” “It is Miss Nellie,” said Mrs. Pratt, with a curtsey. The kitten answered the call by rubbing its face against her breast and purring loudly. Thereupon she took it out of the basket, set it down on the floor of the carriage box, blew upon its soft fur until it stopped crying, rubbed its head gently between both hands to make sure that no fleas had attached themselves there during their journey—and then cradled it in her arms for half an hour before returning to Lady Clarendon. When they arrived at Netherfield Park they found Mr. Bingley already waiting for them in his riding-carriage; but though he was not five minutes behind them himself he had been preceded by several others who came up to meet him as soon as he had given them orders how best to convey his sister home from Meryton: among whom were two officers whose acquaintance Jane had made shortly after their arrival in London; and one young man only just returned from abroad who introduced himself as Mr. Darcy’s relation—his cousin George Wickham,—and said that he was honoured by having such distinguished friends visit his father’s house so early in the morning as tomorrow evening!
Chapter 18 Elizabeth seemed very much depressed when she joined Jane and Kitty again at Longbourn about two o’clock next day; and yet so strange a thing was this contrast between all she felt and suffered now within herself