Posted on Friday, 26 January 2001
The bright Spring morning sun teased Lizzie awake. She felt so energetic, that she could not stay abed. She needed to be up, outside, walking, running, reveling in God's Creation. Kent in the Spring was England's most beautiful example of God's handiwork. Rosings' apple orchards, which Lizzie could just see from here windows were full of pink and white blossoms, and were begging to be ran through.
Lizzie jumped up from her bed, quickly dressed herself and her hair and hurried downstairs to the vicarage's morning room, where Charlotte Collins sat over her breakfast tea.
"Good Morning Lizzie, you are up bright and early. As you can see, breakfast is almost ready. Mr. Collins has left for Rosings, for Lady Catherine wishes to speak to him about parish matters. I must say that you looked quite determined standing in the doorway, just now. " said Charlotte, as she poured her Dearest Friend and Cousin by marriage a cup of hot tea.
"I am determined, Charlotte. Why would anyone not be on a beautiful Spring day such as this. After I have finished my breakfast, I am going out for a long walk. I happened to see Rosings' apple orchards from my windows. They look to be a wonderful place for walking. " replied Lizzie, happily.
"Or running, " teased Charlotte, who knew her friend so well. "Be sure to wear your bonnet and shawl, as it is still a bit cool this morning, in spite of the sun. "
"I will. " replied Lizzie, as she finished her breakfast, and rose from her chair.
The two young women shared mischievous smiles, for Lizzie knew, and Charlotte knew, that by the time Lizzie returned, her bonnet would be hanging down her back by its ribands.
As always, Lizzie was happy to be out in the bright sunshine, breathing in the sweetly scented Spring air, with not a care in the world, save one, and he was at Rosings, more than likely dancing attendance on his Aunt, or so she thought.
Posted on Saturday, 27 January 2001
Lizzie was not the only soul awakened by the glories of a Spring day in Kent, for Mr. Darcy too, had been wakened early by the sun. For some unfathomable reason, as Rushford helped him dress, he could not help wondering if the sun had wakened Miss Elizabeth Bennet at the vicarage. "If it has, I would wager a fortune that she will not be found sitting in the parlour there, doing work, oh no, Miss Elizabeth will be found outside in the sunshine walking, nay, running. " he said to himself, or so he thought.
"Did you say something to me, Sir?" asked Rushford, in a curious tone, as finished tying a masterpiece of perfection around his Master's neck.
"No Rushford, I was just thinking out loud. It looks to be a glorious morning, does it not?" replied Mr. Darcy.
"Aye, Mr. Darcy, that it does. " replied the valet, as he busied himself, putting away his Master's newly washed linen.
"A perfect day for a walk through the park, instead of a ride. " Darcy thought to himself, as he hurried down his Aunt's grand staircase. As he hurried, Darcy was in such a surprisingly light mood, he was almost, just almost tempted to finish his descent down the staircase by sliding down the banister, as he did as a boy.
"Darcy! A little less noise if you please. Poor, Dear Anne has the headache. " called his Aunt imperiously from the morning room. This was followed by what first sounded like the beginning of a laugh, that quickly changed to the coughing of his Cousin Fitzwilliam. As Darcy took his place at table, he noticed that his Cousin was reading a letter that appeared to be from his older brother the Viscount Marsden, who had written to him from his estate in Essex; Marsden Close. The Marsdens were making ready to journey to Town for The Season where they would stay in Brook Street.
"Kate is all aux anges to see how the renovations on her house turned out, and is in a hurry to travel to Town, I take it?" asked Darcy, referring to his cousin's unusual Viscountess.
"Darcy! Please refrain from mentioning that red-headed hussy in my house, at my table. " said Lady Catherine de Bourgh, in tone that could be described as even more imperious than before. Darcy knew that his Aunt was still put out by the sheer audacity of the young Baroness from Scotland, who had the temerity to thwart her matrimonial plans for her only brother's oldest son and heir. While he did not know all the particulars, what had been apparent was that Kate had stood up to his Aunt. James had made him laugh in the telling of the story.
"Yes Aunt Catherine. " replied Darcy, in such a tone of feigned meekness, that Colonel Fitzwilliam lost his dignity and burst out laughing.
"Fitzwilliam! What do you find that is so amusing, that you forget yourself at my table?" asked Lady Catherine, sharply.
"The antics of my nephew and niece, Dearest Aunt. " replied the Colonel, making a very quick strategic retreat.
