Later in the evening the men rejoined the women in the drawing room where the unmarried ladies sang and played the pianoforte. All but Mary had performed, and she wasn't quite sure if she wanted to after listening to Miss Talbot, currently playing a difficult piece by Beethoven.
The music climbed to a dramatic crescendo, then dipped into a soothing repast and everyone in the room seemed enthralled with her performance. Mary made a noise, deep in her throat. Miss Talbot of twenty thousand pounds was quite skilled. A fact she'd glossed over quite prettily when asked if she played.
"Did you just growl?" Colonel Fitzwilliam asked in a low voice.
She nearly jumped. She hadn't realized he had come into the room. He'd sat directly behind her right shoulder and she wouldn't have seen him unless she turned her head away from the performance.