The meeting between Sir Walter and the Crofts proves successful. Without any hesitation on either side, an agreement is reached and dates are set. Sir Walter even admits that Admiral Croft is the most handsome sailor he has ever met. The Elliots will begin moving out immediately and the Crofts will move in before Christmas. The Elliots plan to be settled in Bath by the next month.
Lady Russell hopes Anne will stay with her until after the holidays. She assumes Sir Walter and Elizabeth will not consult Anne in the choice of a house and, therefore, will not need Anne. But Lady Russell finds she has obligations to attend to and must be away from her home. Anne does not want to have to deal with the heat in Bath and is not looking forward to being with her family as they prepare for their new home. When her younger sister, Mary, exclaims that she is not feeling well and cannot do without Anne’s help, Anne chooses the lesser of two evils and goes to stay with Mary. Lady Russell feels relieved that Anne will not have to suffer the neglect that Sir Walter and Elizabeth would have surely imposed on her. However, when she discovers that Penelope Clay has been invited to join the father and daughter in Bath, Lady Russell is very upset. It offends her that Elizabeth considers Penelope to be of more use than her own sister.
Anne is not personally offended by her sister’s action, though she thinks it is imprudent that Mrs. Clay spends so much time in Sir Walter’s company. When she suggests this to her sister, Elizabeth brushes the concerns aside. She states that their father would not be interested in Penelope Clay because the woman has freckles.
Anne feels glad she has spoken about her concerns, warning her sister of the possibility that something might develop between Mrs. Clay and their father, even if Elizabeth has dismissed them. At least Anne will not be accused of not pointing out...
(The entire section contains 524 words.)
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