"One would hope the "antics" of Young Fitzwilliam are not such that would endanger his health and life. Now that he has reached this stage, it can be safely said that your Father's succession is assured. " said Lady Catherine, in a vinegery tone.
"As is Kate's. Marc is Kate's heir, as well as Marsden's, or have you forgotten that, Aunt. " replied Colonel Fitzwilliam, boldly.
"Pah! An extremely insignificant Scots title, descended from the female line, is nothing compared to Matlock. " said Lady Catherine, dismissively.
This summary dismissal of his Cousin's wife's title and estates by his Aunt was so ludicrous, that it was Darcy who could not keep from laughing out loud.
"Darcy! Fitzwilliam! get you both gone from my table, until you can learn to behave properly at table and proper table conversation. " said Lady Catherine, now completely out of charity with both her nephews.
Both Gentlemen hurriedly left both the table and morning room, and asked Lady Catherine's housekeeper for their hats and greatcoats.
Posted on Wednesday, 31 January 2001
"I am going into Hunsford to perform some commissions for Anne, and I mayhap call in at the vicarage. Would you care to accompany me?" asked the Colonel, as he put on his greatcoat, preparatory going out to the stables to saddle his horse.
As Darcy put on his own greatcoat, one Lady Catherine's footmen opened the great front door, and as he picked up his hat from the hall table, his eagle eye caught the movement of a figure in the apple orchards, and that decided it for him.
"No James, I believe that I shall remain here and go for a ramble in the orchards. " replied Darcy, in a determined tone.
"It has been years since you have been the least inclined to go on a ramble through Aunt Catherine's orchards, Darcy. It seems to me that you have regressed in age ever since we arrived here at Rosings. It would not have anything to do with the knowledge that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is staying at the vicarage, by chance?" asked Colonel Fitzwilliam, in a teasing tone, as he mounted his horse.
"I refuse to even dignify that with an answer, James. How you can even dare to ask that is beyond me. " replied Darcy, in a tone of mock haughtiness.
"I will leave your compliments to Miss Elizabeth along with mine, at the vicarage. " said the Colonel, once again, teasingly.
This elicited a burst of good-natured laughter from Darcy, as he walked off in the direction of the orchards.
"You will not find her at the vicarage today, James. " Darcy thought to himself, as he made his way to the orchards, for he was sure that the figure he had seen there was none other than Miss Elizabeth Bennet. It appeared even from first glance that Miss Elizabeth was enjoying a pleasant romp through his Aunt's apple orchards. This brought a smile of boyish mischief to his lips. Darcy's long legs soon carried him quickly and silently to the orchards, but had already decided to try to come upon Miss Elizabeth unawares, and so upon entering the orchards, Darcy used his intimate knowledge of same to avoid discovering Miss Elizabeth, and Miss Elizabeth discovering him too soon.
Leaving the vicarage, Lizzie began to walk towards the orchards, as she came closer, Lizzie began to run, and as she entered the apple orchards, her bonnet was already hanging down her back by its ribands. The combination of the glorious Spring day, and the energy that so filled her, caused her to spin around in happy circles, the way she had done as a little girl. Lizzie, unaware that she was not alone in the orchard, an imp of mischief entered Lizzie, and she began to become silly in a way her younger sisters were not as she, not knowing that the subject of her mocking was quite close indeed, observing her very exact impression of him.
" 'Do not you feel a great inclination, Miss Bennet, to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?' " Lizzie said in a deepened voice, and a highly exaggerated haughty tone, which made the subject of the mocking, want to simultaneously begin to laugh, kiss Lizzie and give her a sound shaking.
Realising just how silly she was being, Lizzie began to giggle in a fashion she had not giggled since she was a young girl. She began to spin in even faster circles, until she was so dizzy that she flopped down under an especially old apple tree, still laughing. Lizzie knew that she was in an unladylike manner, so she quickly sat up. She undid the ribands of her bonnet, removed it, and laid down beside her. As Lizzie was still under the imp of mischief, Lizzie lay back down, pillowing her head with her hands, and was soon in a sound sleep.
When Darcy was absolutely sure that Miss Elizabeth was sleeping soundly, he dropped down from the limb of the tree he had been sitting on, knowing that Miss Elizabeth had no way of knowing that the particular tree she had fallen asleep under had been his favorite "thinking place". That Miss Elizabeth had the audacity to usurp his place brought a mischievous smile to his lips. Darcy noticed that Miss Elizabeth, though wrapped tightly in her shawl, shivered in her sleep. Darcy unbuttoned his greatcoat, slipped out of it and began to cover her with it. As Darcy was attempting to cover Lizzie, he found himself holding his breath, when it appeared that she was about to wake, but he soon let it out again, when Lizzie relaxed in her sleep once more. Darcy smiled, when he saw his name on Lizzie's lips, and he became aware that Miss Elizabeth Bennet was dreaming of him.
