Posted on Thursday, 26 August 1999
"Monica, I do hope my brother will ride home to Derbyshire carefully." said Miss Georgiana Darcy, as she watched her brother ride away from Darcy House the next morning.
"God will take care of your brother, Miss Georgiana." replied Monica, with a knowing smile.
"I know that he will, but every time he receives word from Pemberley that he must return for any real important reason he rides in such a hurried manner. I worry about him." replied Georgiana, as she turned from the window to allow Monica to help her with her dress. Georgiana was relieved by the fact that her brother had asked Mr. Bingley to escort her to Derbyshire, for she did not like riding with Miss Bingley and the Hursts.
Mr. Darcy had wakened at five o'clock to ready himself for his ride to Derbyshire. As soon as he was dressed and had eaten a quick breakfast, he went out to the stables, where Invincible was saddled and ready for his ride home. As soon as he was in the stableyard, one of the grooms brought Invincible to him and he quickly mounted the black and hurried away towards Derbyshire. When he was sure he was away from the city, turned his horse off the road, as he had planned to ride cross country. Invincible fairly flew as soon as he gave him his head. As he rode, he thought of the events of the past weeks he had spent in London. Somehow he was determined to make things right between himself and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, if only he had a chance to see her again. He wondered just what his steward wished to see him about.
He soon was at the boundary of Pemberley and he hurried down the hill. This was one of his favorite rides in the park and soon he was in sight of the house, which was just across the pond. That aspect of the house was reflected splendidly in the pond. He quickly dismounted and walked with his horse to stand by the pond. He stood there, tired and covered in dirt from the road. The pond tempted him, as the last time he did what he was being tempted to do, he was a lad of ten and his Father had taken his cane to him, but he was home and he was going to do it. Quickly he removed his coat, waistcoat, cravat and then sat down on the pond's bank to remove his boots and stockings. When he had finished, he rose and dove into the pond.
Posted on Friday, 3 September 1999
Authors' Note: I never did this in the previous chapter that introduced them, but Hannah Dane, Jennie Dane, Matthew Dane, and Phillip Dane are members of a family who are Pemberley tenants. Hannah is, as you know the chambermaid at the Lambton Inn, Jennie is Georgiana's abigail, Matthew is the brother whom Hannah mentioned was an undergardener at Pemberley and Phillip is one of Mr. Darcy's grooms. Mr. Halloran is Mr. Darcy's stableman.
Mr. Darcy spent the next quarter of an hour enjoying this forbidden pleasure. When his head broke above the surface once more, a slight mischievous smile spread across his lips. "Strange." Darcy thought to himself. He had, even during those dark days in Town, since he and his Cousin returned from Kent, been, when he was not wallowing in self-pity, doing things that most people in his circle would never expect him to do and enjoy. Things such as: climbing a tree and rescuing Miss Maria Gardiner's doll, helping Masters Ned and Caleb Gardiner with their kite. (Author's Note: Forgive me for not writing of this incident before, but even Mr. Darcy kept this incident from me. ), while subtly reminding Master Ned, that a gentleman did not tease a lady unmercifully, even if the lady was his younger sister, and attending "The Duchess'" tea party.
Reluctantly, Darcy got out of the pond, put his stockings and boots back on, gathered up Invincible's reins and headed towards the stables. As he approached the stables, one of his grooms; Phillip Dane, could be observed walking towards him.
Respectfully ignoring his Master's wet clothing he addressed him thus: "Good day to ye, Sir. Welcome home. Have ye come tae see the wee ones?"
To which Darcy replied, "I may do so later, Phillip. How is your mother feeling?"
"She is a mite better now. Pa is that shocked and proud at the news. He thought mum was through havin' babies." replied Phillip.
"When did Ariadne foal?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"She foaled at midnight, Sir. Mr. Halloran was fair worried a mite at first. The wee ones legs was all tangled. Once he got them sorted, their mum did all the work. Mr. Halloran were not surprised that it was twins. We've not had twins born at Pemberley sin' yer Gran'father's time." replied Phillip.
"Phillip, take Invincible to the stables, unsaddle him and give him a good rub down." Mr. Darcy told his groom, giving him the reins, as he took the path towards the house.
"Aye Sir." replied Phillip.
Posted on Saturday, 4 September 1999
As Darcy headed up and over the slight rise, he caught sight of a figure. His first reaction to this, was to rub his eyes just to make sure that they were not playing tricks on him, as they had so many times in London. "It cannot be, though, for what possible reason would Miss Elizabeth Bennet come to Pemberley?" Darcy thought to himself, as he came closer and all the while Miss Elizabeth Bennet was oblivious to his presence. What happened next, he was not sure. It may have been the twig he stepped on, all he knew was that, of a sudden! Miss Elizabeth was aware of him. Darcy felt his face colour as he watched how Miss Elizabeth's awareness of him had caused a similar effect on her. He watched Elizabeth cover her mouth with her hand and hurry away.
Darcy's long legs brought him to the house in just a few strides. Entering the house, he gave a surprised Mrs. Reynolds his coat and was taking the stairs two at a time. As soon as he entered his bed chamber, he began to remove his wet clothes and after a desultory splashing from the basin, Darcy changed in to a pair of buff coloured pantaloons, a clean snowy white linen shirt, with a cravat tied in a simple knot, cream coloured waistcoat, bottle green coat, and his boots that had been given a quick shine. As quickly as Darcy entered his bed chamber, he just as quickly exited it and again he found himself doing something that members of the ton would never expect of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, he slid all the way down the banister.
As Darcy reached the foot of the stairs, he felt another mischievous smile spread across his lips, for he had been all of eight years, when he and his cousins had last been caught, caught by their Aunt Catherine. His Father had taken his cane to all three of them, and, as he recalled the event, he remembered feeling somewhat angered, that compared to the canings his cousins had received, his Father had been most heavy handed with him, though he knew why.
Posted on Wednesday, 8 September 1999
Making sure that his appearance was impeccable, Darcy hurried out the great front door, which had been thrown open for him. Darcy hurried down the front steps and across the lawn, in hopes of discovering whether or not his surprising visitors had left. As Darcy was crossing the lawn, his mind reeling from the shock of discovering Miss Elizabeth Bennet visiting Pemberley, he was not watching where he was going and he accidentally collided with the hunched over figure of Matthew Dane, who was busily raking.
"I am that sorry, Mr. Darcy. Have ye seen the wee ones at the stables? My brother were that proud when he come to see Mum and Pa, to tell them the news." said Matthew Dane, as he quickly recovered his balance.
"It was not your fault, Dane. I was not watching where I was going. I have not seen the new arrivals at the stables as yet, though I may wait until Miss Georgiana arrives, so she may exclaim over them as well. Now you may do something for me, Dane. Could you tell me if our visitors have departed?" Darcy asked, in an unusually anxious tone.
"Not yet, Sir, and. . . . . . ," Matthew began, as inexplicably.
Mr. Darcy had started away in the direction that Matthew had pointed out, calling a quick, "Thank you Dane. "
". . . . . we are that glad tae see ye home, Mr. Darcy." Matthew finished, as he went back to his raking.
Darcy quickly covered the not so little distance between himself and the place where Miss Elizabeth and her friends stood, as their carriage waited.
"Miss Bennet, please allow me to apologise for not receiving you properly just now. You are not leaving?" Darcy asked in a hopeful tone.
"We were sir. I feel we must." replied Lizzie in a surprisingly reluctant tone, for someone who had, at their last encounter, made it clear that she did not wish to be in his company.
"I hope you are not displeased with Pemberley?" asked Darcy, still hopeful that he could convince Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her friends to tarry a bit longer at Pemberley. There were so many places about the grounds that he was sure they had not seen, places such as: the gardens, most especially the spot his head gardener referred to as "Lady Anne's Bower".
"No, not at all." replied Lizzie, with a surprisingly genuine smile.
"Then you approve of it?" asked Darcy, still hopeful.
"Very much. I think that there are few who would not approve." replied Lizzie, with such honesty, that it made a hopeful Darcy boldly venture what he believed was compliment. "But your good opinion is rarely bestowed and therefore more worth the earning." Unconscious of the fact that he was watching her face for any reaction, then observing an abashed look on her face, Darcy realised, as his Cousin James would have, that a strategic retreat was called for and he quickly changed the subject.
"Miss Bennet, will you do me the honour of introducing me to your friends?" asked Darcy, referring to the seemingly fashionable couple, who were obviously accompanying Miss Elizabeth. He wondered if they were some connections of hers perhaps.
A. N. I am using Cheapside in the following passage as Lizzie used it in the mini-series. I am doing it under protest, as I read about this, it was at Henry Churchyard's JA Info Page, that Gracechurch Street is not Cheapside.
