stopped in front of her and bowed.
He kissed their hands and served them a glass of champagne.
He turned to Sandra, who remained in the background, and also
served him a cup.
- As this is a special occasion, I drink the health of you and
tell you what the most beautiful nieces and wonderful that a man
could want.I also thank the person who touched us with his magic
wand and gave us this night of glory.
- What a beautiful speech, Uncle George! - Exclaimed the
girls.
But Duke was not hearing the words of the nieces at the
time. His eyes were lost in Sandra.
- Thanks. You are absolutely perfect. Nobody would have
thought something so wonderful!
CHAPTER VI

Dinner was a memorable event. Sandra was beside himself


with satisfaction that everything has gone exactly as planned.
Cook, at his request, had prepared the girls' favorite dishes.
The Duke was in excellent spirits and made her nieces Sandra
and laugh all the time.
When the meal was over, Betty and Minnie forgot to act like
adults and got up, excited.
- Now we have another surprise for you. Please do not wait to
take his port wine.We will be waiting for you in the music room.
The Duke looked at them, uncomprehending.
- What do you want?
- Something very important - said the twins and withdrew
between giggles.
- I hope you enjoy the surprise as much as they are liking to
offer it to Your Highness.
- I'm sure there will be a beautiful surprise because it was
planned by the lady. I confess that after everything that
happened to me, I'm still not believing it's real.
- It's real - Sandra said. - It is only the beginning.
- Can not wait to know what it is. I think I'll take my port in a
single gulp.
Sandra had a smile to withdraw from the dining room.
- I never imagined that her nieces would become such
beautiful girls, my lord - said the butler to serve the duke. - If
I'm allowed to give my opinion, Mrs. Crawshaw is an angel.
- I am in full agreement, Walters - The Duke replied. - I
could not have described it better. Life in this castle was never
as good as in recent days.
- This happened because your highness has finally found the
right person.
Duke ended up taking the wine and went to music room, which
was also decorated with flowers and fragrant.
A comfortable armchair had been placed on the platform. He
sat and waited.
Seeing him, Sandra approached, bowed and sat at the piano
to play one of the most popular tunes of the moment, which was
making huge success in London.
At the end, the girls climbed on the platform, coming from
opposite sides of the room. They wore the same clothes shown
during the dinner, but seemed more due to the makeup.
One each side of the piano sang another hit song.Their voices
were clear and beautiful. Despite the lack of study, the Duke was
sure they would be applauded in Adelphi, or in any other theater
in London.
After the number of corner, the girls had a dance in which
the touch of brilliant housekeeper, and there was no other
adjective to describe it, was unmistakable.
At the end of the show, the Duke clapped and called her, but
the girls were confined to thank and withdrew.
He looked at Sandra and she made a sign that girls still come
back, because the surprise was not yet complete.
A few moments later, Sandra began to play another song and
keep up the twins, who had climbed back on deck.
It was a sweet and gentle song that was a favorite of his
mother, and the girls interpreted in a way so simple that the
Duke was touched.
At the end of the music they made as if to thank the artists
of truth, but have left the scene but were placed on either side
of the piano and began to shake flags to the tune of God Save the
Queen.
The Duke could not help thinking that it was touching to see
those two beautiful young women, he always considered children,
representing women who had both England and that helped it
become the nation that it was important to the world.
Before the song ended, the Duke got up and joined his voice
to the nieces. After the last chord, they put the flags on the
piano and ran to him.
- What do you think Uncle George? Like what you've done?
What else could do except Duke warmly embrace those two
jewels of nieces and say how proud I was?
- You are brilliant. I never imagined that one day he would
nieces so beautiful and so smart. My only fear is that soon I will
be forced to put armed guards at the gates of the castle to
prevent it from pursuing the men to put their hearts at her feet.
The girls laughed.
- I think we'll like it. Moreover, we may have problems when
they see their horses - Betty replied.
- Beautiful as they are tonight, no one will think of horses. I
will not have to remove the unwanted rest and allow only those
applicants who are worthy of you enter the property.
- I hope you're right - said Betty - Mrs. Crawshaw and teach
us how to treat them the same way that taught us to sing and
dance.
At that moment, the Duke wanted to step onto the platform
and offer a number to them as well.
- I always thought that one of the most beautiful songs ever
written - he said then.
- And after we had the pleasant hours at the castle tonight,
I want the musical performances are more frequent.
- Your Highness has a commanding voice - Sandra praised. -
My advice is to exercise as well as his nieces.
- Yes! Yes! - Minnie said. - It'll be fun. I want to surprise
everyone that my uncle usually invited.
- Do they sing with us? - The duke hesitated.
- Oh, yes. Everyone likes to sing when they feel happy -
Sandra noted. - If you enjoyed before your guests with their
horses, now you can entertain them with his nieces and music.
- Please, Uncle George - Betty asked - can do a dance here
and invite all boys in the county?
- I see they can not wait to grow - the Duke answered. -
Okay.I give my permission. I'm sure it will surprise everyone with
her grace and beauty. But I do not think that should be
presented as they are now made-up. For that, I'd better wait
another two years.
- But we're so pretty, no? - Betty provoked.
- Confess that did not expect this transformation. We
ourselves could hardly believe our eyes when the S ra. Crawshaw
we got.She promised that in two years if we do all that it teaches
us, we will be more admired the debutantes of Beau Monde.
The Duke smiled and nodded.
- I would be very disappointed if this does not happen. After
all, with their talents, journalists have much to say in the social
columns. Sandra felt the breath miss.
