"Married" echoed Lady Withenstrop with characteristic exuberance. "But my darling, this is too wonderful. To whom? How much land does her father own? What is the dowry?"
Edmund felt immediately dejected. With his usual timing, Peter had taken centre stage and Edmund's coming of age party was an irrelevance.
Lord Withenstrop peered over the top of the stairs, having heard his wife's less than dulcet tones, and even at that moment starting to mentally pay off his debts.
Meg, Edmund's younger daughter, came running down the corridor from the dining room, wondering what was about to be revealed.
"Well mother, father, the woman I have married is...