"Certainly. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Gardiner, Mr. Darcy. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are my Uncle and Aunt, my sister Jane stayed at their house in Cheapside, when she was lately in London." replied Lizzie.
"Delighted to make your acquaintance madam, delighted sir. I understand that you are staying in Lambton?" replied Darcy, in a shockingly honest and cordial tone, a tone that contained not the least bit of discomfort.
"Yes sir, I grew up there as a girl." replied Maria Gardiner, stepping into the breach, so to speak, when she observed the odd look on her niece's face and how she had become inexplicably tongue-tied.
"Delightful village, I remember running from Pemberley to Lambton almost everyday as a boy during the horse chestnut season. There was one very fine tree there. . . . . ." replied Mr. Darcy, a nostalgic smile spreading across his lips.
"On the green by the smithy." Maria Gardiner finished, on her face, a similar look.
"The very one. Mr. Gardiner, do you care for fishing?" asked Mr. Darcy, in a cordially conversational tone.
"Indeed I do, when I get the chance of it." replied Edward Gardiner.
"If you have time, you must come and fish in my trout stream, or there are carp, tench, and pike in the lake if your bent runs to course fishing. I should be happy to furnish you wish rods and tackle and show you the best spots. Follow us to lake, my man will show you the way." Mr. Darcy informed Mr. Gardiner's coachman.
"Is this the proud Mr. Darcy, you told us of, for he is all friendliness and ease. No false dignity there." said Maria Gardiner, in a tone meant for her niece's ears only.
"I am as astonished as you are. I cannot imagine what has effected this transformation." replied Lizzie, in a similar tone.
"Can you not?" asked Maria Gardiner, in an enigmatic tone, as she left her niece's side to take her husband's proffered arm.
"Miss Bennet." said Mr. Darcy, as he proffered his arm, which Lizzie shyly took.
"I was going to say again sir how unexpected your arrival was, for we had heard even when we were in Bakewell, that you were not expected for some days. If we had known you were to be here, we would never have dreamt of invading your privacy. Your housekeeper assured us that you would not be home tomorrow." stated Lizzie, in an apologetic tone.
"I beg you not to make yourself uneasy. I had planned so myself, but I found I had business with my steward, it appears that I have some new arrivals at my stables. One of my mares has produced a set of twins. Apparently it was a difficult foaling, and I needed to be informed. I just rode on ahead of the rest of the party, without informing anyone. They will join me here tomorrow, among them will be those who will claim an acquaintance with you. I refer, of course, to Mr. Bingley, his sisters, and Mr. Hurst." replied Darcy, to which information, Lizzie acknowledged with a slight bow.
Author's Note: At this point, before I forget, I would just like to thank the following Dwiggies for all their great help with the above scene. Thanks to Melissa and Leareth, and Special thanks to our Great Lady Patroness; Ann.
Posted on Thursday, 9 September 1999
Darcy felt his face colour as his mind raced back to the moment when Bingley's name had last been mentioned between them. Darcy did not dare look to see any signs that Miss Elizabeth's mind had similar thoughts. They walked on a little further, silently, their minds thus engaged. As they walked along, Darcy was considering with some trepidation whether Miss Elizabeth might agree to an application from him concerning Georgiana. "There is also one other member of the party," he continued after this pause, "who more particularly wishes to be made known to you. Will you allow me. . . . or do I ask too much. . . . to introduce my sister to your acquaintance during your stay in Lambton?"
To which Lizzie replied, "I should be happy to make her acquaintance." replied Lizzie, in a tone that belied her pleasure, if not her ease.
"Thank you Miss Bennet. I will engage to bring Georgiana to the inn, as soon as is possible, after her arrival at Pemberley." replied Darcy, in a genuinely thankful tone.
They continued their walk, and soon outstripped the Gardiners slower pace. When they reached the carriage, which waited by the side of the house, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were still some way behind.
After another pause, Darcy ventured to ask Miss Elizabeth whether she would like to reenter the house and partake of some refreshment, for he most dearly desired for Elizabeth to see some aspects that might show off Pemberley at its most magnificent.
"Mr. Darcy, you are all kindness and thoughtfulness, but I truly am not tired and I would rather stay out of doors to admire the view." replied Lizzie.
Another interminable silence threatened to ensue, Darcy recognising that everything he wished to discuss with Miss Elizabeth, would likely bring back painful memories of their unfortunate encounter at Hunsford Parsonage, he again chose to make another strategic retreat. "Miss Bennet, please tell me of your travels this summer. How is it that you are in Derbyshire?" Darcy asked, in a pleasant conversational tone.
"Our original destination was to have been the Lakes, but my Uncle is obliged to return to Town, it is something to do with a shipment that has recently arrived. Though we have seen Blenheim and Chatsworth, as well as Matlock and Dove Dale." replied Lizzie, in a similar tone.
A. N. The next passage is being done on sheer presumption on my part. I am sure that in the book Matlock was a real place, though in P and P2, Darcy's maternal Uncle was given the title of the Earl of Matlock, I have presumed that the Matlock mentioned was Darcy's Uncle's country seat. Just so you know and understand, that estate is called Matlock Court. There is another estate that belongs to the Earls of Matlock, this is the traditional home of the heirs; the Viscounts Marsden. For those readers who have also been reading "A Short Season" and "The Taming of Lady Lochmaben", the London Townhouse in Brook Street was Lady Lochmaben's(That's Kate folks. ) Lady Marsden also has a Townhouse in Edinburgh and lastly, Lochmaben Castle which is in the Highlands. I do hope you got all that. Thanks lots, Your Gentle Author
"How much of the Court were you able to see? The house?, or just the park? I know that my Uncle and Aunt usually travel to Scotland with my Cousin's eldest brother; Marsden, his wife, son and daughter at this time. Marsden's wife has estates there." asked Darcy, curiously, after hearing that Miss Elizabeth and the Gardiners had visited his Uncle Matlock's estate.
"We were not able to see the house, but we saw much of the park. My Aunt and I enjoyed much of the gardens, especially the knot garden and the labyrinth. I especially enjoyed the labyrinth. But, I have not answered your question, how came we to Pemberley? As my Aunt stated, she lived in Lambton for some time as a girl. She evinced a desire to revisit her girlhood home, and it was she who suggested that we visit Pemberley. As I stated before, it was understood that you were not at home, or we would not have attempted to pay a visit to the house." replied Lizzie.
"Miss Bennet, you must allow me to tell you that it has been a pleasure to have an opportunity of renewing our acquaintance and of meeting your aunt and uncle." said Mr. Darcy, again in surprisingly honest tones, which caused a lovely flush to infuse Miss Elizabeth's face and brought a sparkle to her fine eyes, or so Darcy observed.
This conversation kept their time occupied well enough, until the Gardiners crossed the lawn to rejoin them.
"Miss Bennet, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, please, you must come inside and take some tea and cakes." Mr. Darcy offered most cordially.
"We would love to Mr. Darcy, but we truly must decline. My Aunt and Uncle and I are to dine with a girlhood friend of hers this evening and we must return to the inn to change." replied Lizzie, with the greatest of civility.
Reluctantly, Darcy handed the ladies into the carriage and, as he watched it drive away, he noticed Miss Elizabeth looking back, an enigmatic smile on her lips, the sparkle still in her fine eyes. When the carriage was out of sight, Darcy walked slowly back to the house.
Crossing the hall, he encountered his housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds. "I understand that you had visitors to see the house today." he said.
"Yes Sir. I would not have admitted them if I had known that you were to be at home. But I understood from the young lady that you had met before. And her aunt told me that she had heard much of you from her niece." she replied.
Darcy found this to be welcome news indeed. For Miss Elizabeth Bennet to have spoken of himself, and to have seen something of Pemberley, was what he wanted to hear.
"There is nothing to regret; indeed, I am very glad that they were able to see the house. The young lady lives near Netherfield, the place that Mr. Bingley took last Michaelmas, in Hertfordshire. Miss Bennet, her Aunt and Uncle are staying in Lambton. They may be able to visit again, once Miss Georgiana has arrived tomorrow." replied Mr. Darcy.
"Then I have only to add, that it is a pleasure to have you home again, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Reynolds has put all your messages in your study. The painting of Lady Anne has come back from being cleaned and awaits you to oversee its rehanging in the Long Gallery. I must say the young Lady was enchanted by your portrait. She could not take her eyes from it. Does Mr. Darcy have any further orders?" replied Mrs. Reynolds.
"Nothing further Mrs. Reynolds, other than have Mr. Evans and Mr. Halloran to join me within the hour." replied Mr. Darcy.
"Tess, Mr. Darcy's first meeting with Miss Elizabeth since they were in Kent went well She was able to hear of him from those who know him best. And now she will meet Miss Darcy, and discover that she is not proud, just painfully shy, the poor wee lass is. Perhaps there is hope for Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth yet." said Monica.