- We should not precipitate. Betty and Minnie still have much
to learn. I just wanted Highness was the first to know about the
ability of both success and to be informed when they will have
their talents developed and exploited.
- They are very clever - the duke repeated. - Just like the
lady. I have no words to thank you for all you have done.
- We found it wonderful - Uncle Betty said. - All those
horrible women who offered themselves as housekeepers did not
teach us anything. They do not understand and we do not
understand it. Like Mrs. Crawshaw and want to stay here with us
always.
- I agree with you - the Duke murmured. - And as she praised
my voice, I propose to sing some more songs together before we
go up and sit back.
The proposal was received with joy.
Sandra returned to the piano and played the popular songs
that everyone knew. An hour later, however, she stopped and said
he needed to rest, it would rise early the next morning to make
purchases.
- I hope you're with a generous spirit - Sandra joked. - The
hairdresser who looked after them gave me the address of a good
shop in town. They should understand fashion. I hope to find s
pretty dresses for her nieces.
- Spend whatever is necessary - the Duke answered. - I want
Betty and Minnie become irresistible now and even more when
they are bowing before the queen.
- We have asked that Mrs. Crawshaw draw the dresses that
we use in our coming-out party - Betty said. - Is something
different and draw the attention of all guests.Intelligent and
clever as she is certain to create many special models.
- Of course - the Duke agreed. - My only fear is that she,
with all his intelligence, unable to endure the long and go away to
find more excitement in her life.
As he spoke, the Duke looked at Sandra with such intensity
that she felt a shudder throughout the body thereby preventing
it from responding immediately.
- I have no intention of leaving. As your Highness knows,
there is much to be done here.
- I sincerely hope that does not change his mind.
The Duke not away your eyes from Sandra. It was as if
something was very strong uniting them at the time. Betty
brought them back to reality.
- Now that we discovered that we are capable, Uncle George,
let us ride their horses faster? I guarantee it'll be as surprised
as it was to see us sing and dance.
The Duke shook his head.
- I think I've had enough surprises for one night. You are
amazing. I loved the evening.
- Can we hope that soon we will receive permission to choose
what we want horses? - Betty insisted.
- Not so fast, but much earlier than you think - the Duke
answered. - In the meantime, enjoy the horses that fall into the
category average. They just let the slowest and should not
precipitate jumping horses for racing.
The girls hugged and kissed his uncle. Above their heads, the
Duke looked at Sandra and she understood that there was more
than gratitude in his silent message, although he could not
understand what it was.
A little frightened by the turmoil that has dominated his
thoughts, he turned and closed the piano.
- It's late. If we sleep, we'll be too tired in the morning we
ride to even stop.
The sisters began to laugh at those words. Then they said
good night to her uncle and hugged as they had never done
before.
Sandra was heading for the door when the Duke whispered so
only she could hear:
- Lightning will be waiting in the morning if you want. Sandra
smiled. I knew that this was the way that the Duke met to thank
him for what he was doing for his nieces.His gesture was more
significant than any word.
With a nod, she followed the students that hand in hand,
climbed the ladder.
When Sandra came to cover the girls and wish them a good
night, they said that this had been the most exciting night of
their lives and they could not wait to go out and buy clothes that
make them as beautiful as they had been at dinner.
- I'll buy a new wardrobe for you - Sandra vowed. - His uncle
said that I would not need saving. So if the store indicated that
the hairdresser does not satisfy us, we will send to bring models
directly from London.
- We tell you it's a wonderful person? - Betty and Minnie
gave him a big hug.
- Glad you convinced Uncle George that he was wrong to hire
those governesses. He saw how quickly we learn the lessons
taught us that interesting?
- You still have much to learn - Sandra murmured - and not
all, perhaps, they seem so interesting. But I guarantee that oblige
them to study what is not necessary for the twins to become the
most admired of London.
THE bid farewell to the bed, kissed the girls and Sandra said
that they loved her.
Sandra responded to the gesture and blew out the candles.
- Have a good night, my dear. May God and the angels protect
them.
These were the words he said when his mother put her in
bed. Sandra never said to anyone, but never had someone under
their responsibility. It was unbelievable that the previous
governess had not discovered the sweetness and the ability to
Betty and Minnie rebel hiding under the surface.
Will Sandra was going down to the room again and keep
talking with the Duke. I wanted to be by his side. But I knew that
this attitude could be misunderstood. It should be remembered
that this was the castle as a simple housekeeper. You had to
behave as such.
That night was a success. The Duke had been able to see the
difference wrought in his nieces and adopted his methods,
although not traditional.
The next day teach them how to choose clothes that were
not only beautiful but also appropriate to the ages and occasions.
A smile came across his lips at the thought that the twins
also had a lesson in arithmetic when they needed to add notes to
buy the dresses.
With a sigh of relief and satisfaction at having been able to
reach your first goal, Sandra began preparing for bed, stripping
her evening dress.
- I had him follow my advice and they had fun with it. I'm
sure my father would be proud of me if I knew.
In thinking about the father, Sandra felt a tightness in the
heart. As a result of his escape, he must face the wrath of the
queen. It was expected that he was furious at what she had done.
If they find me, will insist that I follow his orders and that
meets the wishes of the Queen simply because they will not admit
to falling into disgrace at court because his daughter refused to
marry an unknown prince from a faraway country.
The mere idea of being taken to the Balkans made her shiver.
