Sophie makes some bland remark about possibly Monsieur has seen her since that wedding. He retains her hand and seems positvely to gloat on her.
Meanwhile, Lord Ynyr is more lively and cheerful than Sophie has seen him yet (in fact, everyone has become more lively; even the ancient butler, Roberts, is slightly more sprightly as he offers them refreshments). He’s delighted to see his sole-surviving – and Sophie knows, always favourite – cousin on his mother’s Provencal side of the family.
He’s delighted too because it looks as if it is about to snow, and he agreed that it must with the head gardener. He goes to draw aside the heavy drapes and look out. There are indeed some specks whirlng outside the panes, and a chill draught penetrates the glass.
In the winter daylight, the top windows and the roofs of Plas Cyfeillgar are visible from here. Often, at dusk, Sophie, seeing a light glowing there, has given an involuntary shudder, and then rebuked herself, ‘It isn’t Kenrick’s fault that he has an excess of saliva and sharp teeth, too, so that he slobbered upon my hand when he made to kiss it, and almost seemed to nip at it, for all the world like a canine… ‘
Now, she is too astonished by Monsieur Emile’s strange, staring look to think about that.
Lord Ynyr says cheerfully from the window, “It begins to snow, as we thought. It is as well, Emile, that you are arrived safely, it would be no pleasure to journey in such weather and herabouts the roads become impassable very quickly.”
He comes swiftly back to the centre of the room, delighted that he has proved himself the sort of countryman who can predict the weather. “By the by, Cousin, talking of roads, I trust that you had no encounter with those highwaymen who have been terrorising the roads out of town of late? But with your robust attitude towards settling disputes, no doubt you would have enjoyed such a meeting.’
Monsieur Emile and Sophie are still looking at each other, and she sees a slight consciousness in his look – passing so quickly that she wouldn’t have noticed it at all normally – as he says, “We had no trouble with them, Cousin. Perhaps they are taking a holiday away, like me…”