"Perhaps, but there still is some trouble on the horizon, Miss Wings. That Mr. Wickham is even now seeking to hurt Mr. Darcy through Miss Elizabeth, Angel girl." replied Tess.
Posted on Wednesday, 22 September 1999
Mr. Darcy spent the next two hours, closeted with Mr. Evans, his steward and Mr. Halloran, his stableman discussing the particulars of the new arrivals at the stables. After this meeting ended, he asked Mrs. Reynolds to have a tray sent to his study, where he planned to attend to his correspondences, though in truth, he spent his time considering the fact that Miss Elizabeth Bennet had come to Pemberley.
So you showed Miss Elizabeth Bennet that you are not blind to the feelings of others. You greeted her Uncle and Aunt Gardiner of Gracechurch with the greatest of civility, and you saw for yourself that they are neither vulgar nor common. As you saw in Town. You also know that Miss Elizabeth Bennet mentioned "Cheapside" to test you, but just because you passed that test, does not mean that there will be more. Mr. Darcy's conscience taunted him, having thought that he had escaped that particular torment, Darcy rose from his desk, determined to go out for some fresh air.
"Perhaps, I should go to the stables and see the vaunted new arrivals." Darcy thought to himself, as he opened the study door, preparatory to exiting. He quickly called for his coat and hat. He told Mrs. Reynolds that he would be at the stables if he was needed for anything.
"Yes sir. So you could not resist to go and see the new wee ones? You are like everyone else, sir. There's not a one in or out of the house who has not seen the new wee ones at the stables." replied Mrs. Reynolds, smiling happily at her Master.
"Have you seen the new arrivals, Mrs. Reynolds?" asked Mr. Darcy, of his housekeeper.
"Oh yes sir. Mr. Halloran was that proud. He recollected of what his Pa told him of the twins that were born in your Grandfather Darcy's time." replied Mrs. Reynolds.
"Mrs. Reynolds, do you think that the young Lady who visited today might enjoy seeing the new arrivals in the stables?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"Oh yes sir. I am sure that she is just the sort of young Lady who would love seeing the new wee ones." replied Mrs. Reynolds, half to Mr. Darcy and half to herself.
Posted on Thursday, 23 September 1999
Upon entering the stables, Mr. Darcy was again greeted by Phillip Dane, who stood in the door of the tack room, with his young cousins, Aaron and Zachary, whom he recently taken on as an undergroom and stableboy. They had been in the act of mending two bridles and some reins.
"Ooh Aaron! It's himself come tae see the new wee ones." said Zachary, in an excited tone, which brought Mr. Halloran from his office.
"Good evenin' tae ye, Mr. Darcy, sir! I knew ye wouldna stay away from the stables too long after a foalin', ye are the same now, as when ye was a lad. We 'av bin waitin' 'til ye come home tae show ye the new wee ones." said Mr. Halloran.
"Ooh! Mr. Hall'ran sir, can Zach 'n me show Mr. Darcy the wee ones?" asked Aaron, in an excited tone.
"Aye scamp, ye can." replied Mr. Halloran.
The two boys huuried ahead of Mr. Darcy, who was subsequently followed by Mr. Halloran and Phillip Dane. "Here they be, sir." said Aaron and Zachary, proudly, in one voice, as Mr. Darcy arrived at Ariadne's stall.
Mr. Darcy looked with the same wonder that always came to him, when he encountered new arrivals, such as this. When Mr. Halloran and Phillip Dane joined them. "Which is the male and which is the female, Halloran?" asked Mr. Darcy, with interested curiosity, as he looked into the stall, Mr. Darcy noted that one of the foals was a luminous grey colour, that reminded him of a full moon, the other was a darker grey of a stormcloud.
"The filly be the one what looks like the moon and the colt be the one that looks like a stormcloud." replied Mr. Halloran, proudly.
Mr. Darcy watched as both little ones nuzzled their Mama's flank. "It looks like it is time for the little ones' dinner, and they need their privacy," said Mr. Darcy, as he walked away from Ariadne's stall. Mr. Darcy did not wish to leave the stables yet, so he walked along with Mr. Halloran, speaking of the twins health.
"Aye Mr. Darcy, they be strong 'n healthy, Mr. Darcy, sir. They be goin' tae make Pemberley stables that proud. I recollect me Pa tellin' me all about the twins born in yer Grandfather's time." said Mr. Halloran.
"I remember my Father telling me about the twins, he said they made good showings at many races. Were they not the Princes? I believe that their dam is out of one of the twins line." said Mr. Darcy.
"Aye Mr. Darcy. They were out of Oberon and Queen Mab." replied Mr. Halloran.
Posted on Saturday, 25 September 1999
As they walked through the stables, Mr. Darcy asked about different horses and whether the stables needed anything, or any repairs. He received favorable answers. Finishing his visit with a stop at Invincible's stall, where he checked once again on the black, before going back to the house. Upon entering the house, Mr. Darcy was given an express that had arrived while he was visiting the stables. It went thus:
One of Hurst's carriage wheels' bearings has come loose and their arrival at will be delayed. I will be continuing on to Pemberley Miss Darcy and Miss Annesley as planned. We more than likely arrive in morning (blot)(blot) eight. Hurst, Louisa, and Caroline will likely arrive later in the day.
Yours in (blot),
Reading this, Darcy began to form a plan that would see him to the inn at Lambton with Georgiana. He would then be able to introduce her to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. That having been settled in his mind, Mr. Darcy spent the rest of the evening in his study, attending to his correspondence and reading the book on modern farming techniques he had found at Hatchards recently. The book had some good ideas that he wished to employ at Pemberley. All too soon, Darcy began to fight the yawns that were threatening to come. He rose from his chair and left his study and went to his bedchamber. That night, knowing that Miss Elizabeth Bennet was just five miles from Pemberley, and that he would see her and her relatives the next day, Darcy had his first good night's sleep in weeks, nay months.
Darcy was up early betimes the next morning. He quickly dressed, ate breakfast, and went out for his morning ride, but when he returned to the house, he found it hard to wait for Bingley's carriage, and soon he was doing things he did as a boy when he had to wait for something or someone. When Mr. Bingley's carriage arrived, Darcy hurried out to greet his Sister and his friend.
"Welcome home Dearest." said Darcy, as he helped Georgiana and Miss Annesley from the carriage.
"Thank you, William. I am glad to be home." replied Georgiana, as she gave her brother a warm hug. Darcy had observed that Bingley had brought his valet and Georgiana's abigail to Pemberley along with his own valet. Mr. Bingley dismounted and greeted his friend, and then the party entered the house.
Mrs. Reynolds was waiting in the front hall to welcome Miss Georgiana home. "Thank you Mrs. Reynolds. Mrs. Reynolds, this is Monica, she is acting as my abigail until Mrs. Dane is better, and Jennie is able to work for me again. Please show her to my bedchamber." replied Georgiana.
"Yes Miss. Come with me, and I will show you to Miss Georgiana's bedchamber." said Mrs. Reynolds to the young Angel.
"Georgiana, I have something to tell you, but first, why do you not go up to your room and freshen up. I will come up to your chambers and then I will talk to you there." said Mr. Darcy. Georgiana and Miss Annesley went up to their respective bedchambers.
Upon entering her bedchamber, Georgiana found Monica in the act of unpacking her things. "There you are Miss, if you wish, I can help you to freshen up and I can finish unpacking your things later." said Monica.
"That will be just fine, Monica." replied Georgiana. As Monica redid Georgiana's hair she asked her if she was happy to be home. "Oh yes. I am so happy. Monica, I think my brother seems happier too, as if he had his most fond wish come true." said Georgiana, as Monica finished with her hair.
"Perhaps it has, Miss." replied Monica, with a knowing smile.
A quiet knock at her door sent Monica back to Georgiana's dressing room to finish unpacking, and when Georgiana opened her door she found it was her brother, come as he promised he would.
"I have good news, Dearest. Miss Elizabeth Bennet, the young lady we last spoke of in Town is now staying at the inn at Lambton with relatives. She wishes to be made known to you. I thought if Charles does not mind, we might drive into Lambton as soon as you have eaten breakfast. Would you like that, Georgie?" asked Darcy, using his family's pet name for his Sister, a name he had not used in years.
"I would like that very much, William. William, what did Mr. Evans want? Mrs. Dane is not worse, is she?" asked Georgiana, concernedly of her abigail's mother.
"Why no, Georgie. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Dane is much better and Mr. Dane is both shocked and proud of the fact that his wife is wife is increasing again. Mr. Evans wished me to know about Ariadne. She has foaled, but it was a difficult foaling, as she has produced a set of twins." replied Mr. Darcy.