Posted on Thursday, 15 February 2001
As Darcy relaxed, he began to consider the sleeping form of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, his confused feelings for her. No other woman had elicited such feelings in him before. He truly enjoyed the verbal duels they had had while he had been in Hertfordshire. Miss Elizabeth Bennet was delightful, he almost felt he was in love with her, but her family background was impossible, but was he just thinking like Bingley's sisters? "This is ridiculous stuff. I think for myself. " Darcy thought to himself. Yet all these thoughts evaporated as he looked down at her sweet face. Once again Miss Elizabeth smiled in her sleep, and spoke his name in her sleep. She also spoke three words, words he would never have expected from Miss Elizabeth in regards to himself.
"I love you too, Miss Elizabeth. " said Darcy, looking down at her. Even though it would be considered scandalous, Darcy had an overwhelming urge to lean down and place a gentle kiss on Miss Elizabeth's rosy-red lips. Part of him, the controlled, reticent Gentleman fought the urge, but the bold man-of-action fought even harder, and the rarely seen side of Fitzwilliam Darcy won out and came to the fore, and so Darcy gave in to the temptation. He bent his head and gently touched his lips to Lizzie's, and once again he noticed, as he had in the ballroom at Netherfield, her sweet lavender scent. Once more, as it had at Netherfield, Miss Elizabeth's scent brought a tear to his eye, for lavender had been his mother's scent. He began to wonder what his Mother would think of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, what she would say to her if she were still alive.
As Darcy raised his head, he watched as a smile spread across Lizzie's lips in her sleep.
Once again Darcy noticed that Lizzie spoke his name in her sleep. He smiled to himself once more at the thought that Miss Elizabeth Bennet dreamed of him, yet he began to wonder just what sort of dreams she had, judging from the that little display, yet he had almost given himself away by laughing loudly. He never before had had the occasion to laugh at himself, while watching Miss Elizabeth's display. Unfortunately, the thought of Miss Elizabeth's mocking impressions of him caused him to laugh loudly and good-naturedly, which woke Lizzie with a start.
Posted on Saturday, 10 March 2001
Lizzie started awake at the sound of hearty male laughter. Looking around dazedly, she tried to recall where she was, and why she began to detect the scent of sandalwood, for the last time she was aware of that scent, was while she was dancing with one particular partner at Netherfield. She still was not aware of Mr. Darcy's presence, as she was facing in the opposite direction. Not seeing anyone in the direction she was facing, she turned in the other direction, and was shocked to discover that Mr. Darcy was sitting next to her under the old apple tree. She also looked down to discover that she had been wrapped up in his greatcoat.
"Mr. Darcy! What are you doing here?" asked Lizzie in a very shocked tone.
"The same could be asked of you Miss Elizabeth, especially, as you have usurped my favorite "thinking place". " replied Darcy, in a mock haughty tone, teasing Lizzie.
"I believe that I have heard my Uncle Phillips say that possession is nine tenths of the law, and since I was before you I will not be evicted from this spot, lovely though it might be. " retorted Lizzie, in a similar tone.
"Touche, Miss Elizabeth. I might have known that you would say something to that effect. Mayhap we might share this lovely spot, on such a lovely Spring morning to discuss important matters such as life. " shot back Mr. Darcy.
The tone in which Mr. Darcy spoke was one of such mock-seriousness, that it brought musical laughter to the rosy-red lips that he had so recently kissed, laughter that was so infectious, that he could not help laughing too.
"Mr. Darcy, I am shocked! I never would have suspected that you enjoyed such nonsense as this. That you can laugh. " observed Lizzie.
"That is a side of me that is difficult for me to show to strangers, but you would say that if I would take the time to practice. " countered Mr. Darcy, with a smile.
"Perhaps you should follow Colonel Fitzwilliam's example. He is an exceedingly charming gentleman. " replied Lizzie.
"Perhaps I should. Tell me Miss Elizabeth, how are you enjoying your sojourn in Kent, in the Spring?" asked Mr. Darcy, as he decided, for some reason, that a strategic retreat was needed.
"I have been enjoying it immensely. Your Aunt's orchards are beautiful. " replied Lizzie.