A sudden thought invaded his mind. If the worst happened,
she was willing to ask the Duke to save her.
As insisted on staying in the castle, he, perhaps, would head
to the Queen and tell her about the need to keep it close to his
nieces, because she was the only one who managed to succeed
where a myriad of governess failed. The queen then forgive and
understand the problem.
Sandra sighed. She was being childish. Nobody, least of the
queen, understand that a young person prefers to be a governess
to be a princess.
- Gotta keep hidden until someone takes my place or until the
Russians invade the principality once - Sandra spoke to herself. It
then sought to change the thinking. It had been very upset with
this issue. And it was intended to help the duke's niece, the next
day, buying them new clothes and attractive as before falling
asleep, as soon forget about his flight.
- I'm staying in a magnificent castle and my residence is
desired both for its beautiful and charming as owner by its
charming nieces. That's what matters.
Sandra happily slept and dreamed of the Duke and the way he
expressed his gratitude to him. The feeling I had was that the
duke embraced during sleep to protect it.
In the morning, on waking, Sandra jumped up and opened the
windows to the sun and the white doves that were already, awake,
in the branches of trees.
The day was busy and she felt very anxious for what would be
done.
"I want Duke to be satisfied with the clothes, as he was
yesterday to see the nieces dressed, Sandra thought."
Every time I thought of Sandra Duke, the sensation in his
chest always repeated. He was sure that it never occurred to her
before entering the castle.
It was necessary to concentrate his mind on the task of
helping her students, what governesses before could not.
- They were silly - Sandra spoke to herself. - Were not able
to work with female vanity. If Betty and Minnie had praised and
told they would be admired by all men if they tried to educate
themselves, certainly would still be here.
Sandra turned from the window in order to change clothes,
but kept thinking that all people are born with gifts and wishing
to be applauded in one way or another.
- Most housekeepers believes that the teaching of history is
enough.How could it? What matters to a young person is a
ridiculous battle was fought centuries ago and the biggest
consequence was the loss of many precious lives?
Sandra wore her riding habit and left the castle through the
side door almost direct access to the stables.
As promised, the Duke was there, waiting.
- I was sure that it does not delay - he murmured. - Lightning
is ready.
- Want to really allow me to mount?
- How could you deny a request? '
The horses were taken to groom them and helped her to
mount.
- Said he wanted to try my horse. This is the reward for
what he did last night.
Mr. Wilson: Hi yes Id consider selling direct to you! The skirt
is on its way & was posted so should reach you soon!! I will look up
the delivery slip to see if I can see when it will be delivered & get
back to you. Kindest Regards LOLITA J
- You deserve - the Duke murmured. They rode side by side
down the runway first.
Sandra has made no comment, but noted that the barriers
were lower.The Duke obviously had arranged for her not to
venture more than he thought prudent.
Lightning had no trouble with the jumps, not the horse that
the Duke had chosen for himself.
Once the circuit, he went to the fields for which they had
ridden and she followed.
- Now I want to challenge her to race in the open - he
proposed - but before we left, I warn her that I intend to be the
winner.
- You are on your right as a man - Sandra replied. - I, as a
woman, I think I have to accept the inevitable.
They left laughing.
However much she tried, Sandra could not reach first.
- Your Highness won. Congratulations.
- Runs very well - Duke praised. - I hope many other races to
dispute with you. Not today, of course. We must go back to not
fall behind in its commitment to Betty and Minnie. And how many
want to do shopping, I do not think we'll see you before nightfall.
- Oh, I do not want to spend so much money - Sandra sought
to appease the duke. - I plan to be back at lunchtime. Unless, of
course, that her nieces are like most women who lose their heads
when they see a store full of beautiful clothes.
- I am ashamed to think that I had never noticed the beauty
of both until last night when you put them and arranged for the
neatly combed.
- Everything that the twins did was to try to please you -
Sandra explained. - It's the most important man in the world for
them because they do not have a father.If it's good and
understanding with them, as they will know, Betty and Minnie will
project your image in men who desire for their husbands.
The Duke looked at her in a strange way.
- Who taught you that? Her own husband? Sandra looked
down in an attempt to interrupt the conversation but the duke
insisted:
- I am absolutely sure that it is much younger than he intends
to prove.
- Maybe - Sandra answered - but was thinking last night how
much women are different from men. What's more important for
a woman is to make man happy and loved to help you succeed.
- That's what all women should think - the Duke agreed. - But
the majority cares more about forcing a man to forget what he
really wants is to be master of his home.
- Your Highness is and always will be the master of your
castle - Sandra hesitantly said and added: - Be careful with whom
they will marry.
After explaining his idea, Sandra regretted it. That comment
could be considered irrelevant by the Duke. And before he said
anything, she decided to make running with Flash, but this time
back to the castle.
Because of the speed, not made to talk. It was necessary to
concentrate on the hoofs of horses and the reins.
Sandra and the girls left in the carriage of the Duke soon
after taking breakfast.
She'd rather buy clothes from Paris to the twins, but knew it
would be difficult to find something like that in that small
county.Maybe I should have ordered clothes straight from
London. On the other hand, seemed enthusiastic hairdresser to
give you the address of a store like the one she hoped to find.
When they arrived there, Sandra admitted that the
hairdresser had not exaggerated in his description. There was
very likely that she could find not only items produced in London
as well as in Paris.
The owner has been waiting for the notice of the intention to
visit him in Sandra.