"Oh William, that is the best news. Only fancy, Ariadne had twins. William, do you remember Papa telling us of The Princes. I still like their portrait that hangs in your study. Do you think that these twins will bring you luck, as Papa said The Princes brought Grandpapa?" asked Georgiana, shyly.
"I do believe they already have, Dearest. I will wait for you in the morning room, Georgie." said her brother with a smile, as he left his Sister's bedchamber.
Posted on Saturday, 25 September 1999
"Oh Monica, did you hear, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is stating not five miles away, and she wishes to make my acquaintance. Do you think that that has anything to do with how happy My Brother seems to be? Monica, he called me Georgie. William has not called me that since Our Father died. That is something that I have missed so. My Brother was not always serious and somber." said Georgiana, as she left her bedchamber and went down to breakfast.
"Tess, Miss Elizabeth Bennet will be meeting Miss Darcy soon. She will see just how sweet and eager to please she is. How shy." said Monica, as the younger Angel turned to her mentor and friend.
"She will, but remember what I said about the troubles that are coming, Angel girl." replied Tess.
Posted on Friday, 1 October 1999
Georgiana soon joined her brother and Mr. Bingley in the morning room for a light breakfast, when Darcy told his friend about Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and his plans regarding that young Lady. Mr. Bingley readily agreed, with the proviso that he accompany him and his Sister to the inn at Lambton. Thus agreed, the three finished breakfast, and went to change for the drive into Lambton.
"Oh Monica," Georgiana said, as the young Angel helped her with her hair. "I do not know what to say to William's Miss Elizabeth Bennet. What will she think of me? I wish I knew what she is really like. Though she is from Hertfordshire, is she all that William says, or is she all haughty and sharp tongued as Miss Bingley?"
"But Miss Georgiana, perhaps Miss Elizabeth is just as nervous about meeting you. Just show her what is on the inside. You will do fine. Remember, she is what you have been praying for. Someone to be a friend and a sister. Someone worthy of your brother." replied Monica, with a knowing smile, as she finished with Georgiana's hair.
"Thank you Monica. I will remember that." replied Georgiana, as she left her bedchamber. She hurried downstairs, where she was met by her brother and Mr. Bingley. They all exited the house, to find that the barouche was waiting for them. Darcy helped Georgiana in and he and Mr. Bingley soon joined her and they were on the way to Lambton.
When Mr. Darcy's barouche arrived at the inn, a footman was sent in to inquire after the Gardiners and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and they were informed that they had just stepped out, as Mrs. Gardiner had wished to visit the churchyard and place flowers on her Grandparents graves, but would return within the half hour, and would Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy, and Mr. Darcy's friend wish to come up to the parlour to wait? They agreed and the three went upstairs, where Hannah Dane was in the act of replacing some flowers in the vases in the morning parlour.
"Good day to ye Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy." said Hannah, looking up from her work.
"Hello Hannah, how is your Mother today?" asked Georgiana.
"Mum is doin' much better now." replied Hannah.
"I am glad to hear that. Just remember Hannah, if your Mother needs anything tell Jennie to come to the house and we will send her what she needs." Georgiana told her brother's tenant.
"Aye Miss Darcy." replied Hannah.
Posted on Thursday, 7 October 1999
It was not long after Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy and Mr. Bingley arrived at the Lambton Inn, when Lizzie returned and came up to the parlour where her visitors were waiting. Lizzie greeted Mr. Darcy with the greatest of civility, which he returned with an equal amount of civility, and then proceeded to make her known to his Sister.
"Miss Bennet, I would like to make known to you, my Sister Georgiana, Georgiana, this is Miss Elizabeth Bennet. "
"I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Darcy. I have heard much of you. I understand that you are very accomplished on the pianoforte. "
To which, Miss Darcy, nodded shyly. "I am happy to make your acquaintance, Miss Bennet. My brother has told me much of you also." replied Georgiana.
This remark, Darcy noticed, brought a slight colouring to Lizzie's face. "She must be wondering just what I may have told Georgiana about her. " Darcy thought to himself.
"Miss Bennet, it might interest you to know that Mr. Bingley accompanied my Sister and I hither and will be joining us shortly." said Mr. Darcy, as Bingley's quick step could be heard on the stairs. He noticed that Lizzie was not quite embarrassed at this news, remembering the last time the subject of his name was brought up. It was surprising to note that Mr. Bingley greeted Miss Bennet cordially and inquired after her family in a friendly, though general manner. He also noticed, as he hoped that Miss Bennet did likewise, that his friend spoke in with usual good-humoured ease.
It was at that moment that Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner had returned from the churchyard, and Lizzie quickly made Mr. Bingley known to her Uncle and Aunt.
Watching Mr. Bingley, he wondered if Miss Elizabeth had the same thoughts as he did, whether his friend still thought of her Sister. "It has been a very long time since I have had the pleasure of seeing you, Miss Elizabeth," and Darcy noticed that before Miss Elizabeth could reply, he added, "It is above eight months. We have not met since the 26th of November, when we were all dancing at Netherfield. "
"That is true." replied Miss Elizabeth.
"Miss Elizabeth, you mentioned that one of your Sisters was from home?" inquired Mr. Bingley.
"Yes it is my youngest Sister. She was invited to Brighton." replied Lizzie.
While Miss Elizabeth made Mr. Bingley known to her Uncle and Aunt, Georgiana shyly whispered a request to her brother that Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner be invited to Pemberley for dinner before they left the country. Which invitation he gave most graciously and a day was soon fixed. After which, Miss Elizabeth and her Aunt promised to return Miss Darcy's call on them at Pemberley the next morning, when Mr. Gardiner went to Pemberley to fish.
Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy and Mr. Bingley returned to Pemberley to find an express from Mr. Hurst informing them that it would be another day before the carriage would be safe to travel in. Mr. Darcy quickly sent Mr. Hurst a short note acknowledging this. Having done this, he asked Mr. Bingley if he wished to join him and Georgiana in a visit to the stables to see the new arrivals, to which he readily agreed.
Posted on Monday, 15 November 1999
The following morning, as promised, the Gardiners and Lizzie went to Pemberley. Mr. Gardiner, to fish, and Mrs. Gardiner and Lizzie, to return Miss Darcy's visit. Arriving at Pemberley, the Gardiner party found Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy and Mr. Bingley waiting in the entry hall. Mr. Darcy smiled at the thought of seeing Miss Elizabeth Bennet again and he welcomed her and the Gardiners warmly.
Miss Darcy quietly whispered something into her brother's ear.
"I do not know, Georgiana. I'll enquire whether Miss Elizabeth would like to see them. Miss Elizabeth, my Sister has asked if you might wish to meet the new arrivals at my stables? Would I be asking too much, if you might accompany myself and my Sister to the stables before the gentlemen and I go fishing?" enquired Mr. Darcy.
This request brought both a smile to Lizzie's face, a slight colour to her cheeks and a sparkle to her fine dark eyes. "I would love to see the new arrivals and perhaps my Aunt wishes to see them also." replied Lizzie.
Mr. Darcy led the way to the stables, where he was met by Mr. Halloran. "We are going in to see the twins Halloran." said Mr. Darcy as he entered the stables.
"They be inside still. It'll no' be long afore they be goin' out tae th' paddock wi' their mam." replied Mr. Halloran.
Mr. Darcy led his guests and his Sister through the stables until he came to Ariadne's stall, where she and her babies were standing by the door.
"I have seen them once before, Miss Bennet and I have been trying to think of names for the babies. The last twins were called The Princes, after the little Princes in the Tower. There they are. Are they not sweet?" Georgian asked Lizzie.
"They are indeed, Miss Darcy. Which is the filly, and which is the colt?" asked Lizzie.
"The filly is the pale grey and the colt is the darker grey. I do think Luna or Lunette would do nicely for the filly for she does remind one of the colour of a full moon. The colt reminds one of a stormcloud." replied Miss Darcy.
Lizzie looked at the little colt and thought. "Yes, he does. Perhaps something like Thunderer or Storm might do. As for the filly, I like Lunette, but as they are your brother's horses, perhaps he might not like my choices." replied Lizzie.
"I think that my Brother would think well of your choices." Georgiana thought to herself.
Posted on Wednesday, 8 December 1999
When Georgiana, Lizzie, and Mrs. Gardiner returned to the house, it was discovered that the Hursts, and Miss Bingley had arrived. Georgiana invited the Ladies in to freshen up and then to the drawing room for some refreshments. Mr. Hurst would join the other men in their shooting and fishing after a short nap.
"Miss Darcy, we were just admiring your instrument, is it new?" asked Caroline Bingley, in a most insincere tone.
"Yes it is, My Brother surprised me with it just yesterday afternoon." replied Georgiana, politely.