"A delightful place to frolic. " observed Mr. Darcy, in a teasing tone.
"What do you know of frolicking, Mr. Darcy. You referred to the orchards as your "thinking place". I do not believe that you would recognise frolicking if you observed it. " replied Lizzie, in a mock reproving tone.
"Oh but did observe some frolicking, here in my Aunt's orchards. I think it was a nymph that was frolicking, at least it appeared from the tree I was situated in, that it was a nymph. I climbed down from the tree, to find my nymph, but it seemed as though she disappeared, but then I found her under "my tree". " replied Darcy, in a similar tone.
Posted on Wednesday, 18 April 2001
Hearing Mr. Darcy's references to watching a wood nymph frolicking in his Aunt's orchards from a tree, brought to Lizzie's cheeks, in Mr. Darcy's mind a lovely flush. In realising just what this most distressing of men had observed her doing caused Lizzie to raise her chin up in challenge.
"Mr. Darcy, you should not have been watching, for nobody who overlistens, hears anything good said about oneself, " said Lizzie, tartly, but with a very mischievous smile on her very rosy-red lips. " Then you have referred a second time to this tree as being your own. I thought it was your Aunt's, and then after her passing, your cousin's. "
"Touche, Miss Bennet, yet I have used this tree as a "thinking place" off and on ever since I was a boy. I used to escape to the orchards starting at the age of nine, which was when My Aunt began her attempts at pushing my Cousin Anne at me. I love my Cousin Anne, but as a cousin only. Anne, herself has found her Mother's matchmaking attempts a bit tedious. I must also say that Anne is not as frail and sickly as My Aunt makes her out to be, " countered Mr. Darcy. " Anne knows what her obligations are, and so my Cousin Marsden and I have undertaken the task of teaching Anne of estate management, among other things. She has proved an extremely apt pupil. "
"I imagine that you had much to think about as a boy?" enquired Lizzie, curiously. " What did you think about, Mr. Darcy?"
"I had accidentally discovered the truth about my Mother's health. How we, My Father, Sister and I would be losing her. This was hard on me. My Mother loved us all. Georgiana, My Sister was too young to understand at the time, but I was not. This was a month before she died. The physician told my Father that it was a cancer that took her. " replied Mr. Darcy.
"I am sorry to hear that. She must have loved you very much. I know that My Own Mother is a trial, but I would not wish for her to die. " said Lizzie.
"I had other things to think about here, life, mainly. When My Father died, I especially had a hard time. Suddenly, I became what I had been raised to be, the Master of Pemberley. I wished to do the best I could, but immediately I found out, in following My Father's last wishes, I found out just how deceitful a person could be, " said Mr. Darcy, in a pointed tone. "You may not like what I am about to say, but I am referring to Mr. Wickham, he is not a truthful person. I observed, while in Hertfordshire, that you were quite charmed by the man. I do not know what he may have said to you that has given you a dislike of me, but it would behoove me to give you my side of this. "
"I will listen, " replied Lizzie. " As to whether I will believe you is another story. "
"If you wish corroboration of this, you have only to enquire of my Cousin Fitzwilliam. " replied Mr. Darcy, " I noticed that you and he share easy conversation in a way that I cannot. "
"When My Father died, My Cousin Fitzwilliam and I were named as guardians of my Sister Georgiana. We both did our level best, but last summer was the first time I let my Sister down in any way, and I regret it most highly. " began Mr. Darcy.
To all My Gentle Readers, for some reason, my most perverse muse is insisting that this little opus have less "Pride" and very little "Prejudice" in it, therefore, the famous letter is about be turned into a conversation. I hope you do not mind this. YGA
Posted on Saturday, 19 May 2001
I would like to dedicate this part to Jeannette who asked me so politely to post a new bit.
"You failed your Sister, I can hardly believe that, Mr. Darcy. I was given the impression by your Cousin that your are very responsible, that you care very much for your her. " said Lizzie
"My Cousin Fitzwilliam speaks the truth, and yet I still failed her. Perhaps I should tell you something of Georgiana. Georgiana is now, I believe the same age as your sister Catherine. You have heard Bingley's sisters, especially Miss Bingley praise her accomplishments, praise that was, on the whole a bit too effusive. Georgiana is quite shy, but to me, she is all that any older brother would wish for in a younger sister. Since My Father's death, I have tried to take my guardian's role most seriously. " replied Mr. Darcy.
"Pardon me for asking this, Mr. Darcy, but what has all this to do with Mr. Wickham?" asked Lizzie in a slightly skeptical tone.
