The ball room was filled with the beautiful and melodic music of the waltz. Lady Elizabeth Winther watched the couple dancing in the center of the hall with great satisfaction.
"I knew the moment he was introduced to Carol it would end in marriage," she boasted to her friend, Mrs. Frances Nightingale.
"Carol certainly has made a good choice of it, though I might have had my reservations about marrying into the military. They are constantly moving from one barracks to another."
"You speak the truth, but Major Carrywith is from such a good family and he has a very good position in the army, and the two of them are so in love. Even my husband approved of the match and you know how hard it is to get Lord Winther to approve of anything."
Mrs. Nightingale smiled and gave a sigh, "I often wished I would be able to see such a sight for my dear Florence, but she has made up her mind never to marry."
Lady Winther nodded sympathetically. "Richard was a little worried when Carol began spending so much time with your daughter. She goes over to the hospital where Florence is superintendent at least four times a week, and he thought Florence would have a bad influence on Carol. I overruled him though, if Carol wants to study a little nursing, why not let her while she was young and free. I knew in time she would find a husband, settle down and raise a family, and I proved to be right. What is more, her having some knowledge in nursing will be useful should the children get sick. Of course, if she had insisted on making it her full time profession ...well...I don't know if I would have let her. My husband would flatly forbidden it. Such work is not suitabe for a young lady."
Mrs. Nightingale sniffed loudly and Lady Winther decided it would be best to drop the subject. The fact that Florence had turned down Richard Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton, and become superintendent of a hospital was still a wound in Mrs. Nightingale's heart.
"When will the wedding to take place?" Mrs. Nightingale asked. She too was in the mood to shift away from the topic of nursing.
"It hasn't been decided yet. Carol would marry him tomorrow, but you remember how Turkey has recently gone to war, and since England is an ally to Turkey, we may just find ourselves at war as well. Lord Winther felt it would be wise for us to wait a little before a date is set, just to see how things will turn out. Of course I fully support him in this. I do not want my daughter to end up widow the day after she becomes wife. We will wait and see what the next year will bring, and I pray it will not bring us sorrow or despair."