“Have you eaten, Johnny?” she asked, flipping the fan open again.
“No,” he said, suddenly recalling that he was starving. “I hadn’t the chance.”
“Well, then.” The Countess waved one of the footmen over, selected a small pie from his tray, and handed it to her son. “Yes, I saw you talking to Lady Mumford. Kind of you; the dear old thing dotes upon you.”
Dear old thing. Lady Mumford was possibly the Countess’s senior by a year. Grey mumbled a response, impeded by the pie. It was steak with mushrooms, delectable in flaky pastry.
“Whatever were you talking to Joseph Trevelyan to intently about, though?” the Countess asked, raising her fan in farewell to the Misses Humber. She turned to look at her son, and lifted one brow, then laughed. “Why, you’ve gone quite red in the face, John — one might think Mr. Trevelyan had made you some indecent proposal!”
“Ha ha,” Grey said, thickly, and put the rest of the pie into his mouth.
Diana Gabaldon, Lord John and the Private Matter (Chapter 5 – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music))