John could stand it no longer. He never interfered in the Roberts’ conversations with their guests, but today, he had no choice. After a brief bow, he made eye contact with Anne Roberts.
“A brief word, mum?” His brows knit.
Anne’s gaze met his. “Certainly, John. Excuse me, Edda May.”
Edda May made a face, but offered a quick nod.
John led his mistress into the pantry.
“What is it?”
“That spider is lying.”
“Yes, mum. I heard the whole conversation. Mrs. Crumpton offered Maggie a job. Even dangled more money in front of her. But Maggie didn’t bite.”
“She turned it down?”
“Yes, mum. She’s very happy here.”
Anne smiled. “Glad to know.”
“Yes mum. We plan to marry.”
“Has she said ‘yes’?”
“She has.” A shy smile curled his lips.
“How wonderful!” Anne’s eyes lit up.
“Are you going to give her the axe?” .
“No, of course not. You do me a disservice, John.”
“Begging your pardon?” His eyebrows quirked up.
“You assume I’d believe Edda May.”
“She’s a big, fat liar. I don’t know why she’s trying to get Maggie fired, but it won’t work. I didn’t believe a word she said. Do you know why she did this?”
The unexpected question sent heat to his cheeks.
“Something to do with a former attachment I had? To her maid, Gerty.”
“Broke her heart, did you?” Anne Roberts stared at him.
“Didn’t mean to. Just…when Maggie came along,” he stumbled over his words, and felt his blush deepen. “Well, you know how she is. Kinda special.”
“You have good taste.”
“So you won’t be firing Maggie?”
“Of course not. That windbag has some nerve trying to cause trouble in my home,” Anne’s eyes fired up, she straightened her spine and pursed her lips.
“Thank you. Maggie will be much relieved.”
“Stick around, John. Edda May has a little surprise coming,” Anne said, heading toward the living room.