"This has much to do with Wickham. I grew up with Wickham. His Father was My Father's steward, and My Father was Wickham's Godfather. That being the case, My Father supported Wickham at Eton and then at University, with an eye towards taking Holy Orders. During our boyhood, Wickham showed signs of the deceptive charm that he has in abundance now. Away from our native county, at University, Wickham began to show all signs of becoming a wastrel. His habits were so changed that I was of the opinion that he would not be taking Holy Orders anytime soon. My suspicions were soon to be found correct, when after My Father's death, after the reading of his will, Wickham had the audacity to come to me and ask if I might give him the equivalency of his living, in order to study the Law. Once again I was deceived. Now comes the story of My Sister, last spring, Georgiana left school, and an establishment in London was set up for her, with a Mrs. Younge as a companion. I was not aware then of the acquaintance between Mrs. Younge and Wickham. As far as I knew, Georgiana had not seen Wickham since My Father's funeral, so the events I am about to relate to you, I was not prepared for. At the end of Spring, Mrs. Younge and Georgiana decided remove from Town and make for Ramsgate. Thither went Wickham also. Georgiana, delighted to see an old friend from her childhood, and the attentions he paid her, had an unfortunate effect on her. My Sister believed herself to be in love with Wickham and he soon had her convinced into an elopement to Gretna. I decided to pay my Sister a visit. My Sister, not wishing to grieve me confessed the truth of the plan. I once again was forced to deal with my erstwhile childhood friend. He swore revenge, I believe that seeing your charming hostility towards myself, I imagine he told you what he wanted you to hear, and my perceived behaviour in Meryton, convinced you and many others of my cruelty. " replied Mr. Darcy.
Posted on Sunday, 17 February 2002
"Perhaps if you had made an effort to make the acquaintance of some of the young Ladies at the Assembly at Meryton, you may not have appeared so disagreeable. " challenged Lizzie, as she sat up and brushed the apple blossoms from the front of her dress.
"Perhaps, " replied Mr. Darcy in kind. "Yet I just cannot bring myself to allow myself to be introduced to young Ladies. As you are more than aware, I am considered what is vulgarly referred to as a "catch". When I came into Hertfordshire with Bingley, I was hoping that I could leave my reputation behind in Town, unfortunately that was not to be the case. I have never enjoyed the attentions of matchmaking mamas in Town. Their daughters, being silly are going to do anything their mamas suggest to catch a wealthy or titled husband. I have never wanted anything more than a marriage like my parents and my Uncle Matlock had. Both my Father and my Uncle loved their wives. That is what I have always wished for. "
"Then why does your Aunt speak of you and your Cousin as being betrothed?" countered Lizzie.
"My Aunt unfortunately believes that there was an agreement between herself and my parents. There is no such agreement. I care about my Cousin Anne, as she is going to need to know something of estate management so that she will be able to run Rosings after her Mother dies. I, along with my Cousin Marsden have been instructing her in the finer points, and I really do not think that, no matter how persistently my Aunt pushes my Cousin at my head, Anne is not interested in becoming the Mistress of Pemberley. Unfortunately, though my Cousin cannot bring herself to stand up to her Mother, and tell her so. My Aunt is going to be very disappointed when I finally choose my bride. " replied Mr. Darcy.
Posted on Saturday, 1 June 2002
Mr. Darcy and Lizzie spent another happy half hour discussing each other's childhoods, but of a sudden, Lizzie recalled where she was and with whom.
"Forgive me, Mr. Darcy, but I believe that we have spent too much time alone for a couple, who appear to wish not to have anything to do with the other, besides I am sure that Charlotte is most likely worried about me. Perhaps we should each take our leave of each other. I enjoyed this little interview. Your sister sounds as if she is very Dear. Mayhap, we might meet someday? Now I really must leave. Good Day, Mr. Darcy. " said Lizzie, as she rose from her spot under the old apple tree, unconsciously giving Mr. Darcy back his great coat. This she did a bit reluctantly, as she had come to like Mr. Darcy's scent of spicy soap and cologne.
"Good Day Miss Elizabeth, " said Mr. Darcy, as he too rose to his feet. " I will give you sometime to return to the Parsonage, before I return to my Aunt's house. "
Lizzie soon hurried away from the orchards and her most distressing suitor, if she could call her that. For someone whom she first thought rude and uncaring and had discovered that he was just naturally reticent, he had shared bits and pieces of his life that such a person would never share with another. She decided to keep the knowledge of Mr. Wickham's true character to herself. She hurried back to the Parsonage, where she found a letter from Jane awaiting her perusal and she just enough time before nuncheon to accomplish this.
