If he could have, Henry would have confronted him right then and there, but he could not do it. No matter how much he wanted to Henry would not allow himself to. Danielle meant the world to him and that last thing on Earth he wanted to do was hurt her. In privacy, he would have a little ‘chat’ with Charles.
Henry, understandably, did not sleep well. Most the night he spent in contemplation. He tried to read a book, but kept on having to read a sentence six times in order comprehend it. He wrote a letter to his father to tell him of his return. He gave it to one of the guards to give to his father. The letter also included that he was too fatigued from his journey to even think about begin up for breakfast.
Then, he wrote a letter to his dear friend Charles. He did his best to sound civil, and simply requested that Charles come to see him around ten the next day. Henry would have liked to have this conference take place sooner, but he wanted to make sure that Charles was awake for this. Eventually, he aloud himself to sleep for three hours in hopes that it would ensure that his mind was in a clear state.
When Marie heard that her son was home, she was afraid of his reasons. She had always thought him sensible, and hoped that he did not attend to come home to tell Danielle who she really was. Marie knew that whenever Danielle did find out it was not going to be easy to except. Her mind had come up with as many different reactions that were possible.
When Danielle heard Henry was home, she wanted to rush to her brother’s room to have a nice long talk. So much had happened in the last few months. She tried to communicate to him as much as she could in letters, but it was an impossible task. Her brother kept on changing his whereabouts, and by the time her letters reached where he was he would be gone.
At the door to his chambers, a guard informed her that no guests were to be admitted. Danielle could not help but be a little bit insulted. She was not a guest in her own home. “Surely,” she spoke, “he does not mean me, Sir. I am his sister as you surely know.” The guard told her that he was told that no one should be allowed in until after the Marquis had finished his visit.
Danielle stared at the man with a very puzzled expression on her face. Her thoughts were swiftly flowing her in her mind. “When had Charles become more important to Henry than she was? When had she suddenly become the outcast?” The guard offered her a chair in Henry’s sitting room, and she excepted it. The men, she presumed, must be in Henry’s study that while there were no doors connecting her to the study a wall did. If she listened closely, she would be able to over hear.
Charles spoke, “Why is there such formality between us? I was very baffled by your letter?”
Henry had his guest seated across the table from him. “I have been told that I have reason to congratulate you. I hear you are to take a bride. In fact, I saw you two in the garden as I came in last night.”
“Ah, why did you not stop and visit with me for awhile. I am sure she would not have minded the interruption of such a dear friend of mine.”
“My father has raised me well, I guess you could say.” Henry still had some of his humor with him. He did his best to sober his face. “I have a few questions to ask you. They may seem a little strange, but I need to make myself sure that you are doing the right thing. I hope you do not mind humbling a good friend?”
Charles made no arguments, so Henry felt at liberty to continue. “My first question to you is are you sure that you and your fiancÃƒÂ©e are truly right for each other? I mean does she the qualities that you desire in a wife, and you the qualities that she desires in a husband?”
“Of course. I will admit that she is not the best cook, and that she is not well trained in running a household, but she has other qualities. She does have a dear love for good books, not something that most girls of her age. I am very assured that she is pleased with me.”
Henry could not believe that he did not like Danielle’s cooking, but he would have to get over that. He sat in silence for a few moments. He had so many questions he wanted to ask, and yet part of him dared not to. “I have many things that I wished to ask you, but now none of them seem to be very important. Instead, I ask you but one more thing. I was curious to know if her title had anything to do with the fact you chose her.”
“I must admit that at first I thought it most undesirable to marry someone who was lower than me. How could I possible expect for her to comprehend what she should and not do? Fortunately, she had gone to boarding school where they had undone any work that might have been done on her by her mother.”
Henry looked truly insulted. “How can you say such a thing? Her mother is an angel.”
Charles looked at him. “Are you feeling all right? For I know for sure, that this women is no where near an angel. She is more like the devil. I was sure that you agreed with me on this point.”
Henry leaned over his desk and got right in Charles’ face. “First, you engage my sister and are going to steal her away from her home, then you insult her up bring, and now you insult my mother the Queen!”
Charles started to raise his voice. “I am not engaged to your sister.”
Henry raised his even louder, “Then why were you kissing her last night in the garden? Are you just using my sister like some kind of toy? Her feelings are not to be toyed with. Do you understand me?”
Charles started yelling at Henry, and Henry continued to yell back. Neither of them heard what the other was saying, but all the words easily heard by Danielle in the next room. Each insult made her feel as if someone had stabbed a dagger in her heart.
Quickly she arose, and hoped that she would catch the guard in the hall by surprise. She did, and was able to pull open the door and step in before the guard had a chance to stop her. She added her yelling voice to the other two, but neither of them noticed. Finally, she gave up on being heard and simply walked right up to where the argument was taking place. She put one finger gently over both of their lips and they settled down.
“Now I would like each of you to sit back down in your chairs.” They did. “Good. Now I would like to know what all of this yelling is about.” Both started to talk at the same time. Danielle gave them another stern look, and they once again closed their mouths. “I believe that there has been some simple misunderstanding, and I shall do my best to sort it out. Henry, will you tell me what this fight is about?
“He claims that he is not engaged to you when in a letter he wrote to me he said that he soon would be. It is horrible of him to lead you on if he does not really consider himself engaged to you.”
Danielle smiled. “I am glad that you are looking out for me Henry, but there is no need. What Charles says is right. We are not engaged, and never will become so.” Henry opened his mouth to speak, but she placed her finger over his lips again to silence him. “Charles is engaged to my dear friend Jacqueline.”
Reality set in. Henry immediately started to apologize. Charles accepted immediately. “If there is nothing further, I am over due on my visit to see Jacqueline.” Charles left, and Henry offered Danielle a seat on the couch.
“I guess I have to apologize to you too,” stated Henry.
“No, Henry. There is no need. Your statement was founded on truth. More truth then I would like to admit.” Danielle turned her face away from Henry. “Much more then I would like to admit.”
Henry stared at Danielle for a moment. She seemed to be much older then when he had left her. It was strange for him to look on her face now. For he no longer saw her as his sister but as the ultimate prize.