Sophia slid just inside the door to talk, as as was her nightly habit. Her eyes lighted on Alexandra. “Say what you will, you like the Captain. And oh what a man he is. Maria thinks him the handsomest man she has ever seen. If I were but a few years older, I would be hopelessly lost.”
“Then it is fortunate for you that you are not old enough to be so foolish," Lydia answered.
Sophia sprang onto Alexandra's bed, her eyes full of disbelief. “Foolish? How can you speak so? Captain Carrington puts every other man of our acquaintance to shame, and I believe he is quite taken with you, Alexandra. Why do you dislike him so?”Alexandra stepped to the open window and looked out across the river at Radcliffe Cottage, then dropped to the window seat. “The Captain is too poor to help our family, and you know I will never marry a man who cannot save us from this wretched existence. You are far too naïve, Sophia. A man that handsome has no notion of being faithful to one woman, and I do not think him so low-born as he wants us to believe. He has most likely lost his money in some foolishness. I shall never tie myself to such a man, nor should you. If you do, you may have grief to pay for it.”