|The next day, Mollie herself went for a stroll round by the lake.|
She could see two figures in the distance, one smaller than the other. They got closer and closer, and they proved to be a mother and a young girl, the latter of whom was clinging to her mother's hand.
The girl, she had never seen before, and yet she was still familiar, in that same way as Miss Maynard had been. Her eyes were big and blue and her hair was primrose-fair in a way that reminded her of her mother. The heart-shape of her face and the well-cut lips reminded Mollie of someone, but the blue frock coat, tam o' shanter and Mary-Janes showed her nothing. She was pouring forth to her mother about something that Mollie was too far away to hear, and the woman was nodding happily and adding in her own remarks.
Then Mollie got a proper look at the mother.
Her hair was long, she was taller, she had subtle curves now, but there was no mistaking her, the look in her black eyes was exactly the same as Mollie remembered it, she was unmistakably...
"Joey!" she cried, and the little girl stared at her as though she were mad, but the recognition in Jo's face was palpable.
"Maynie." she smiled. Oh, dear. As soon as Jack had got wind of her arrival in the Tyrol, they had made a plan to approach her together and break the news of her marriage gently to her. Jack had promised to do all the talking, but Jo was still quite certain that she would be called upon to say something, and she knew that she was going to be asked why. She wasn't quite sure how one tells one's former Mathematics teacher - the worst subject ever - that one has fallen for their eldest brother, no matter how fall-for-able he is.
But Jack wasn't here. She would have to handle this alone.
"Is that you daughter?" asked Mollie. Jo nodded, reasoning that there was no point in lying.
"Are you married?" Mollie gave a little laugh. "Of course, none of us ever believed you.when you said you'd be a maiden aunt! Now you're married and with a child to boot! I suppose you've found a nice politician, like I have, to take care of you and your affairs. Same age as you, probably, none of this nonsense about marrying an older or younger man! You'll have to point him out to me one day." she finished, leaving Jo staring open-mouthed after her.