(A Christmas Tale Countdown series, Part 10; see Part 9)
“What a clever contraption. I’ll take it,” Silas said. He was entranced by the musical box with an image of nine ladies dancing. He could picture Elizabeth being equally charmed. He asked the watchmaker if he could carve something special on the base of the box.
“I love it!” Elizabeth said when she wound up the musical box.
“What a wondrous object,” Lily said. Since Horace had been asked to stay and chat more than a few minutes of late, she had volunteered to stay in the room and be their chaperone to show propriety.
Horace was growing annoyed at the two ladies’ rapt attention to the mechanical knickknack. As much as he wanted to try in his subtle way to get Elizabeth to notice him, he begged leave for his lack of success in engaging them in a lively conversation.
Lily was disappointed at seeing him go. “I think he would’ve stayed longer if you didn’t play with that thing so much.”
“Why do you care about how long he stays?” Elizabeth asked.
“Aren’t you becoming attached to Horace?”
“That’s rather abrupt, Lily.”
“After all, he’s been coming here every day, calling on you.”
“He comes here because he is delivering these lovely presents . . .” Elizabeth was playing with the musical box, completely captivated by it.
“Do you really believe it’s someone else and not him?”
“We were not properly introduced, Lily. How can he just show up on our doorstep and declare his love for me? It wouldn’t make sense.”
“Well, who do you think it is then?”
Elizabeth finally looked away from her gift and smiled at Lily.