‘What?!’ I’m not proud, but I might have clapped. ‘No! Really? When?!’
‘Blimey.’ I sigh. ‘I used to fancy him.’
‘So did I.’
I laugh. ‘I think everyone did, at some point!’ A thought occurs to me. ‘That explains why he was at dancing the other day….’
‘He was in town?! He’s never in town!’
This single man of large fortune.
‘He must have been practicing for the ball.’ I laugh. ‘He must be the most eligible bachelor in town – or not in town!’
‘Yes. I suppose… he must have a title.’
I smile, remembering a somewhat surreal conversation we’d had on the drive up to Scotland in the summer…
Freddie pauses, finger poised over the dialing pad.
‘If the dad picks up, how do I address him?’
‘By his name?’ I say, a touch sarcastically.
Hannah explains the situation to me. My knowledge of titles is limited to what I’ve learnt from Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, and a brief training session at work, so I keep quiet. Freddie and Hannah debate the issue at some length from positions of marginally less ignorance.
‘His father’s a ‘Sir’, right?’ I say. I think that’s what they’d decided in the car park of the service station.
‘He’s a baronet.’
‘Oh, so… is that different?’
She gives his full title.
‘This is all very Jane Austen!’ I say.
‘So,’ I say, thoughtfully, ‘he’ll be a baronet.’
I’ll take that.