- It's an honor, madame, to receive it in my store. I was
delighted when my friend told me about his interest in the
prestige. I want to know and to convey to His Majesty, the Duke,
who will do everything in our power to make their finest young
nieces in the whole district.
- It's what we expect - Sandra replied. - When I was hired
as a housekeeper at the castle, I noticed that the girls had grown
up and her clothes barely fit over them. I hope to find here
everything they need at the moment.
- You have my promise, madam, that I will do everything to
help them.
For an hour, Sandra, Betty and Minnie Mouse have been
closely watching the models who were marching for them. Some
dresses were exactly what she would expect to find the best
shops of Bond Street. Others, however, does not even deserve to
be presented as simple and unattractive.
After the parade, Sandra helped the girls to choose the most
beautiful models and asked, then, let them prove.
Around noon, they had not just bought a good number of
dresses, but also sent a copy of crocheting garments that Sandra
had lent them the night before, though in different colors.
It was hours until they could be made on the content, but
worth it because the girls could not hold itself to the idea of joy
begin to show how young they really were and not as children.
At a time when the owner asked for authorization to provide
that the purchases were placed in their proper boxes, Betty and
Minnie suggested to come home for new dresses.
- We note that Uncle George how different we are when we
leave in the morning - Betty said. - Do not you think I'm right and
I do not look the same?
Sandra was forced to admit that Betty was right.
- Okay. But since you want to show how different his uncle, I
think we should buy hats that matched with the dresses.
The owner led them to the desired section and the girls with
the help of Sandra, picked two beautiful hats adorned with small
flowers.
When he finally left the shop, after the promise of a new
collection under his command for the start of another month,
Sandra sighed.
- We spend a fortune. I hope your uncle does not disappoint.
- We think he'll be surprised by our new look and you'd think
all their money was well spent.
Sandra wished that the girls were right. I was worried. Not
so much because of the purchase, but by the words of a store's
customers had told him while Betty and Minnie were proving
dresses.
- You must be the governess for everyone is talking about and
who managed to please the duke's nephews when no one else had
success. Tell me, what has passed for these youths to behave the
way we saw them behaving today?
The woman paused before continuing:
- Everyone knows that they are intolerable. Candidate after
candidate chose to quit the job and living in a castle to support
them.
- My explanation is that it could deal with them. Me, many
lessons learned in a short time. You see, they needed appropriate
clothing in the first place and be respected and their rights. They
were tired of being considered a child.
- You must be a smart woman. Everyone commented that the
nieces of the Duke were not welcome at the parties because of
his bad behavior. It was not the case with the Duke, of course.
The way the woman talked and looked at Sandra made her
realize that the best would soon end the conversation.
But the woman seemed determined to find out who was going
on inside the castle and kept asking questions.
Sandra had no alternative but to retreat, ostensibly to check
the fit of the dresses at Betty and Minnie.
The way to the castle, Sandra told the girls about their
intention to write to one of the shops of Bond Street, which used
to get the latest designs from Paris.
- Please, do it - begged Betty. - To be honest, many of the
dresses she showed us were ugly and dull, though the owner insist
that would be perfect in us.
- You must learn to discriminate - Sandra replied. - People
always try to sell their wares. If you do not like or are
interested, they must have the courage to refuse. Should use of
delicacy, no doubt, but when the response should not, must not
be!
The girls laughed at the way Sandra's talk.
- We saw you do it in our place - Betty said - and we intend to
emulate it in the future.Anyway, we bought the dresses are a
thousand times more beautiful than those who are hanging in our
wardrobes.
- And who will be brought to London will please them even
more. I write there tonight without fail. But now we're going,
because I do not want to arrive late for the lunch time and I
scored with the hairdresser. Your uncle will be as or more than
surprised last night when you see them.
Once they arrived, Sandra went to the library to tell the
Duke that the girls would be ready in minutes.
Seeing her, he stood up and said:
- How slow! I was beginning to fear that the had lost.
- What we lost was his money - Sandra quipped - but not
much. We can not buy everything that was needed. Unfortunately
I must have come from London best dresses. The ones available in
the county are nice, but not cute enough to wear on his nieces
special occasions.
- Do you think they are that important?
- I'm sure - Sandra said. - How do you know the clothes say a
lot about a woman.
- I did not know, but you taught me. Sandra took the
opportunity to tell the Duke what he would do:
- In my opinion we should go to buy dresses Betty and Minnie
in Bond Street. Incidentally, there was a woman in the shop who
insisted on addressing me and comment on how the girls were
changed.Maybe the hairdresser has spread the news.
The Duke smiled.
- I wonder who it is. Lady Mountway. I hope she has referred
to the change wrought in my nieces in the right direction.
- Oh, yes, she spoke well of the girls. But, sorry to be frank,
I think we should not encourage gossip.
What was Sandra feared that recent events in the castle of
the Duke came to London and someone suggested that the person
responsible was not really a housekeeper, but a woman who passed
himself off as one.
If this story reached the ears of his father, his curiosity
would be aroused, which would lead him to seek the Duke and try
to find out if he was hiding.
Sandra tried to reassure herself by saying she was giving
wings to the imagination. Her father believed she was in the
north, close to relatives who lived in Northumberland.
- I refuse to get carried away by fear when I'm feeling so
happy. I want to continue here. I am willing to do anything for it.
The idea of being forced to marry and go to the Balkans, it
caused a shiver of terror.
- Please God, let me continue here! - Sandra prayed fervently.
That night, almost dinner time, to learn that the Duke had
gone to a business meeting, Sandra discovered that her absence
bothered.
