That was the way in which Mrs. Gibson first broached her intention of accompanying Cynthia up to London for a few days’ visit. She had a trick of producing the first sketch of any new plan before an outsider to the family circle; so that the first emotions of others, if they disapproved of her projects, had to be repressed, until the idea had become familiar to them. To Molly it seemed too charming a proposal ever to come to pass. She had never allowed herself to recognize the restraint she was under in her step-mother’s presence; but all at once she found it out when her heart danced at the idea of three whole days – for that it would be at the least – of perfect freedom of intercourse with her father; of old times come back again; of meals without perpetual fidgetiness after details of ceremony and correctness of attendance.