News of Captain Wentworth’s arrival at Kellynch causes a stir in the Musgrove houses. Mr. Musgrove goes immediately to Kellynch and invites the Captain and the Crofts to dinner. He comes home to announce their acceptance, though he is disappointed that they could not make it earlier than next week.
Anne is agitated by the prospects of finally reuniting with Wentworth. On the night of the dinner, one of Mary’s sons suffers a bad fall that causes him great pain. A doctor is summoned—there are no broken bones. Then Charles and Mary discuss the altered arrangements that must be made. At first, both parents offer to stay at home and miss the planned dinner with Wentworth. But after seeing how their son is improving, Charles states that he will go to the main house for just a short while. Mary wants no part of this. She tells her husband that she would not know what to do without him. He must stay at home.
Upon hearing this discussion and already feeling torn between wanting to see Wentworth and still not feeling ready to be near him, Anne offers to stay home and care for new nephew so the parents can go to the Musgrove’s dinner party together. In many ways, Anne is relieved to postpone the inevitable meeting between herself and the man she once loved.
While her sister and brother-in-law are at the dinner, Anne wonders how Wentworth might have greeted her: Would he have pretended he did not know her? Did he want to see her? If he had really wanted to be with her, why had he waited for an invitation from the Musgroves? If he yearned to be together with her, would he not have come much earlier on his own?
When Mary returns from the dinner, she tells Anne all about the evening, the music, the talking, and the laughter. Captain Wentworth has excellent manners, Mary tells Anne. He made them all feel as if they had known one another for a long time. Mary also informs Anne that Wentworth is going hunting with Charles the next day and will share breakfast with the family. But he will not be coming to Mary’s cottage. The breakfast will, instead, be served at the main house. Anne takes this to mean that Wentworth does not choose to see her. To Anne’s thinking, he is obviously avoiding her.
As Anne and Mary eat their breakfast in the cottage, Charles and Wentworth appear briefly when Charles comes to retrieve his dogs. For just a few minutes,...
(The entire section contains 673 words.)
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