Anxiously awaited the dawn to ride together. We also
counted the hours for meals together that were becoming more
enjoyable every passing day.
The truth was that the presence of the Duke impressed her
more than would admit. He was right beside him. The Duke made
her laugh and also had fun with it. One glance from him to his
heart beat irregularly, something that never happened to him
before.
Sandra was trying to convince himself that what he felt was
gratitude for the Duke. After he treated her with affection and
respect for and believed it was more than just a simple
housekeeper.
- I love living here - Sandra talked to herself while
contemplating the view through the window. - I feel safe in this
beautiful castle. It's the perfect hiding place that I have
arranged pod eria.
If she had continued journey north, this time to be tired and
the horses more. And there was the possibility of not being well
received by relatives who would be forcing their presence.
If you really had followed his first impulse to take refuge in
the north, had been forced to beg secret, because if someone
would divulge his whereabouts, his father would pick her up
immediately.
- What is left but I thank my guardian angels for having led
me to this wonderful castle, where I met the most wonderful
people yet?
Sandra sighed.
- I am grateful to them from the heart. My peace is not
complete just because I'm afraid that this happiness is too great
to last.
The fear of being forced to marry an unknown prince and not
get a second chance to escape her haunted day and night. If his
father came along, will have no alternative but to obey. As much
as we cried and begged the queen to send into the Balkans.
Sandra took a lot to fall asleep that night, because the
threat that hung over it never ceased to haunt her.
As a result, when she got up the next morning, it was too
late.
When he realized his late, Sandra jumped up and ran to the
window, as usual.
The sun was shining and there were no clouds in the sky. The
time, therefore, was ideal for a horse ride.
Sandra quickly changed clothes and headed towards the
stables, expecting the Duke to his hopes, as happened in the last
three days.
Upon arrival, with shaky breath due to an accelerated pace,
Sandra felt disappointed. The Duke was not anywhere.
- Good morning, madam - the groom greeted her with a sleepy
voice. - Want to ride alone or prefer to wait Highness?
- You mean that the Duke has not arrived? I thought he was
already in the camps. Today, unfortunately, I was a little late.
- No, ma'am. See, Lightning is still in his stall. Sandra could
not restrain a smile of joy. The Duke how she had been
delayed.Any time spent together and appear again.
But the minutes passed and there was no sign of him.
The groom prepared Thunder and took him to her.
Sandra rode reluctantly and took the horse to the paddock.
Unlike other days, he felt no desire to run. I could not
understand why the Duke had failed to meet their routine. What
would have happened?
Sad and downcast, Sandra went to the woods. Should not feel
so. It was just a housekeeper. The Duke owed no explanation.
Whether or not he wanted to ride, no need to warn her.
- If I were an important guest, he would've sent word that
he regretted, but could not keep me company. But as I am a
simple housekeeper in his eyes, he is not concerned with the fact
that I feel or not your fault.
When he reached the lake, Sandra thought he was even more
beautiful and mysterious than the other days. There was a mist
around him and the silence was broken at any moment by the
singing of birds and butterflies flutter by.
- I'm a fool - Sandra said quietly. - The Duke thinks I am a
housekeeper. Feel gratitude for me because it helped him with his
nieces. Nothing else to report. I need to forget those feelings
that are insisting on rule my heart.
With a great effort to suppress the truth that had just
discovered, Sandra returned to the stables.
The groom helped her dismount and was watching the
Thunder while she was returning to the castle as if a huge weight
had fallen on her shoulders.
Betty and Minnie should be agreed and preparing for the
arrival of the hairdresser.
Sandra went to his room and changed the riding habit for one
of the dresses they bought in Paris and gave him an appearance
very different from what was presented as a governess.
The fact that Duke had not ridden every morning as he did
not leave his mind.
It was only when she met Betty and Minnie at breakfast that
the reason for absence was explained.
- Where is Uncle George? - Betty asked the steward to see
that there were only three places. - It should not be riding up
this time!
- His Highness did not sleep in the castle tonight. His horse
lost a shoe so he left the house last night administrator, who had
arranged a meeting to discuss the opening of a new road. He had
to go back and wait for daylight to the blacksmith to replace it. I
just got your message. His Highness asked me to look for the
groom and arrange to send him another horse, so that did not
need to be detained until the shoe was changed.
- Oh, poor uncle George! - Betty exclaimed. Sandra said
nothing, but breathed relief.
It was not because he was tired of his company that the
Duke had not been riding that morning. He had been forced to
stay outside the castle.
Suddenly the sun seemed to shine with more intensity and
light up the room as if it were gold.
- Who wants to have today's lesson? - Asked excitedly. - I
hope you are excited to learn something new and interesting. I
want to shine like the sun today!
The girls looked at each other and smiled. The answer was
given in unison.
- Music! Music is what we like to learn more!
Well If it's music you want, music is what will - Sandra
replied. - And leave all windows and doors open to the sun
between the classroom and make a joyful time.
The truth was that the information given by the butler filled
with happiness and she wanted to share this feeling with the
twins and all the inhabitants of the castle.
- I hope Uncle George will be back for lunch - said Minnie. -
And if we can learn a new song and a new dance, we can present it
to him tonight after dinner?
Sandra wished that this was possible and that the Duke did
not have to leave them again that night.
Worked hard all morning and managed to succeed in their
efforts. But as Sandra wanted the performance was a surprise,
she asked the girls to secrecy.
Betty and Minnie agreed immediately. Did not like surprises
in the past but the Sandra taught to think differently and not
just behave like they had never acted before.
