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|"Discovering" them to be relations
Written by Barbara
(10/6/2006 10:51 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Calculating Lucy, penned by Jan
We are told it was a 'morning's excursion to Exeter'. It may have been shopping, but could just as likely have been a visit to relatives there, or maybe both. This is speculation, but with Barton only 4 miles from Exeter, Mrs. Jennings probably went there often to shop and visit.
The narrator also suggests that the Steeles are 'third cousins' of the Jennings. It may be even a more distant connection, but perhaps Lucy, on hearing that Edward was going to Barton, and knowing herself to be distantly connected to the family there, immediately arranged to stay with some mutual cousins in Exeter.
As you say, Lucy would no doubt have heard of Sir John's habit of hospitality from these people, for how could they have escaped one of the numerous invitations to Barton Park that are always given out? At that point, Lucy had only to wait for Mrs. Jennings' inevitable visit, and then turn the conversation the way she wanted.
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