Katharine arrived in the morning without advance warning. Lionel was sitting by Victoria’s bed when the door opened and she came in. For a moment Lionel thought it would be necessary to tell her of the child’s death here, in front of Victoria, and wondered desperately how he could do it, but it was apparent almost at once that she had learned the news in the village. She went over to the other side of the bed and, saying nothing at first, took Victoria’s head and pressed it against her breast. Victoria was weeping again, and Katharine wept with her. Their two heads bent together, drawn close by grief.
Katharine said, ‘Oh, my poor Vicky, my poor darling Vicky! I should have been here with you.’
‘There was nothing you could have done,’ Victoria said.
‘I should have been here,’ Katharine repeated. ‘Oh, you poor love.’
‘I’m glad you’ve come. Kitty, I’ve missed you so much.’
‘I’ve missed you, too.’ Katharine looked over Victoria’s head at Lionel, a wild sad expression in her face. He had not thought her capable of showing such an emotion.