As expected, the Duke was back at lunchtime.
- I was very upset by being forced to sleep at home
administrator. Besides not having my pajamas, I could not count
on the assistance of my valet. Above all, I could not be with you
and tell you good night.
- We miss you - Betty said. - To compensate for this, we will
make a surprise tonight.
- A surprise? - Duke repeated. - That's great. I am eager to
know what it is. I would like to keep them company now, but
unfortunately, I need to organize my mail. Promise me that you
gather in the garden once you.
- Yes, please, do it - the girls asked.Sandra did not answer,
but as the Duke and his nieces, would be eagerly waiting for the
meeting.After lunch, the steward called him aside.
- A man named Jones wants to tell you, madam. Sandra
excused himself to the Duke and followed the butler toward the
kitchen.
Jones was waiting by the door and she wondered whether
something had happened to the horses.
- Sorry to bother you, my lady - he cleared his throat. - I
mean, Mrs. Crawshaw.
- Be careful - the Sandra warned quietly. - Nobody knows who
I am.
Then Sandra looked around to make sure it had not been
heard.
- I brought you this. - Jones took an envelope from his
pocket and handed it. - It's a letter from my wife. I found my
lady should know.
- You told him where we are? - Sandra asked, alarmed.
- I promised I would send him news. Once we establish
ourselves in this village in safety, fulfilled my promise. I wrote
and told him about our whereabouts, but asked secrecy because
of his father.
- Good. - Sandra sighed. - I knew I could count on their
discretion.
- This is the answer that my wife sent me.
"You asked me not to tell anyone about his whereabouts and I
answered their request. Yesterday, however, Lady Carstairs was
here for a visit and I listened to the conversation she had with
his lordship, while the flowers arranged in vases. "
Jones paused for a moment and realized that Sandra was
with bated breath.
"She said her cousin, Lady Mountway, who lives near the
castle of the Duke of Langford, said he had found a new
governess to her nieces and the young man was so different in
appearance and manners that, unlike the others, had been
accepted with open arms by the girls.
She said the duke's young nieces are being cared for by a
hairdresser and they are learning lessons that the other girls at
the age of only learn debuted.
For these reasons, Mountway lady believes that the
governess is an impostor. She advised the Count to make a trip
north in order to verify if the housekeeper is not her missing
daughter. "
Jones continued reading the letter, but Sandra did not hear
another word.
The terrible gossip lady Carstairs meant the end of his
peace.Unless continued to flee, his father would find her soon and
bring it back to hand it to the queen.
- Thanks, Jones! Mr. Wilson: Hi yes Id consider selling direct
to you! The skirt is on its way & was posted so should reach you
soon!! I will look up the delivery slip to see if I can see when it will
be delivered & get back to you. Kindest Regards LOLITA J
Prepare the horses immediately. We must start as soon as I get
my luggage.
- So I thought that my lady would say - Jones said. Sandra
ran into the hall. Betty and Minnie should be in the music room at
that moment and the Duke in his office.
She knocked on the door and discovered I was right. He was
opening an envelope when he saw her and gave her a smile that
made her blush.
- I am here to inform you that a problem has arisen which
requires me to leave immediately - Sandra murmured. - The man
who brought me to his castle is waiting for me. We will follow
your trip as soon as I pack my bags.
The Duke stood with a frown.
- What are you saying?
- I need to go away - Sandra repeated. - Sorry to disappoint
the girls who learned to love, but I need to go as fast as you can.
The duke did not reply for a moment.
- Do you really think I let go?
- We need - Sandra begged. - I have been very happy here.
All were wonderful to me. But if my father found me, I'll be
taken back to London.
- Sandra paused and sighed. - I ran away from home.
- Can he force her to return? - The Duke wanted to know.
- Unfortunately yes - Sandra replied with a sob. - I owe him
obedience.But before he finds me, I will try to hide again. I never
leave here on my own, but my whereabouts was discovered.
Sandra was so sad and scared that his lips trembled and his
eyes were full of tears. The duke approached.
- Do you really think I will allow us leave after we have made
known the happiness? It was the only person who could teach
something good to my nieces.
- I do not want to leave - Sandra confessed and tears slid
from her eyes - but it is accurate. OH GOD! I need to find
another hiding place.
Once finished pronouncing the last word, Sandra felt the
arms of the Duke to get involved.
- My dear, I will protect you. I can not let us leave. I can not
go on living without you.
Sandra looked at him through her tears, and before he could
answer, the Duke landed on her lips.
The surprise was prevented from breathing at first. But as
the kiss was prolonged, she felt her whole body wanted to match
the gesture of affection and love.
It was like being taken to heaven.
That kiss, Sandra gave the Duke not only his lips but your
heart and soul.
When he pulled away after what seemed an eternity, said:
- Nobody in the world will take me. I love you with all my
heart and I believe he feels the same for me.
- It's true. I love you too - Sandra answered shyly. - But I
can not continue in the castle. My father will find me.
The duke pressed it against his chest and turned to kiss her.
- I want to marry me, my dear. When my wife, nobody on
earth can separate us.
For a moment, Sandra could not answer.
- Do you really want to marry me?
- Yes, I want to be my wife and mother of my children.
You're all I ever hoped to find. I love you.
The Duke has to kiss her. When they separated, Sandra laid
her head on his shoulder.
- Did I hear right? You want me to be his wife, really?
