The Pension Suisse

`What do you suppose can have brought Katy Carr to Europe?' inquired Lilly, as she stood in the window watching the three figures walk slowly down the sands. `She is the last person I expected to turn up here. I supposed she was stuck in that horrid place - what is the name of it? where they live, for the rest of her life.'

`I confess I am surprised at meeting her myself,' rejoined Mrs Page. `I had no idea that her father could afford so expensive a journey.'

`And who is this woman that she has got along with her?'

`I have no idea, I'm sure. Some Western friend, I suppose.'

`Dear me! I wish they were going to some other house than this,' said Lilly discontentedly. `If they were at the Rivoir, for instance, or one of those places at the far end of the beach, we shouldn't need to see anything of them, or even know that they were in town! It's a real nuisance to have people spring upon you this way, people you don't want to meet; and when they happen to be relations it is all the worse. Katy will be hanging on us all the time, I'm afraid.'

`Oh, my dear, there is no fear of that! A little repression on our part will prevent her from being any trouble, I'm quite certain. But we must heat her politely, you know, Lilly; her father is my cousin.'

`That's the saddest part of it! Well, there's one thing, I shall not take her with me every time we go to the frigates,' said Lilly decisively. `I am not going to inflict a country cousin on Lieutenant Worthington, and spoil all my own fun beside. So I give you fair warning, Mamma, and you must manage it somehow.'

`Certainly, dear, I will. It would be a great pity to have your visit to Nice spoiled in any way, with the squadron here, too, and that pleasant Mr Worthington so very attentive.'

Unconscious of these plans for her suppression, Katy walked back to the hotel in a mood of pensive pleasure. Europe at last promised to be as delightful as it had seemed when she only knew it from maps and books, and Nice so far appeared to her the most charming place in the world.

Somebody was waiting for them at the Hôtel des Anglais - a tall, bronzed, good-looking somebody in uniform, with pleasant brown eyes beaming from beneath a gold-banded cap; at the sight of whom Amy rushed forward with her long locks flying, and Mrs Ashe uttered an exclamation of pleasure. It was Ned Worthington, Mrs Ashe's only brother, whom she had not met for two years and a half, and you can easily imagine how glad she was to see him.

`You got my note then?' she said, after the first eager greetings were over and she had introduced him to Katy.

`Note? No. Did you write me a note?'

`Yes; to Villefranche.'

To the ship? I shan't get that till tomorrow. No; finding out that you were here is just a bit of good fortune. I came over to call on some friends who are staying down the beach a little way, and, dropping in to look over the list of arrivals, as I generally do, I saw your names; the porter not being able to say which way you had gone, I waited for you to come in.'

`We have been looking at such a delightful old place, the Pension Suisse, and have taken rooms.'

`The Pension Suisse, eh? Why, that was where I was going to call. I know some people who are staying there. It seems a pleasant house; I'm glad you are going there, Polly. It's first-rate luck that the ships happen to be here just now. I can see you every day.'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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