After giving Lizzie a quarter of an hour, Mr. Darcy too, left his Aunt's orchards, and hurried back to the house, a wistful but mischievous smile on his lips, thinking of the sweet lips he had kissed not so long ago. He could still detect the sweet scent of lavender. Now, normally, Mr. Darcy was not so introspective, as to not to be watching where he was going, but he had spent a pleasant hour with the woman that he most definitely wished to make the Mistress of Pemberley, so he did not see his cousin until he was almost on top of him.
"Darce! Watch out!, " exclaimed Colonel Fitzwilliam. " I suppose your mind is back in the orchards. No marks of hands on your face, so I imagine Miss Elizabeth Bennet was in an amiable mood. "
Posted on Thursday, 19 September 2002
The Colonel's quizzing of his cousin, instead of causing him to react in a typical fashion, Mr. Darcy threw back his head and laughed.
"Yes, one might have thought that Miss Elizabeth Bennet would have taken my presence in Our Aunt's orchards as being tantamount to an invasion, on the contrary, we spent a most pleasant hour together Cousin. Though I would appreciate it if you would not let it get about that I had spent a most amiable hour with the woman whom, despite Aunt Catherine's most persistent insistence to the opposite, the only woman I would consider for the position of Mistress of Pemberley. What say you to that, James?" replied Mr. Darcy, when his cousin, best friend and advisor looked askance at his normally reticent cousin's unusual behaviour.
"For someone who wishes to shout it from the roof-tops that you are head-over-ears in love, why keep it secret, Darce? I know that it can't be that you are afraid of Aunt Catherine, because I know that you are no such thing, in fact you almost look ashamed of something you've done. If you do not wish me know, I will respect that, you know I will cousin, but you know that I will be happy to listen to you. " said the Colonel, as the two cousins walked towards the house.
"Meet me in Our Aunt's library before dinner. " was all that Mr. Darcy could say, before they entered the house and made their way up the stairs to their chambers.
At Hunsford Parsonage, at the exact same moment, things were in an uproar, for the contents of Lizzie's letter from her sister Jane had been made known. At first, Lizzie couldn't quite make out what the letter said, as Jane, when she was either excited or upset about something wrote an atrocious hand, but soon she was given the knowledge that their youngest Sister had gotten herself into a scrape, of scandalous proportion. If she understood what Jane had written, Lydia had run away with Mr. Wickham and that their Uncle was sending his carriage to Hunsford immediately.
Posted on Friday, 22 November 2002
Lizzie was aware that what she was about to do would ruin her reputation, at least in Hunsford, but if she had learned one thing from her tête-à-tête in Lady Catherine's orchards, only one person would be able to assist her in her most desperate hour. She did not wish to send a note to Rosings, as that would rouse suspicion in Mr. Darcy's aunt, so she quickly put on bonnet, shawl and walking shoes, left the note to Charlotte on the table in the entry hall of the Parsonage, opened the front door and hurried out.
It had not taken her that long before she arrived at Rosings, where she applied the knocker to the door. Now usually, it was the job of Lady Catherine's housekeeper to answer the door, but as Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam had just exited their Aunt's library after a very strange conversation, they had informed their Aunt that they were going out for an evening's ride and Mr. Darcy happened to be the fortunate person who answered the door. As he opened the door, he discovered a very sweetly disheveled, but distraught Miss Elizabeth Bennet on his Aunt's front step, alone, as she was that morning at Netherfield. Miss Elizabeth looked very pale.
"Miss Elizabeth, what brings you to Rosings?" asked Mr. Darcy, in a concerned tone.
"Mr. Darcy, may we speak privately. I am afraid that I have received some disturbing news from Jane. I . . . . . . . . . . I. . . . . " began Lizzie, and keeled over in an uncharacteristic swoon.
The Colonel quickly called for a vinaigrette to be brought to Lady Catherine's library. He was ever known for his cool head. Mr. Darcy carried Lizzie into the library and laid her onto the chaise and began to chafe her wrists.
Posted on Saturday, 30 November 2002
Lizzie came slowly out of her swoon to discover Mr. Darcy sitting on a chair next to the chaise on which she lay.
