Genevieve had moved all the way into Winsford within two weeks time. She was amazed at the estate's splendor, quickly discovering that it was much larger than Ashington.
She was reading one of the many books that were lined up on the library's massive shelves, when her brother excitedly burst in.
"My, what has gotten into you Fredrick? Is there a fire?" She asked with a laugh.
"The papers have officially announced my kinship to you, and do you know what that means?" He questioned.
"Well, I'm sure that you're about to tell me anyway," she replied.
"We must throw a party to celebrate! We can invite your family, close friends, and anyone else we feel should be in attendance," he said with a wide smile.
"You mean, Stella, Victoria, Phoebe, Minerva, Augustus, Mr. Gougar, Mr. Campbell, and Mr. Cole, they'll all be there?" she wondered.
"Of course, dear sister!" he exclaimed.
She paused. "Shall we invite Lord North?"
"I suppose, but why do you think we should?" he asked.
"I think Phoebe rather likes him. Perhaps the two should get to know each other better," she stated.
"Very well then," he said.
"Who else would be there?" she questioned.
"Oh, Genny, there are so many people I would like to introduce you to. You will most certainly adore Mr. Adams, Mr. Gardner, and Miss Steving," he declared.
"Now, Fredrick, didn't I tell you not to assume what I will like or dislike?" she admonished.
"I cannot help it! Besides, I have gotten to know you much better in recent days. I think I have a slight opinion now what you might enjoy," he mentioned.
"Fair point, I suppose," she said.
He soon left the library to make preparations for the party, and Genevieve immediately began writing a letter to her family at Ashington, informing them of the get together. Even though she had not been gone long, she missed her sisters and the Youinous terribly. She signed her name at the bottom and sealed it in an envelope, excited about what was to come.
About a week later, Genevieve awoke to the sound of a commotion going on downstairs. It took her a moment to remember that this was the night of the party. She called for Rebecca to help her dress, and her ladies' maid immediately appeared in her room. Rebecca dressed her in a deep blue, satin gown, for she knew it would bring out young Genevieve's eyes. Rebecca was very good at picking out the right clothing. After her dressing, Genevieve went downstairs to her brother's office to speak with him.
"Good news, Genny! Not only will they be attending the party tonight, but Mr. Gougar, Mr. Cole, Mr. Lindsey, and Mr. Campbell will be our guests for the weekend!" Fredrick greeted.
"Marvelous! Oh, I cannot wait for the gentlemen to meet my sisters!" she exclaimed.
Fredrick grinned. "Are you trying to marry off your sisters? That wouldn't be very honest of you."
"Whatever do you mean?" she wondered.
"You would not marry someone if your life depended on it, and yet you want to see your sisters happily involved," he pointed out.
"They're different people than I am, Fredrick. The only one other than myself that probably won't get married eventually is Minerva. Stella, Phoebe, and Victoria will be wed, I guarantee you," she mentioned.
"Well, who did you have in mind for each one?" he asked.
"Phoebe shall have Lord North, Victoria shall have Mr. Cole, and Stella will have…you, I think," she smiled.
"Why in the world would she be with me?" he wondered incredulously.
"It still requires further observation, brother. After tonight, I'm sure I will have everyone adequately paired," she replied.
He shook his head in response. "Please do not scare off our guests, Genny."
That night, Winsford was bustling with people, which made Genevieve slightly nervous. They were all going to be watching her. Both she and Fredrick were the points of interest after all. She stood off to the side, nursing a small glass of wine to calm her nerves while Fredrick greeted guests. She knew she should be there with them, but she was too terribly afraid.
"Genny, what are you doing all the way over here?" A familiar voice asked.
Genevieve looked up from her glass and smiled awkwardly at Augustus. "I'm so nervous, dear friend. I feel as if I have made a terrible mistake."
"You made a wonderful decision, I think. I have never seen Mr. Jarvis happier than he is now with you here," he stated.
"I miss Ashington, Augustus. Winsford is beautiful, and I enjoy being here with Fredrick, but I want to go home," she said with tears forming in her eyes.
"Please don't cry, Genny. I'll stay by your side the whole night and help you, I promise," he declared.
"You are so wonderful to me. How can I ever repay you?" she questioned.
"It's no trouble at all. Now, let's go find the others," he suggested.
Soon, they found Mr. Campbell, Mr. Cole, and Mr. Gougar hidden in the crowd. Though, it was awhile before Fredrick joined them, and he had three others in tow. "Genny," he said "I would like you to meet Luther Adams, Walter Gardner, and Judith Steving."
Mr. Adams was of medium height with wide shoulders and a smug grin on his face. Mr. Gardner was dressed nicer than Mr. Adams, and he was thin with short blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, much like Fredrick, but still different. Finally, Miss Steving was taller than the gentleman with shoulder length brown hair and a bright pink gown.
"Lovely to meet you all," she smiled cordially.
"So," Mr. Gardner said. "Jarvis here tells me that you like reading. Is there anything specific?"
"I'm not very fond of nonfiction, but I like most of everything on the fiction side," she responded.
"Oh, but there are so many things you can learn from nonfiction! Did your governess at least teach you basic arithmetic?" he wondered.
"Of course! I also know French, basic Latin, and I am very proficient in reading and writing," she answered. "Tell me, Mr. Gardner, what is it that you know?"
"I know all that you know, and I am advanced in history and geography. I am a professor after all," he commented.
Genevieve turned to Fredrick. "Why are so many of your friends and acquaintances from Oxford?"
Fredrick shrugged his shoulders. "I am not sure. Perhaps I enjoy having intelligent people surrounding me."
Just then, Genevieve's sisters arrived, and she greeted them all with open arms. "Oh, how I have missed you all!"
"We've missed you too, Genny. The library is practically empty without you constantly inhabiting it," Stella stated.
"Are you liking it here? Do you need to come home?" Mrs. Youinou wondered.
"Oh yes! It is wonderful here, but some days I do yearn for home," Genevieve replied.
"I fear for the day when all of you are married," Mrs. Youinou mentioned. "Then all of my girls will be gone."
The sisters embraced their adoptive mother warmly to comfort her. "Come with me," Genevieve said. "You must all meet my friends."
She led her family throughout the room, locating all of the friends she had made. After everyone had been introduced, they all separated into small groups. Phoebe was with Lord North, Minerva was with Miss Steving and Mr. Gardner, Stella was with Mr. Adams, Victoria was with Mr. Campbell, and Genevieve with Augustus, Mr. Gougar and Mr. Cole.
"Tell me, please, what your honest opinions of Mr. Gardner are." she wondered.
"He seems very nice and chivalrous to me. I also know that there is not a woman here that wouldn't swoon over how handsome he is. I saw you looking, Miss Wilkins," Mr. Cole answered with a joking smile.
"He's a wonderful history teacher. I've taken many of his classes just for fun because I like him and his subject," Augustus explained.
"I think he's far too pompous. He acts as if he's always the smartest person in the room," Mr. Gougar scoffed.
"Now, do not be stuffy, Mr. Gougar. He may be a little argumentative, but I think he is a good gentleman," Genevieve stated.
Mr. Gougar rolled his eyes and walked away. "Oh dear. He's in a fit again," said Augustus.
"I believe that there is something very off about Mr. Gougar, and I'm determined to find out," Genevieve declared.