"Mayhap, you might favor us with something?" asked Caroline. "I have heard that your playing is quite something to hear. "
Georgiana, who had been talking to Lizzie and asking her about her life in Hertfordshire, and the thought of performing to women of Caroline Bingley and Mrs. Hurst's stamp frightened her.
"I was just going to ask Miss Elizabeth if she might like to play." replied Georgiana, smiling at Lizzie, but as she smiled, Lizzie noticed a look akin to fear in her new friend's eyes.
"I would be honoured, Miss Darcy. Thank you." replied Lizzie, as she rose from her chair to take her place at the pianoforte that Mr. Darcy's housekeeper had indicated was a gift for Mr. Darcy's young Sister. Lizzie began to search through the music, and alighted upon the music for "Voi Che Sapete". "I have this. My Sister heard this at the opera, when she was in London. She brought me a copy and I have been learning this." exclaimed Lizzie, with a smile, as she began to play and sing.
"Tell me what love is, what can it be?
What is this yearning, burning in me?"
Posted on Wednesday, 1 March 2000
As Lizzie played, she could not help but notice that she had come under what could only be described as the intense scrutiny of Mr. Darcy. She quickly recalled many similar looks, during his stay at Netherfield. The looks were in some ways disconcerting, especially after having perusing his letter in her mind for what seemed to her, the one-hundredth time. She felt quite mixed up, for what she had at one time perceived as looks of disapproval, now appeared to be admiration. It was surprising to her and it once again caused her face to colour. Despite this, Lizzie finished her song with a great flourish.
"Now it is your turn." said Lizzie, to Miss Darcy, as she relinquished her place at the pianoforte.
"How can, in front of all these people?" replied Georgiana.
"Pretend that there is no one in the room, save your Brother." replied Lizzie, in a whisper, as Miss Darcy took up her place on the bench, and began another piece by Mozart.
Miss Caroline Bingley, noting that Miss Elizabeth Bennet had so easily become acquainted with Miss Darcy, something that she did not enjoy, becoming angry, and on its impulse, said with sneering civility,
"Pray, Miss Eliza, are not the ____shire militia removed from Meryton? They must be a great loss to your family, especially where Mr. Wickham is concerned?"
This unfortunate statement caused Georgiana to start up, and become flustered. Which caused Lizzie to return to her attention to Miss Darcy's music.
"Forgive me for neglecting you Miss Darcy. Here is your place." said Lizzie, pointing to the next measure in the music.
"Thank you Miss Bennet." replied Georgiana, in a tone that was just a tiny bit above a whisper.
Lizzie, once again, feeling Mr. Darcy's eyes on her once more, looked up to receive a salute from that Gentleman.
The impromptu concert ended as Mr. Darcy approached the pianoforte to whisper something to his Sister, who nodded in agreement.
"Miss Bennet, my brother has told me that you enjoyed seeing the portraits in the Long Gallery. He has just had the portrait of Our Mother cleaned and it has been returned, he asks if you would like to come with us and watch it as it is rehung? Your Aunt is welcome to accompany us also." asked Miss Darcy.
Posted on Saturday, 4 March 2000
Lizzy, Mrs. Gardiner, Miss Darcy, and her Brother quickly removed to the Long Gallery. In their wake, they were followed by Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst. They walked through the gallery 'til they came to the spot where the portrait of Lady Anne Darcy was wont to hang. Two of Pemberley's footmen stood on ladders awaiting Mr. Darcy's word.
Mr. Darcy signaled the footmen, who started to position the portrait preparatory to hanging it. When it was safely rehung, Lizzie observed the portrait as being that of a woman of her age or younger, who strongly resembled her daughter. "That is my Mother, Miss Bennet. I do not remember very much about her, by the time I was able to make any memories of her she was, by that time very ill." said Georgiana, in a quiet tone. "She is very beautiful, Miss Darcy. Have you been told that you resemble her strongly?" asked Lizzie, with a smile for her young hostess.
"Yes, I have. We miss her greatly, my Brother and I. They said she had a cancer, and it took her away quickly. The portrait next to her is my Father. He loved my Mother exceedingly. He died of heart failure, but I think it was due in part to his missing our Mother." said Georgiana, as she stood closer to Lizzie.
"I am sorry. It must have been hard losing them. I do not know what I would do, or how I would feel if I lost any of my family." said Lizzie.
Posted on Saturday, 1 April 2000
After seeing Lizzie and the Gardiners on their way back to Lambton, and returning to the drawing room, Mr. Darcy was immediately assaulted by the voices of Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst, and their opinions of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, much to the dismay of Miss Darcy, who had found Lizzie a kind and amiable sort of person, especially after Miss Bingley's remarks about George Wickham.
"How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looked this morning, Mr. Darcy," she cried; "I never saw anyone so much altered as she is since the winter. She is grown so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have known her again. "
"I noticed no such alteration other than her being a bit more tanned, but that is the consequence of traveling in summer. I imagine that Miss Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle have done a great deal of walking in their travels about the country," replied Mr. Darcy
Then Miss Bingley offered other unkind opinions on various portions of her face, and her beauty. After which, Miss Bingley called to mind one of his more unfortunate statements about Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Miss Bingley's hearing. To which he replied:" That was only when I first knew her, for it is many months since I have considered her one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance." With that he excused himself from the drawing room and repaired to his bedchamber to dress for dinner.
While Rushford made sure his evening coat was straight, Mr. Darcy thought of what the following evening would bring. He had ordered a very special menu for the next evening's dinner, but as he did so, he could see in his mind Miss Elizabeth Bennet's enigmatic smile that played across her lips as the Gardiner's carriage drove away from Pemberley, and a curious thought came to him. What if he were to pay a morning call on Miss Elizabeth the next morning, she seemed a bit more accepting of his attentions. Perhaps, she would accept his addresses now.
Posted on Wednesday, 5 April 2000
The following morning, Mr. Darcy was up early to ready himself for his ride into Lambton to call upon Lizzie and the Gardiners. He took great pains with his appearance. After he finished dressing and eating an early breakfast, he called for Invincible to be saddled and made ready for his ride.
Tess and Monica watched as Mr. Darcy rode away. "Tess, perhaps Miss Elizabeth will accept Mr. Darcy's addresses now." said Monica.
"She might, Angel Girl, but remember that there is trouble coming, and will be coming sooner than you think." replied Tess, as the two Angels went back inside the house.
Mr. Darcy continued his ride to Lambton, thinking of only one thing, the possibility that Miss Elizabeth Bennet might accept his addresses. He truly had wanted to thank her for her kindness to his Sister in the wake of Miss Bingley's most thoughtless references to George Wickham in Georgiana's presence. He truly found Miss Bingley's poor attempts at flirting with him very tiresome. "But you do not have time to dwell on the vagaries of Miss Caroline Bingley, for this is the time to be thinking of Miss Elizabeth Bennet. " his conscience pricked at him. Darcy shook his head to clear his thoughts as he rode up to the Lambton Inn. He noticed Matthew Dane sitting just outside.
His young under-gardener acknowledged him. "Good mornin' Mr. Darcy. It sure is a right fine day, is'n it?" was his greeting.
"Yes it is, Matt. Are the Gardiners and Miss Bennet within, this morning?" asked Mr. Darcy.
Posted on Wednesday, 3 May 2000
"Miss Bennet be in Sir." replied Matt, as Mr. Darcy entered the inn.
Entering the inn, Mr. Darcy asked Hannah to show him to the Gardiners' private parlour, and upon entering, he found Miss Elizabeth Bennet in an upset state and very close to tears. Before he realised what he was doing, he held out his arms, and surprisingly Miss Elizabeth came to them. He held her close as a storm of tears fell from her fine dark eyes. He spoke quiet words into her hair, hair that smelled of the sweetest lavender.
Of a sudden! Miss Elizabeth realised where she was, and sprung back from his embrace. "Forgive me for I am never a watering pot as I was just now. I just received some distressing news from Jane and I am in need of My Uncle and Aunt at this time. I must go to them." she sobbed out." Miss Elizabeth, you are not recovered enough to go your self, let me call Hannah, she could go." replied Mr. Darcy, who quickly called Hannah back to the Gardiners' parlour." Yes, Mr. Darcy, Sir. What do ye wish?" asked Hannah Dane." Miss Bennet wishes a message sent to her Uncle and Aunt to return to the inn, they can be found in the direction of the?. . . . ." replied Mr. Darcy.
"They were going to Church for morning prayers." replied Lizzie, who had begun to recover.
"Mattie can go, Mr. Darcy. He's been waitin' for the stage, our Mam's Sister, Our Auntie Violet, is comin' from Wilton to help Jennie with Mam. I'll just run'n tell Mattie to fetch the Gardiners." replied Hannah.
