"You can't ask Rae down just as if you were inviting her to an ordinary house in the country. What's the use of landing Rae in a place like Thorpe? What'll you do?"
Richard finished a mouthful, pushed his plate aside and turned to Rae.
"I'll tell you," he said. "I'll take you up to the three attics, where all our old treasures are stored. I'll show you the arbour we built -- all by ourselves. I'll drive you up and down our hilly roads. I'll show you our Duchess, if she's still alive; I'll show you our treehouse. Don't let Judy frighten you -- I'll provide all the entertainment. How about it? Will you come?"
There was a moment's pause.
"Yes, I'll come," said Rae quietly.
Rae's holiday at Thorpe didn't turn out like this. But from being lonely and sad, it became -- by way of three engaging children and a sturdy housekeeper, and mad Duchess, and Iron Duke and Richard -- gay, interesting and, at last, blissful.