Posted on: 2015-04-22Inspired by a conversation on the Tea Room board.
Mr. Darcy looked up from his book with a frown as a maid entered his room carrying a glass of wine.
"There must be some mistake. I did not order anything."
She placed the wine on the table and sauntered toward him. As she approached Mr. Darcy noticed that her hair had come loose and there was something wrong with her uniform. None of the other Neatherfield maids wore anything so revealing or he was sure he would have noticed.
She said softly, "I thought perhaps you would like something to help you sleep?"
"Thank you, no."
"Then perhaps," she ran her hand along his face and moved as if she would sit on his lap, "some company?"
Mr. Darcy moved abruptly from his chair and said with some alarm, "Certainly not!" and then more calmly but still using a tone indicative of displeasure he continued, "There has been some sort of misunderstanding. Miss Bingley can not possibility wish you to perform such a service for her guests and I am sure you would not wish to distress her by having her learn of your offer."
The girl took a step back turning pale, "No, Sir"
"Then I suggest you return to your business and leave me to mine."
"Yes, Sir." She made a hasty retreat leaving Mr. Darcy to wonder how she could possibly have gotten the idea such an offer would be welcome. He was even more surprised when, not ten minutes later, the scene was repeated, almost verbatim, this time with a footman and a glass of warm milk. After dismissing the footman Mr. Darcy was careful to bar the door.
He crossed the room and stared out the window for a few moments thinking that neither his servants in town or at Pemberley would make such an error. Then after staring briefly at the full moon he shut the curtains and retired.
It was not long before Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet emerged from the spot where they had been crouched below Darcy's window and repelled down the side of Netherfield. When they reached the ground Lizzy frowned, "I'm not entirely sure we ought to have done that."
"We had to try something. I for one am tired of scaling the walls of Netherfield every night only to watch Mr. Darcy read and then go to bed. But it was all for naught we still have learned nothing about his ...preference."
"The night was not a total loss Papa. It is a full moon."
"Yes, we now have incontrovertible evidence that he is not a werewolf. How did you make out with the Holy Water Lizzy?"
"He showed no other discomfort than the annoyance one might expect at being doused with water, and on the whole was more gracious about it than I would have expected."
"Then we can rule out vampire as well. We will tackle Witchcraft tomorrow. I will invite Mr. Darcy to go fishing and you will be hiding in the bushes. When I trip him you leap out and push him into the water, then we will both jump in and hold him under."
"Such behavior may be difficult to explain afterward."
"Do you have a better idea?"
"No, but Papa, do you never wonder if we are not taking this business of voluntary spying a bit far?"
"Perhaps it is so but what is the alternative? To assume Mr. Darcy is nothing more than he appears to be unless he gives us reason to think otherwise?"
Elizabeth laughed, "No or course not, that would be absurd."