Flora was having a particularly bad day. While filling the tub for her morning bath she had accidentally shattered a jar of Epson salts. As afternoon approached she ran into an antique coffee table and tore a hole in her stockings. Later, an unsightly bruise appeared. By two pm she had confined herself to her room.
Layton had watched the storm brew, unable to do anything to stop it. He waited a while—finished the dishes and tidied a little—then he followed her.
“May I ask what’s the matter?”
Flora rolled to face him. She had been crying. “No one will ever want to marry me, professor! I’m clumsy and I can’t even cook. I’d make a terrible wife.” And with this she grimaced again, giving a few more tears. Layton drew back, surprised at her train of thought.
“Flora my dear, I certainly don’t think that is something you need you worry about at your age.” She didn’t say anything. She just pursed her lips to wa