Scene: The library of what is obviously a stately home. It is night; a fire blazes in the fire place. A young woman, well dressed, stands with her back to the audience, staring out a large window at upstage left.

(Kathleen enters DR calling)

Kathleen: Victoria! (she spots her sister at the window and lowers her voice) Victoria, there you are! Come, Maddy is serving dinner.

(Victoria remains, apparently not having heard)

Kathleen: (moving to her sister and placing her hand on her arm, she speaks gently but sternly) Really Victoria, you must stop this mooning about. It's been two years now and still you stare out that window as if you could see him.

Victoria: (dreamily) You never know, Kath, maybe I can.

Kathleen: (exasperated) Bah! Such romanticc nonsense! Tell me, have you come to a decision about Justin?

Victoria: (turns to her sister) Aye, I sent him away this afternoon.

Kathleen: (now genuinely cross) Nay? Tell me you have not! He's been here a full fortnight attempting to gain your affections and you coldly send him away? What other man would show such patience? Really! Richard will be furious.

Victoria: (crosses to the sofa UC and sits) Oh, I grow so weary of this arguement. Must we have it yet again?

Kathleen: Aye, we must obviously. Richard managed to convince Justin Campbell to come here to court you when all others had long since given up. A man of position, prospects and breeding, well worthy of your attentions, and you've sent him away? Richard shall never stand for this; however shall I tell him?

Victoria: Kathleen, I am betrothed to Shawn MacNeil, you know my feelings on this. That shall not change. My life and my heart are pledged to him and it matters not to me whether it be 2 years or 200; I will await his return as I vowed I would do.

Kathleen: Oh please! After all this time, you must face the facts dear sister. He is in all likelihood dead, or at the very least found some continental beauty in France or Germany. Either way Victoria, he's not coming back.

Victoria: (angrily) I warn you, Kathleen, do not question his honour, least ways not when he is not here to defend it. Would you have him return to find my heart so faint, my faith so weak, as to have married the likes of Justin Campbell?

Kathleen: (incredulous) The likes of Justin Campbell.....?

(Victoria dismisses her with a wave of her hand)

Victoria: Aye, I know.... I know. Justin Campbell is as fine a figure of a man as any lass could seek. He is gentle , kind and attentive. A good family and a decent income, what lass would not have him and aye even love him for it? Would you have me steal that from him? Should I take from his his chance for for comfort with a woman who truly loves and cares for him? For I do not, nor will I.

Kathleen: (sighs, defeated) Nay, true, he doesn't deserve the likes of the foolishness that has ovecome your heart. But whatever shall I tell Richard? He will not be pleased.

Victoria: (taking gentle hold of her sister) Kath, your husband has been more than generous in honouring your promise to father to see that I was cared for till I was wed. He could never have forseen this circumstance, nor can I any longer impose upon his goodwill, which is undoubtedly wearing thin. I shall pack my bags tonight and leave first light for Edinburgh, where I should have little trouble, I'm sure, finding a suitable position for a woman of my education and position. I am quite sure that I shall quickly find a good family in need of a governess or a widow in need of a companion. I only ask that you broach Richard regarding a suitable recommendation and such funds as he might , that I should be comfortable until I find such a position.

Kathleen: (looking unhappy) I'm sure Richard shall agree, but I cannot say that I like it. What would father think of my abandoning you and driving you off?

Victoria: You're not abandoning me, or driving me off. I go off my own accord. 'Tis been my own choice to wait, and to suffer that waiting, until Shawn MacNeil or some word of him has reached home to my heart, but there is no need for you and Richard to suffer with me.

Kathleen: Still, my dearest little Victoria, I shall miss you dreadfully.

(Victoria hugs Kathleen gently)

Victoria: And I shall miss you, but it is the only way that we should all have our desires met. Come, you should go and speak to Richard immediately, and then you must come and help me pack, as we say our goodbyes. But, Kathleen, you must swear to me one thing. After I am situated and write to let you know of my whereabouts, you must swear to me that you will tell Shawn where I have gone and that I remained true to him, when he returns. And, Kath, he will return.

Kathleen: You know, I do believe, you may just be right.

(Both women exit, their arms around each other)