Kit is afraid that "Judith is going to mind terribly" when she learns that John Holbrook wants to marry Mercy instead of her, but Kit also thinks that Judith will "get over it". Kit knows that Judith is very proud, and thinks that to avoid humiliation when she first learns that it is Mercy that John really loves, she will "put her nose in the air and pretend she never had...an idea (that John loved her instead) in her head". Judith is resilient, and Kit feels certain that, after the initial shock, once she realizes that "John isn't really suitable for (her)", she will come around.
Judith is an assertive young lady, and, frustrated with John Holbrook's shyness and hesitancy, has already decided to take things into her own hands in getting him to pursue his courtship more forcefully. Not even Kit could have imagined, however, how Judith's propensity for jumping to conclusions would affect how things worked out, at least temporarily. When Judith, in front of her father, reacts with such unabashed joy at the mistaken belief that John will be asking him for permission to see her and not Mercy, John, in confusion, does not say anything to the contrary, putting him in a very uncomfortable situation indeed (Chapter 13).