- It's what I want most in the world - the duke repeated. - I
loved you from the first moment and my feelings have been
increasing every day. I can not let go.
Sandra's happiness was so great that she felt like crying
with emotion. He had found what they always sought. A man who
loved her for what was and for no other reason. Being a duke,
he's not bothered that she was a mere housekeeper.
Their prayers had been answered. Met a man who loved her
for what was. And she loved him like never imagined being able to
love someone. Not because he was important, but being kind,
intelligent and a true gentleman.
Amara him since he had first seen when entering the castle.
Although she tried not to hear what your heart tell you insisted,
had heard that the duke was the man of your dreams from the
first moment.
He kept it tucked in his arms and continued:
- Tell me, dear, why are you so scared and said that you leave
me?
- My father is coming here to make me go back with him -
Sandra responded with low trembling voice.
- Not afraid anymore - Duke murmured. - I ask in marriage to
his father as he arrives.
- The fault is not theirs - Sandra explained - but the queen.
Duke pulled away to be able to look in their eyes.
- From the Queen? What she has to do with it? There was a
long silence.
- You asked me to marry him without knowing who I really am.
- I do not care. I love you and I will not have to take from me
- the Duke responded with determination. - The safest way to
protect it, my dear, is making it to my wife. So no one, neither
man nor woman, nor even the queen has the power to separate us.
- I hope not. But I fear that the Queen will do everything in
their power to succeed in their plans. - Sandra sighed. - She
found out recently that one of my ancestors was a member of
royalty.
The Duke listened with attention.
- Because I am a nobleman, the queen wants to send me to
the Balkans for me to marry a prince and save the principality
falling into Russian hands.
- You mean you is noble - the Duke murmured in amazement. -
In that case, what happened to her husband?
Sandra felt he was blushing.
- It only existed in my imagination. I lied because I thought
she was a widow it would be easier to accept me as a governess.
Duke kissed her long.
- I love you and nobody but God, you can get her away from
me.
The oath was so sincere that he felt that Sandra was not
only the heart and soul.
- So you better get married soon, because my father insist
that I should obey the queen.I'm the last bride of royal blood
throughout England.
- I will call the vicar, who is also my private chaplain, and are
getting married today - the Duke answered and grabbed her chin.
- You are wonderful and we will soon be husband and wife, but
does not know his name.
Sandra laid her head on his shoulder and smiled.
- Is not it amazing?
The Duke smiled too.
- Not to say that his real name, I want to use it. The
important thing from today is that you use my name!
They both laughed.
- My father is the Earl of Alerton - Sandra told and the Duke
did not fit into them by surprise.
- S and he is the Earl of Alerton, my father and were great
friends and classmates.I know how important he is in court. Now I
understand why his escape. The queen wants to send her to the
Balkans to marry a prince in order to save him from the Russians.
- Yes, that was the reason for my escape. I also needed to be
saved. And you saved me. I never thought that we were getting
married. I guess I'm dreaming and that you are an angel come
down from heaven to help me.
- And to love you - Duke said. - Always wanted to be loved for
who I am and not who I am. I feel honored that you have
preferred to become a duchess, a princess.
- I would agree to marry you even if not blue blood ran in his
veins.
- And I still love you with the same intensity as if you were
really just a housekeeper. After all, since I saw it the first time,
became the queen of my heart.
- Oh, I love you! I love you too! - Sandra whispered. The kiss
that brought them together was so in love that they forgot all
the problems and threats.
- Walters, send a carriage to the village and immediately
bring the vicar - the duke ordered after a few minutes. - Tell
your presence here is urgent.
Butler found it strange that the urgency in the voice of
Duke, but was too discreet to ask questions.
Sandra smiled.
- The servants will be curious. Soon everyone will be
wondering what happened.
- What happened was the best that could have happened -
the Duke answered. - And now, I think we should tell you about
our plans for the girls as they prepare for the ceremony.
- For my part, I hope that your butler can find some
beautiful wedding dress that belonged to one of your ancestors,
or perhaps your own mother.
- You will be the most beautiful bride in the world, even if
that case is now dressed like. The important thing, my dear, is
that our marriage is the happiest moment of his life will be like
mine.
The way in which the Duke spoke made Sandra feel a wave of
excitement and happiness to invade the chest.
- I love you!
- And I adore you and worship you! - He whispered.
The news about the wedding spread through the castle in a
few minutes.
The gardeners have rushed to gather the most lush and
colorful flowers for decorating the chapel. The cook, no one
asked him, began to prepare the cake. Butler underwent four
dresses on the assessment of Sandra. They were all so beautiful
that she had trouble settling on one.
To follow suit, he handed him the garland that Duke's mother
had worn on her wedding day and that was studded with
diamonds.
Just before the priest arrived, the Duke tried Sandra and
put his finger on the engagement ring, diamond also, that his
mother had used.
- I like to give you a million other things - he said, thrilled -
but at the moment, I hope you do not mind using only what
belonged to my ancestors.
- The jewels and the dress is wonderful. I will use them with
pride - Sandra replied.
- I think almost everyone has been informed about our
wedding - the Duke said. - Let's tell the happy news to my nieces?
- Yes, come on. They just tell me they are out there playing
tennis. Imagine the surprise I have! They can not make the idea
of shaking that took care of this castle!
- On second thought, I think we should make a surprise to
them. The priest will take some time to get here. And I still need
to check the documents and complete all formalities so that his
father is unable to take it. Moreover, all brides take to prepare.
Sandra had no comment, but something told him that his
father might try to stop the wedding if he did not come true
soon.