"Forgive me Mr. Darcy, " said Lizzie, in an apologetic tone. "For I am not subject to swooning. "
"And I am obviously the last person you would wish to swoon in front of, " replied Mr. Darcy in kind. " For you would see that as a weakness and you do not wish for me to consider you as weak. On the contrary, Miss Elizabeth, I have never once considered you as weak. "
"Touche, " replied Lizzie, recognising the hit. " No, you would not consider me as weak, you would consider me as something el. . . . . . . Forgive me Mr. Darcy, my tongue was trying to run away from me and I must speak with you. It is most important that I do, but. . . . . . . . "
"What is wrong, Miss Elizabeth?" asked Colonel Fitzwilliam, in a concerned tone.
"Mr. Darcy, if I tell you of my plight, can your cousin be trusted not to say anything of it to anyone. My plight has much to do with our conversation in your Aunt's orchards. I have received most disturbing news from My Sister, in regards to my youngest sister Lydia and soon everyone will know all. For reasons that I still do not understand, she has left the protection of friends and family and put herself into the power of Mr. Wickham. Apparently they agreed to meet during the last Assembly in Meryton and were making for Gretna Green. "
On hearing of Lizzie's sad plight, both cousins looked at one another and swore under their breaths and quickly asked Lizzie's pardon.
"Rest your mind, Miss Elizabeth, we will help you. " replied Mr. Darcy, as he helped her up to a sitting position.
DNA:For newer readers of this story, please pay attention. My ever so perverse muse likes to discover secrets about "Our Own Dear Jane's" beloved characters, like Aunt Gardiner went to school with the Countess Matlock and Aunt Gardiner is Colonel Fitzwilliam's Godmother, hence the next conversation
"Miss Elizabeth, has anybody done anything to locate the fugitives?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"My Father has traveled to Town, to meet with My Uncle in Gracechurch Street and Uncle Gardiner is sending his traveling coach for me. Aunt Gardiner accompanies My Sister, for she wishes to be back at Longbourn to assist Our Mother. " replied Lizzie.
"They will be coming to Hunsford, Miss Elizabeth?" asked the Colonel, curiously.
"It will be likely that they will. " replied Lizzie, in a slightly knowing tone.
"This might not be the best time, but I will like seeing my Godmother. " said Colonel Fitzwilliam.
That particular statement surprised Mr. Darcy. He did not know that his Aunt had any connection to the Gardiner Family in Gracechurch Street, for that was likely how she had become his cousin's Godmother.
Posted on Thursday, 20 March 2003
"You may trust my cousin, Miss Elizabeth to keep your plight in utmost confidence. For I would trust him with my life. " said Mr. Darcy, still surprised that there was connection between his Cousin James and the Gardiner Family of Gracechurch Street.
"I imagine that you look upon your cousin as something of an advisor. Colonel Fitzwilliam seems to be very wise. He must have helped you in many ways after your Father passed away?" replied Lizzie, curiously.
"Yes, he did help me, especially with the raising of my young sister, but what I told you in confidence occurred last summer happened because of my stupidity. I should have had the woman investigated more and now another young woman is going to suffer because of it. " replied Mr. Darcy.
"You blame yourself for too much. My sister, I know that you have observed was ever a flirt. Jane, myself and to some extent, even Mary have tried to give her better examples, but I'm afraid that Lydia has always been like our Mother, who I will admit indulged her from birth. Lydia was born a month early and almost died. My Mother's nerves would not have stood that. "
Mr. Darcy was about to reply, when there was a commotion in the entry hall, as Charlotte Collins was ushered into the library.
Posted on Friday, 22 August 2003
The wife of Hunsford's worthy vicar hurried to her dearest Lizzie's side, when she was led into the library. She had read Lizzie's note that had told where she was going. Charlotte was surprised that Lizzie had chosen to turn to Mr. Darcy, after she received the letter from Longbourn that had caused her such anxiety. While she was not aware of what had happened, it had to have been of a most serious nature.
"Lizzie, why did you come to Rosings? Could you not tell me what Jane's letter had said?" asked Charlotte, as she helped her friend to a sitting position, for she had been quite surprised to discover that her dearest friend had actually fainted. "Lizzie, you have never fainted before in your life. Why start now?"
Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam left the library, to give the two women a chance to talk, without their presence.
"Oh, Charlotte, I received such terrible news from Jane. I did not wish for my Cousin to discover what will soon be public knowledge. Lydia has eloped with Mr. Wickham, and I who consider myself a good judge of character have found out that Mr. Wickham's character was not what I had thought it was, and what he had told me, with regards to Mr. Darcy and his young sister were lies. That is all I can tell you, because the full story is not mine to tell and I was not given permission to reveal the rest of the tale." replied Lizzie, as the vicar's wife gave Lizzie the shawl she had brought for her friend.
