“Are you enjoying your visit to Faversham?” Mrs Jones looked like she knew the answer already. Somehow Ana was going to have to pick the woman’s brains regarding the strange attitudes she had encountered. Mrs Jones didn’t pause for Ana’s answer but picked up the cup and carefully raised it to her lips.
The murmur of voices had resumed enough for Ana to be sure that they could not be overheard. “Yes. The town is very pretty and surprisingly busy.” She refused to say anything else about the strange attitudes that she sensed. Not yet, anyway.
“The bastard Captain’s new mistress, no doubt.” Two women were seated at the table adjacent to Ana’s. They were smartly, if somewhat unfashionably attired, so she was sure that they must be wives of important local landowners or businessmen. Both women paused their cups at their lips, as they leaned in to talk in raised whispers. “I hear she was a servant. Rising above her station, thinking to marry the son of a Duke. A failed naval captain, if you please. She’ll be another slut, like the others. Probably leave her brats all over the countryside and run back to the city. More for his collection of waifs and strays. Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s foreign, like the others.”