Luckily, their concerns proved futile.
The vicar, who knew the Duke as a child, hastened to fulfill
your request.
- I always knew George, one day you find a wife who not only
deserve, but that's also worthy to live in this castle. Always
prayed that you find happiness and love. I know now that my
prayers were heard.
Before we proceed to the ceremony the vicar, the Duke
explained why they were getting married in a hurry.
He not only agreed to help them, but also ensured that the
queen, who wished for more, could not send the wife of the Duke
of Langford to the Balkans.
It was four o'clock when Sandra, beautiful as an angel on her
wedding dress came into the chapel preceded by two nieces of
the Duke, who would be her ladies-of-honor.
For the ceremony, Sandra lent them two of their dresses
from Paris and brought them home gardeners crafted beautiful
arrangements of flowers that adorned their hair.
Sandra hands carrying a bouquet of white lilies and
carnations as he walked down the aisle of the chapel towards the
altar.
According to tradition, the Duke was waiting at the altar.
As witnesses, they were attended Butler and all the servants
of the castle, which had no place of pride in themselves because
they were invited to participate in such an important moment.
On behalf of this happiness, the Duke sent to serve cake and
champagne to everyone to toast to the bride and groom.
When the eyes of the Duke met with Sandra at the altar, a
divine light seemed to illuminate them.
The moment he put the ring on her finger, Sandra thought
they were meant for each other and that this marriage was being
blessed by God.
That night, after the celebration, Sandra was taken to
Duke's room, which now also belong to him.
There was a canopy bed that dominated almost the entire
space.
The moon was so bright that it lit up the room almost without
the aid of candles.
The Duke opened his arms and smiled. She matched the
gesture and offered her lips for him to kiss her.
- My dreams came true - he murmured. - This was the day
and this will be the most beautiful night of my life.
- I love you! - Sandra whispered.
- I want to teach you all about love, my darling. I imagine he
knows very little about.
- Yes, teach me. I love you with my body and my soul.
The Duke and kissed her without her lips separated, carried
her to bed.
Before she opened her eyes, he blew out the candles.
- I can not believe it's true - he confessed. - I must be
dreaming I went to heaven and that you are an angel.
- I'm real and I love you - Sandra replied. Both had found
true love. The love comes from God, who is from God and that
accompany them for eternity.
END

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Cartland, the romantic novelist most famous in the


world, which is also a historian, playwright, lectures, political and
artistic personality speaker, has written over 634 books, with
selling over 600 million copies worldwide.
Among his publications we also found many historical works
and four autobiographies, and biographies of her mother and
brother, Ronald Cartland, who was the first member of English
Parliament to perish during the last Great War. The book has a
foreword written by Sir Winston Churchül and has just been
launched with an introduction made by the late Sir Arthur Bryant.
Love the tiller, a book written with the cooperation and
inspiration of the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma, great uncle of
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, is being sold on behalf of
the Mountbatten Memorial Trust,
Barbara Cartland has broken the world record for the past
eighteen years, by creating an average of twenty-three books a
year. Does the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling
author in the world.
In 1978, Barbara Cartland recorded an album of romantic
songs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In his private life, Barbara Cartland, who is a Knight of St.
John of Jerusalem, chairman of St. John of Hertfordshire and
Mrs President of St. John Ambulance Brigade, continuously
fighting for better conditions and wages Nurses and attendants.
Embraced the cause of the elderly in 1956, citing the
government for the improvement of nursing homes.
In 1962, he managed a change in English law with regard to
the Roma population. That meant the permission of camps at
appropriate locations, and above all the possibility of instruction
in schools for thousands of Gypsy children, which in the past,
been prevented from studying, as the caravans were harassed by
police and forced to move every twenty-four hours.
There are currently fourteen camps in the town of
Hertfordshire, one of which, of Romanian origin, takes its name
from Barbaraville.
His projects included in the book Decorating with Love being
sold by the United States.The National League of the Home
Fashion elected in 1981 as "Women Entrepreneurs".
Aging and rejuvenating his book was published in Britain and
the United States, and his fifth cookbook, The Romance of Food,
is currently being used by the House of Commons.
In 1984, she received the award at Kennedy Airport awarded
by the Aeronautical Industry American Bishop Wright, for his
contribution to aviation development. In 1931, she and two Royal
Air Force officers who undertook the first airmail postage.
During the war, in Bedfordshire, she was named the official
head of welfare, caring for 20 000 men and women in the service
of England. It was his idea at that time to provide a "shop" that
rent wedding dresses to military brides, bringing a thousand
dresses second hand.
In 1945, Barbara Cartland has received the certificate of
merit awarded by the Eastern Command.
In 1964, he founded the National Association of Health
which is still president, and acts as a front for all stocks of
medicines, as well as products of alternative medicine. This means
a total of six hundred million pounds in goods movement, and a
third refers to exports.
In January 1988, he received the Medal of Vermeil from the
town of Paris (a gold medal), by selling 25 million books in France
alone.
In March 1988 he was invited by the government of India to
inaugurate a major health clinics in the world, on the outskirts of
Delhi.
The fans received with great enthusiasm, and celebrated at a
reception held throughout the city, which indicates a plaque
engraved with his name.
Barbara Cartland was made Knight of the British Empire in
1991 by Her Majesty the Queen for his contribution to literature
and for his work for the community.
Barbara Cartland is the author of many books already
published by an English writer, surpassing the 564 books written
by John Creasey.
111.