"Mattie! Come 'ere quick like, Mr. Darcy needs ye tae fetch the Gardiners from church, I kin wait on the stagecoach, an' fetch Auntie Violet to Mam." said Hannah Dane to her brother.
Posted on Tuesday, 23 May 2000
"Miss Elizabeth, you mentioned receiving some distressing news from home. Is your Father, or one of your Sisters taken ill?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"Mr. Darcy, the news is much worse, and all will be soon known, for my youngest sister has left all her friends-her family--has eloped--has thrown herself into the power of --of Mr. Wickham. They are gone off together from Brighton. Youknow him too well to doubt the rest. She has no money, no connections, nothing that can tempt him to--she is lost forever"
Monica noted that Darcy was fixed in astonishment. "When I consider," she added, in a yet more agitated voice," that I might have prevented it!--I who knew what he was. Had I not explained some part of it only--some part of what I learned to my family! Had his character been known, this could not have happened. But it all, all too late now." Elizabeth, Monica noted, replied in a tone that was almost near to tears once more.
"I am grieved, indeed," cried Darcy; "grieved--shocked. But is it certain, absolutely certain?"
"Oh yes!--They left Brighton together on Sunday night, and were traced almost to London, but not beyond; they are certainly not gone to Scotland." replied Elizabeth in an even more agitated tone.
"And what has been done, what has been attempted to recover her?"
"My father is gone to London, and Jane has written to beg my uncle's immediate assistance, and we shall be off, I hope, in half an hour. But nothing can be done. How is such a man to be worked on?("You know how a man can be worked on Darcy. Do it. You were ever a man of action." Darcy's conscience pricked at him)How are they even to be discovered? I have not the smallest hope. It is every way horrible!"
Darcy shook his head in silent acquiescence.
"When myeyes were opened to his real character. Oh! had I known what I ought , what I dared, to do! But I knew not--I was afraid of doing too much. Wretched, wretched mistake!"
Monica noted that Darcy made no answer. He seemed not to hear Miss Elizabeth, and was walking up and down the room in earnest meditation, his brow contracted, his air gloomy.
"No, Miss Elizabeth that is not what he is thinking. He is trying to make a plan to find your sister." thought Monica.
All that had been revealed, once again brought tears to Elizabeth's eyes, and as she brought out her handkerchief, she was soon lost to everything else; and after a pause of several minutes, was only recalled to a sense of her situation by the voice of her companion, who, in a manner which though it spoke compassion, spoke likewise restraint, said, "I am afraid you have been long desiring my absence, nor have I anything to plead in excuse of my stay, but real, thought unavailing, concern. Would to heaven that anything could be either said or done on my part that might offer consolation to such distress. --But I will not torment you with vain wishes, which may seem purposely to ask your thanks. This unfortunate affair will, I fear, prevent my sister's having the pleasure of seeing you at Pemberley to-day."
"Oh, yes. Be so kind as to apologise for us to Miss Darcy. Say that urgent business calls us home immediately. Conceal the unhappy truth as long as it is possible. --I know it cannot be long."
Posted on Saturday, 3 June 2000
Mr. Darcy assured Elizabeth of his secrecy--again he expressed his sorrow for her distress, wished it a happier conclusion than there was at present reasons to hope, and leaving his compliments for her Aunt and Uncle, with one very serious parting look, went away.
"No Miss Elizabeth, you will see him again. He will come back to you." thought Monica, as she hurried back to Pemberley.
Arriving back at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy gave his horse into the care of his groom, Phillip Dane. "Rub him down, and make sure that he rests." Mr. Darcy told Phillip, as he took Invincible's reins from his Master. "Aye, Mr. Darcy." replied Phillip.
Upon entering the house, Mr. Darcy asked to have his Sister come to his study. Upon Georgiana's entry, he waved her to a chair. "Georgiana, I have some bad news, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and the Gardiners have been called back to Hertfordshire on an urgent Family Matter. I was asked to make their regrets to you. I know how much you looked forward to receiving them for dinner tomorrow night, Georgie."
"I will miss seeing them for dinner. William, were you able to speak with Miss Elizabeth, that was why you went into Lambton, this morning, is it not?" asked Georgiana.
"I was not able, for Miss Elizabeth had received the news from her Family, that is sending her back to Hertfordshire." replied Mr. Darcy, "I believe that you are now growing up, Dearest. You are becoming very perceptive, Georgie. Dearest, I must leave for Town, for I have an important matter of my own to see to. I must leave as soon as possible." Mr. Darcy told his Sister.
"I will try to do my best to entertain our guests, William. It will be difficult, but I will do my best." Georgiana told her brother, before leaving his study.
"That is all I am asking of you, Dearest. I am also sorry that Miss Elizabeth Bennet and the Gardiners will not be able to come to Pemberley for the dinner tomorrow. I will miss her company." said Darcy, half to Georgiana and half to himself.
After Georgiana had left the study, Darcy quickly took up a sheet of paper, and wrote a short note, sanded, folded, and sealed it He then took up another sheet of paper and wrote a longer note. The first he gave to one of the footmen with the instructions to deliver it to Brook Street, where Darcy knew his Cousin Fitzwilliam was staying, looking after his brother and sister-in-law's house, while they, and his parents were visiting Lochmaben Castle in Scotland. He then called for his traveling carriage, and asked to have his valet to pack for an overnight trip to Town. He then asked for Phillip Dane." Dane, I wish you to ride as fast as you can into Lambton, and if the Gardiners have not left, please see that this note is placed directly into Miss Elizabeth Bennet's hands.
After his groom had left for Lambton, and his carriage was readied, Darcy climbed in, and was on his way to Town.
Arriving at the inn at Lambton, Phillip Dane could see that the Gardiners had not left yet, as one of the wheels on their carriage needed to be checked.
Seeing his sister, Phillip hailed her, "Hannah lass, can ye give this tae Miss Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy wants it to go straight in tae her hands."
"Aye Phil, I will do that." replied Hannah Dane, as she took the letter. She hurried over to the carriage, and gave it to Elizabeth.
After having taken the letter from Hannah, and easily recognising the writing, Lizzie, being still overset at the news of Lydia's indiscretion, could not bring herself to read it and gave the letter unopened, to her aunt.
"Aunt, I just cannot read this now. How could I have been so stupid? If only his true character had been known, but I gave my word." thought Lizzie out loud, before burrowing her head against her aunt's shoulder to cry once more.
Posted on Wednesday, 7 June 2000
We are now getting down to "brass tacks" as they say. Mr. Darcy is now on his way to London to discover Wickham and Lydia's whereabouts. Two things to remember, first the house in Brook Street is Lord Marsden's, but it came to him on his marriage to Katherine, Lady Lochmaben. Our Dear Colonel is watching over the house while the Marsdens and the Earl and Countess of Matlock are in Scotland visiting Lochmaben Castle, and second, one of the Colonel's lines is the first line in the "Powerful Thing" by Trisha Yearwood. If you know this song, you will recognise it. Your Gentle Author
Mr. Darcy's carriage made good time and he soon arrived at the inn he was wont to stay at on his way to Town. Upon entering his room, he readied himself for bed, but in the end, he found that his conscience pricked at him and it would not let him sleep. As he watched the sunrise from the window to his rooms, he thought to himself, "I love you Elizabeth. I will do anything to prove it, even rescuing your undeserving sister from her folly." Darcy splashed water on his face and dressed quickly. He hurried down to his private parlour, where his breakfast awaited him. After he finished, Darcy was back on his way to Town once more.
Arriving in Grosvenor Square, he hurried up to the front door, and upon entering the house he was greeted by Mr. Ames, his butler. Darcy quickly took the letter he was given to him, a letter that he knew had come from Brook Street. He opened it and read the following:
Of course I will meet you in Town. Though I must admit that I am puzzled as to the reasons why you wish to discover that woman's whereabouts, I was under the impression, that your obligations to her, ceased last summer. I will help you find her. Write to me as soon as you arrive in Town. Written in Haste.
James T. Fitzwilliam
After Darcy finished reading the letter from his Cousin, he quickly sat down and began a reply, and soon a footman was speeding on his way to Brook Street. Two hours later both cousins were closeted in Darcy's study, to plan a strategy. "I still do not understand your wish for anonymity in this Darcy. You are doing this for Miss Elizabeth's sake are you not?" This question brought Darcy up short and before he could make his reply, his Cousin began to laugh in his most good natured fashion. "Darcy, I have never seen two people in my life, more determined to ignore the obvious. You love her madly, you must, for you had all the signs before you left Town. Now you return here in this precipitate manner, behaving like a man possessed. Darcy, I know that the reasons you have for wanting to find Mrs. Younge are mixed up in this and I will do my best to help you and I will keep my name out of it." After taking some deep breaths in order to regain his composure, Darcy spoke, "Then we are agreed, we will meet by the woman's "boarding house" tonight, Cousin." To which Colonel Fitzwilliam agreed.
