The drive home to Woodcote was a very silent one. Miss Merivale and Rose were both absorbed in their own thoughts, and neither of them even dimly divined the thoughts of the other.
It had never entered Miss Merivale's head that Rose, her pet and darling, her little nurse and helper, could be longing to live with Pauline in London; and how could Rose have guessed that her aunt's thoughts were fixed on Rhoda Sampson, the girl Pauline had spoken of in such contemptuous terms? She supposed her aunt was asleep, she sat so still in the corner of the carriage with her eyes closed, and she took good care not to disturb her. She was glad to be free to dwell on the delightful visions Pauline had called up for her.
Miss Merivale roused herself as the carriage turned in at the gates of the drive. The March twilight had gathered thickly, and lights were shining from the windows of t
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