Part 2, July 7-8 Summary
Ashton writes to her friend Sophie and tells her there is no need to worry about her brother or his leg. Stark is tanned and fit, without any noticeable limp. She and Stark even threw his cane into the ocean. He looks wonderful.
She hosted a small dinner party for Stark and cooked the entire meal herself. Will Thisbee gave her a cookbook designed for beginners, and it contained many useful hints, such as the reminder to break the shells before adding eggs to any recipe. The food was even edible.
Stark is enjoying his stay at Pribby’s house. The two of them stayed up late last night, talking. Pribby, who is never subtle, asked Stark if he and Ashton are engaged to be married. If not, she wanted to know why, for she said it was obvious to everyone that they “doted on one another.” Stark told her that he has, indeed, doted on Ashton ever since he met her; however, they can never marry because Stark is a homosexual. Stark told Ashton later that Isola Pribby did not blink or gasp or faint. She simply asked if Ashton knows; when he told her Ashton has always known, Pribby swooped down on him, kissed his forehead, and promised never to tell his secret. Then she sat down and wanted to discuss Oscar Wilde plays with him. Ashton wishes she could have been there to see that.
She and Stark are about to go shopping for a suitable hostess gift for Pribby. Ashton suggests a colorful shawl, but Stark wants to give her a cuckoo clock. In a postscript, Ashton explains that Reynolds calls rather than write to her. Last week, though their connection was bad, she knows he was telling her to come home and marry him; Ashton politely declined. It was not nearly as upsetting as it might have been a month ago.
Pribby writes Stark a letter to tell him he is a very nice house guest. She likes him and so does Zenobia, her parrot, or he would not have cuddled on Stark's shoulder for so long. She is glad he stayed up to talk with her and says she is going to the manor to find the book he recommended. Pribby wonders why Ashton and Maugery never mentioned Jane Austen to her.
She hopes Stark will visit Guernsey again; to assuage her loneliness, Pribby invited Adams and Maugery to tea yesterday. When Maugery said she was sure Stark and Ashton were going to marry, Pribby kept her composure and said nothing, as she promised.
Pribby likes her cuckoo clock. It is cheery, and she often runs into the kitchen to watch it chime. She is very sorry that Zenobia bit the head off the little bird in the clock, but she is a jealous bird. Eli told Pribby he can carve her another one, and the clock will be just like new. For now, the little bird’s perch still pops out every hour.