Posted on Wednesday, 21 June 2000
Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam spent the next four nights watching the lodging house run by one Dorothea Younge, to see if perhaps Mr. Wickham and Miss Lydia Bennet had by chance come to rent rooms from her. As the gentlemen had been taking turns keeping watch on the house, with the help of Nathaniel, Sean, Benjamin, and David four of Darcy House's most stalwart footmen, the fifth night was to be Mr. Darcy's turn. As he watched the house, he thought of the tragic sight of his, as he felt he could refer to her as his Miss Elizabeth crying over this indiscretion of her youngest sister, and agonising over how the truant pair would be discovered and how a rake such as Wickham could be made to wed a virtually penniless girl.
Once again, Darcy's conscience pricked at him. " You know how to work on the man, Darcy. You remember your cousin's advice, take it. The man deserves it." As he tried to ignore his conscience, Darcy noticed a carriage pulling up in front of Mrs. Younge's "boarding house", and a man disembarked from it and applied the knocker. When the door was opened, Darcy could see from the light in doorway, that the man was Wickham. He could also see that the pair were in the process of an almost shameless public row, more than likely over money. He could not quite catch any of the conversation though, but he knew what he must do as soon as the carriage had driven away, he made his way over to the "boarding house". Like Wickham, he applied the knocker loudly, and once again, but complaining about being wakened once again from a sound sleep, Mrs. Younge opened the door to find her former employer standing on her doorstep, looking none too pleased, she tried to quickly close the door, but Darcy had got his foot inside before she could close it. Darcy's first words to the woman were, "Where is he lodging?" which were asked in his most furious tone. "It is obvious to me that he is not staying here, so I will ask this of once and only once, where is George Wickham lodging?" This in a tone that no one who really knew Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy could ignore. A quiet tone, but there was something that reminded one of angry lion's roar. When he spoke in that tone, it was better you listened. Mrs. Younge, tried to forestall this by attempting to dissemble, but that only made her former employer all the more angry. "You will tell me now, or I shall bring Bow Street down upon your head very quickly, Madam" said Darcy.
Knowing that she was defeated, Mrs. Dorothea Younge informed Darcy that Wickham had come to her for lodgings when he had first arrived in London, but as she was full, she had directed him to lodgings in Bell Street, which lay two streets over. Darcy quickly made his way to the place, which was more ramshackle than Mrs. Younge's lodging house. Seeing the carriage that had brought Mr. George Wickham Esq. to Mrs. Younge's "boarding house", he knew that he had come to the right place. Darcy then sent Nathaniel and Benjamin to ascertain as to whether Wickham was in his rooms. He was rewarded by news that he was at this moment in the public room downstairs quite on his way to becoming quite foxed. He was also informed that Mr. Wickham spent quite a bit of his time there, before he made his way up to the wench he had brought there. A wench whose tongue would not be stilled.
Darcy decided to wait until the next night to confront the man, and convince him to marry Miss Lydia Bennet.
Posted on Tuesday, 11 July 2000
Darcy kept watch on Wickham's lodgings for two more nights, and discussed his plans and strategy with the Colonel. For he knew that he would have to be cautious in the extreme in smoking out his prey. "I agree with you James we will have to be very cautious in this." said Darcy, the night they left for Wickham's lodgings to put his plans into action.
It was decided that Colonel Fitzwilliam would guard the rear door, while he would confront the man. So the cousins each took their direction, when they arrived at the shabby house that was Wickham's lodgings. Darcy entered, and approached the clerk, who sat at the desk, oblivious of the well dressed man who had entered until Darcy rapped on the desk, loudly, which startled the man.
"Man, you will tell me if Mr. Wickham is in." said Mr. Darcy in a tone that no one would ignore.
"Can't say that he is, since we ain't got a Mr. Wickham stayin' here." replied clerk cheekily.
"I was told that he is. I am a man who is in no mood to be trifled with. I will ask this just once more. Is Mr. Wickham in, or not?" asked Mr. Darcy, reaching out to take the man by his shirt front and pulled him towards him.
"Aye he be in." replied the clerk, in a very subdued tone.
"Thank you. Now you will send someone to his room and ask him to come down to the public room, but do not, if you value your life, tell him that someone is waiting for him." said Darcy, in a very quiet, but threatening tone.
"Aye Mr. Darcy." the man replied, as he sent a chambermaid to Wickham's rooms.
Darcy found a place in a dark corner in the public room, and waited. His wait was rewarded in fifteen minutes, when Mr. George Wickham made his way down the stairs. He looked around to see who possibly wished to see him. Before he realised it, Mr. Darcy stood before him.
At the sight of his former friend, he let out an oath. Then began to laugh in a mocking tone that Darcy had found most annoying, "Well, well, well. Look who is out slumming, the great Fitzwilliam Darcy himself."
In answer, Darcy spoke, "Wickham, this is for Miss Elizabeth Bennet" With that, Darcy landed Wickham a facer, that sent him flying across the room.
Wickham got to his feet, started towards Darcy, but thought the better of it, and ran towards the back door. As opened the door, though, he discovered his way was blocked. "Going somewhere, Corporal Wickham?" asked Colonel Fitzwilliam, as he grabbed Wickham by his coat collar, and brought him back inside the public room, and to Darcy's table. He sat him down hard on the bench, and sat down next to him, to make sure that he didn't try to run away once more.
"Tell me Wickham, did you even have the least intention to marry Miss Lydia?" asked Darcy, in tone that told Wickham that he knew pretty much what he was going to say.
"No that was all her idea, not mine. I had to leave Brighton fast and she insisted on going along. I left Brighton because I have debts of honour, and you know very well I couldn't pay them. That Miss Elizabeth's sister went along with me was the best revenge on you, Darcy." replied Wickham, in a mocking tone that made Darcy itch to land him another facer.
"You are going to marry her, Wickham. I will see to that. But first I will speak to Miss Lydia. I take it that she is in your rooms?" said Darcy.
"She is up there, and she thinks this is all the biggest joke." replied Wickham.
"Perhaps I will speak some sense into her." Darcy thought to himself.
"William, I will stay here while you speak with Miss Lydia, and make sure he does not try to take French Leave." said the Colonel, taking a firmer hold of Wickham, as Darcy rose from his chair, to make his way up to Wickhams rooms.
Posted on Tuesday, 29 August 2000
After prevailing upon the innkeeper's wife to play propriety, as ludicrous as that seemed to him, Mr. Darcy went upstairs to Wickham's rooms, where he found Miss Lydia Bennet reclining upon a chaise in shocking deshabille. He looked at her with his most haughty expression, combined with a look of a man who had girded his loins for action.
"Miss Lydia, if you going to elope with someone, do make sure that both you and your "suitor" are of like minds before you go haring off to Gretna Green. Are you aware of just how concerned for you your family is, that your Father and Uncle have been searching for you?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"Oh Pooh, what do they care about that, when Mama will know that I have caught as fine a husband as Mr. Wickham." replied Lydia in a petulant tone.
"In would not be so sure of that, Miss Lydia, were I you. You chose the wrong man to practice your wiles upon. Though I may be the wrong person to say so, but, for the sake of your Father, your Sisters, I insist that you return to Gracechurch Street, so that your Uncle may facilitate your return to Hertfordshire." said Mr. Darcy, his tone, raising just slightly.
"My Sisters!? what a joke. My Sisters are all jealous of me, and Lizzie is the jealousest of all, because I stole Mr. Wickham from her." replied Lydia, with a snort.
"Lord, give me patience," Mr. Darcy thought to himself, as he began counting to ten to keep from losing his temper, as he listened to Miss Lydia's laughter.
"Do you even have the least idea of how this will affect the rest of your family, your Sisters? They will suffer from your ill chosen action, but I suppose that you will not be steered from your course. Yet know this Miss Lydia, you are about to learn that actions always have consequences." said Mr. Darcy, as he removed from Wickham's rooms and made his way back downstairs. His erstwhile friend and Miss Lydia were going to be married, but first he was going see to it that Mr. Gardiner was made aware of the fact that his niece's whereabouts had been discovered.
Posted on Wednesday, 18 October 2000
Returning downstairs to the public rooms, Mr. Darcy rejoined his Cousin and Mr. Wickham. Taking his seat once again, he gave Wickham a miniatory glance.
"Just how much do you owe, Wickham? Do not try to prevaricate, I will know if you are lying." said Mr. Darcy, in a no-nonsense tone, a tone that Wickham knew better than to ignore.
"I owe over two thousand pounds." replied a very much chagrined Wickham, in a very resigned tone.
