He moved on to study the next portrait, one of those depicting Aunt Julia, which Linda had spoken about the previous day. If only she'd waited a few more days before taking off with Nicky Sinclair. Uncle Hugh would have been dead, and then maybe she'd have stayed and become a stepmama of sorts for Rupert. He was under no illusions as to where Papa's preferences lay, of course, and sometimes even wondered how Mama and Papa had come to produce him. But Aunt Julia had loved Papa – possibly not in the same way as she'd loved Nicky Sinclair – but she could have been his duchess and still carried on her romance with Nicky Sinclair. People did that sort of thing all the time in the books Mama read. Aunt Julia had liked horses. She would have kept horses at the Lodge, and not let Papa turn them all into garages, and she would have helped Rupert choose a horse of his own. He was still a little uncertain how he was going to pick one out at the riding school later in the day, but perhaps one would pick him.
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