At which point, the two Gentlemen returned to the library and Mr. Darcy informed the two Ladies that they were not to worry themselves, as the dilemma would be seen to and that the best thing now was for Mrs. Collins to take Miss Elizabeth back to the Parsonage.
After the Ladies had left Rosings, Mr. Darcy and the Colonel began to discuss how they would be able discover the hiding place of the fugitives and another matter that had begun to weigh upon Mr. Darcy's conscience. The matter of his part in the separation of Mr. Bingley and Miss Bennet. Could it be that he had been wrong in keeping his friend from all knowledge of her presence in Town?
Posted on Saturday, 18 September 2004
"So you see James, I need to show myself differently in Miss Elizabeth's eyes." Mr. Darcy explained to his Cousin," What would you do in my case?"
"I believe that Miss Elizabeth would wish to see a familiar face, and in this case, I would think that she would wish to see her Sister, perhaps Bingley could help you in this." replied Colonel Fitzwilliam.
"I believe you may be right, James. I will send an express to London at once, asking that Bingley come at once. Mayhap, both Mr. Gardiner's carriage and Bingley's will meet, at some point in their way to Hunsford." said Mr. Darcy, as both Gentlemen entered the Library once more to discover that Lizzie had recovered to the point that she and Mrs. Collins had evinced a wish to return to the vicarage.
Mr. Darcy, truly wishing to show Miss Elizabeth a different face, came to the sofa where she sat, went down on one knee, and spoke quietly," Miss Elizabeth, do not make yourself too upset, even now, plans are afoot to discover the whereabouts of the fugitives. They will be found and made to see the errors of their ways. I promise you this. Word of a Darcy." "Thank you." replied Lizzie, in a very quiet tone.
Charlotte took Lizzie back to the vicarage, and to explain Lizzie's absence, told Mr. Collins that Lizzie had gone out for a walk, slipped and fell. Mr. Darcy and the Colonel had found her and brought her to Rosings. It was discovered that Lizzie was unhurt, but a bit shaken. Charlotte had a cup of hot milk made for Lizzie. While Lizzie waited, a short note was delivered to her from Rosings, the bold handwriting was unmistakeable.
Letter from Mr. Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennet
Miss Elizabeth Bennet,
Do not make yourself uneasy over the events that have unfolded. My Cousin and I will do all we can to find your Sister and Mr. Wickham. We will mske for London within the hour, I am of the belief, as is my Cousin, we will discover the fugitives there. Until such time as I am able, I will apprise you of the situation. My Cousin has told me of the Gardiners, and how your Uncle is a wise and fair man. That he will be able to assist us. Until then, I remain.
Yours and c,
Lizzie immediately sent up a quiet, but fervent prayer for the success of the two cousins mission to London.
As Lizzie pondered the letter she received from Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, despite Lady
Catherine's pleading, readied for their return to London, events were about to bring both Jane and Mister Bingley together once more. For Mister Darcy had sent an express to that amiable gentleman.
Mister Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam tried to keep their minds on their quest in light of Lady Catherine's outrage at their sudden departure and return to London without what she felt was a good explanation. On the other hand, a quiet soul understood, and uncharacteristically spoke up; "Mama, my cousins are on a quest. Mayhap Cousin Marsden needs their assistance," said Anne, as she watched her cousins' departure.
Mister Darcy's express reached Mister Bingley, who quickly made ready to meet the Gardiner's traveling coach, happy to meet his Angel once more. As Mister Gardiner's traveling coach made its way towards Kent, so did Mister Bingley's. As fate would have it, the two coaches were behind each other by about a day, so it was not surprising that Mister Bingley's coach was able to catch Mister Gardiner's coach up, just as one of Mister Gardiner's lead horses lost a shoe in front of The White Swan. Mister Bingley, seeing his chance to render a service to his Sweet Angel, made himself known to the Gardiners. Jane Bennet was more than a little shocked, as they both appeared to be making for Hunsford Parsonage. Mister Bingley then made the gallant offer to escort Mrs. Gardiner and Jane, an offer which Mister Gardiner gladly accepted.
Lizzie was sitting in the parlour, when Charlotte brought her a short note from Jane explaining what had happened, and that they would be on their way shortly. She was relieved at this, but was amazed to discover who was escorting her Sister and Aunt to comfort her in her distress was a great joy.