Darcy swore," After I inform Mr. Edward Gardiner of the whereabouts of his niece, and I buy up your debts, you are going to do exactly what you "intended" to do, you are going to marry Miss Lydia Bennet."
"When pigs fly, Darcy. Do you really think that I am going to agree to such a plan?" asked Wickham, in a mocking tone.
"Oh you will be marrying Miss Lydia, make no mistake about that, Corporal Wickham, in fact I will do my part, Darcy, I know of a Regulars regiment in Newcastle, and I can see to it that a commission in it is bought. I understand that they are headed for the Peninsula." added Colonel Fitzwilliam, in a tone similar to Darcy's.
Darcy signaled to the barmaid, and requested ink, paper and pen, and quickly wrote a short note. This note he gave to his footman Nathaniel, with the instructions that it be delivered to the home of Mr. Edward J. Gardiner in Gracechurch Street.
"Cousin, I have just informed Gardiner that I have located his niece, and have requested an interview with him in two days. I have also informed him that I will contrive a way to see Miss Lydia to Gracechurch Street, even if I have to have her bound and gagged." said Darcy, as they left the tavern in Bell Street.
"You are going to actually buy up the bounder's debts, as if that will get him out of your life? You would have him marry the Sister of the woman you love? You must truly be in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, to even go through life with that man as a Brother-in-law. I will contact Heatherleigh in Newcastle, he owes me a favor. He was responsible for Becky arriving in Plymouth to meet my ship, when they brought me back, after I was shot in the leg." said Colonel Fitzwilliam, as the carriage made its way back to Grosvenor Square.
"I am determined to stay my course, James. Wickham is not going to ruin my chances with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. I have gone through too much all ready because of his lies to her." replied Darcy.
Posted on Saturday, 10 February 2001
The arrival of Mr. Darcy's curricle at Number Twenty Gracechurch Street, was greatly remarked on, just as the somewhat unexpected return of Mr. Edward Gardiner some days earlier. Mr. Darcy jumped down and handed the reins and half a crown to a young urchin and hurried up the front steps and applied the knocker, and was soon admitted into the house, and was soon closeted with Mr. Gardiner in his study.
"Mr. Gardiner, you have no doubt by now received my note informing you that I have discovered the whereabouts of your niece and Mr. Wickham. I have seen them and spoken to Wickham several times, and to Miss Lydia once." stated Darcy, in what he hoped was a reasonably calm tone.
"Where are the fugitives now?" asked Mr. Gardiner, in a similar tone.
"As of right now, they are in lodgings in Bell Street, and at this point, I am sorry to inform you they are not married. It will also pain you to know that it was never Wickham's intention to marry your niece, but I am working to bring this about. If you will write to your brother-in-law for as complete an accounting of Wickham's debts in Meryton, I will have my cousin entertain to obtain a complete accounting of his debts in Brighton from Colonel Forster, I will, then buy up his debts. I will also, with the help of my cousin purchase Wickham a commission in a regulars regiment, stationed in Newcastle presently, but is by my cousin's accounts on its way to the Peninsula. I will ask only one condition, I wish that my name is kept out of all reports to Longbourn." replied Mr. Darcy.
This greatly surprised Mr. Gardiner, and when he attempted to suggest that he and Mr. Bennet shoulder at least some of the burden of Wickham's debts, but Darcy was adamant, and would hear none of it.
"If anyone must take responsibility for arranging the marriage of your niece and Wickham, it must be on my head. I will also ask that you keep any and all mention of my complete involvement in the marriage arrangements from Mr. Bennet." insisted Mr. Darcy.
It was at this point, that Mr. Gardiner began to wonder if it was another of his nieces, that sent him to Town on the quest for the fugitive pair, and taking his particular course of action. He was about to ask him, when Mr. Gardiner decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valour, and did not enquire about it further, instead, he enquired of Darcy how it was that he came to discover the fugitives' whereabouts, which facts Darcy obliged him with.
Posted on Wednesday, 14 February 2001
Darcy soon came to an agreement with Mr. Gardiner as how best to work out the marriage settlements, and then informed that gentleman that he would entertain to bring Miss Lydia to Gracechurch Street and make arrangements with the rector of St. Clements, once Mr. Gardiner's man-of-business Mr. Stone had received the settlement papers regarding Miss Lydia, from Mr. Bennet from Hertfordshire, he bade Mr. Gardiner good day, and gave Mr. Gardiner to understand that he, himself would accompany the groom to Church for the wedding.
Darcy kept his word, he finally convinced Miss Lydia to allow him to escort her back to her Aunt and Uncle's house, and not too many days afterward, Mr. Edward J. Gardiner escorted his youngest niece to St. Clements where Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham were waiting. The wedding of Mr. George Wickham Esq. and Miss Lydia Bennet took place post haste. After which, Mr. Darcy extracted from Lydia her most solemn word that she would not reveal to anyone that he had stood up for Mr. Wickham.
After the wedding, Mr. Gardiner invited Mr. Darcy to Gracechurch Street for dinner on the Saturday, to which he readily agreed. When Darcy arrived in Gracechurch Street, he was greeted warmly by Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. The couple were soon joined by their children, and were formally introduced to them. Miss Gardiner, was quite like her cousin Jane. She sat next to her mother on the sofa doing some work. Master Gardiner was quite like his Father in some ways, though he was also known to tease his sisters. Miss Maria Elizabeth was, as he observed earlier, like her cousin and Master Caleb Andrew also had an intrepid spirit. The boys, remembering, the assistance he had rendered to them, when trying to fly their kite, told Mr. Darcy that they had tried making the tail longer and the kite flew well, and it was a smashing kite indeed. Miss Maria Elizabeth quickly informed her Mama that he had been the "knight" who had rescued Miss Miranda from the tree she had been put into. Miss Maria Elizabeth quickly whispered something into her Mama's ear, and Mrs. Gardiner asked him quite with all seriousness whether he had had the measles before, as there was quite an epidemic among the dolls in the Nursery, and Miss Miranda was the star patient in the "sickroom". Mr. Darcy quickly informed Miss Maria Elizabeth that he had indeed had the measles long ago when he was a boy, and he hoped that Miss Miranda made a very speedy recovery. Miss Gardiner(Amanda Jane)asked him, as Mrs. Gardiner had told the children that they had made Mr. Darcy's acquaintance while they were traveling in Derbyshire, and had visited at his house with their Cousin Lizzie, whether he liked her cousin.
"Lizzie is our favorite cousin. When she comes to visit she takes us on outings to the park, and once she took us all to Gunthers for ices. Lizzie likes to read and tells us the best stories. She makes up really smashing games for us to play." said Miss Gardiner.
Mr. Darcy enjoyed his time with in Gracechurch Street. The Gardiners' house might be considered fashionable, but it was also a very comfortable family home. There was certainly no air of the vulgar Cit about the house, and it was a true reflection of the Gardiners' character.
Author's Note: The next scene takes place at Longbourn, after Lizzie received the answer to her enquiries of her Aunt in regards to Lydia's revelations that Darcy had been at the wedding. I am not going to copy out another letter you know by heart, but I am going to reveal that another letter had been enclosed with Mrs. Gardiner's answer. This is the letter that Lizzie was too overset to read as they were about to depart from Lambton. Mr. Darcy's "lines" to Lizzie are the chorus from the song "Ther's No Place That Far" sung by Sara Evans and Vince Gill, written by: Sara Evans, Tom Shapiro and Tony Martin.
Lizzie soon had her reply from her Aunt Gardiner. Her reactions to the letter were surprising, but what surprised her more was that her Aunt had included with her answer, what she knew to be the letter that Mr. Darcy had had delivered to her just as they were about to depart Lambton to return to Longbourn, the letter she had told her Aunt she had been too overset to read. Lizzie quickly broke the seal, and read the following:
Letter from Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy to Miss E. Bennet
I know that there is nothing that I can say that will absolve me in your eyes of the part I played in wounding your sister, but know this Miss Elizabeth:
If I had to run, If I had to crawl.
If I had to swim a hundred rivers,
just to climb a thousand walls.
Always know that I will find a way
to get to where you are, there's no
place that far. *
If my efforts on your behalf show that I am willing to take all the time, if it will prove my worth in your eyes and heart, I will die a happy man. I have only to say this once more, God Bless You.
Your Own (If I can call myself that. ),
Lizzie read the letter over and over until she could feel her tears roll down her cheeks. When Lizzie returned to her senses, she took her little Common Place book from her reticule and copied the lines Mr. Darcy had written to her, and then unlocked her little "treasure box" and placed the letter there with the other letter she had received from the man she had found she truly loved with all her heart. She would remember his lines to her always, and keep them in her heart.
* "There's No Place That Far" was written by Sara Evans, Tom Shapiro and Tony Martin