Posted on Sunday, 19 December 1999, at 2 : 15 p.m.
Author's note: This is a very short, silly story written while I was bored in Psychology class. It's dedicated especially to the cult of Da Man. :-)
Catherine Morland did not desire a tete-a-tete with John Thorpe. Quite the opposite. If his d--n fine gig pulled by his d--n fine horses ran over him just then she would not care in the least, except for the pain it would cause Isabella. However, there she was, sitting with him in a secluded part of The Crescent.
She had listened to him talk at her for a few minutes, then turned her thoughts to a much more pleasant subject, Henry Tilney. So she was more than a little surprised when Mr. Thorpe pulled her to her feet and cried, "D--n it I love you! You're a d--n fine girl, Catherine Morland. Marry me!" With that he began making violent and slobbery love to her hand.
Catherine quickly recaptured her hand and looked hastily around, perhaps no one had noticed. A large circle of people was standing around them clapping, and shouting their congratulations.
"D--n it," Catherine muttered with feeling.
By the end of the day everyone in Bath was talking about the match of Miss Morland and Mr. Thorpe. Catherine was greatly confused and upset. She did understand, though, that she must marry Mr. Thorpe, otherwise all of Bath would be talking about how improper she was. First, she had been with Mr. Thorpe unchaperoned, and then she had "allowed" him to drool all over her hand in front of fifty people. Besides, she had no idea how to break off an engagement, even one she had had no intention of entering. She must marry Mr. Thorpe.
It was with a heavy heart that Catherine entered the Upper Rooms that night. After listening to Isabella's cries of happiness for half an hour and dancing two sets with her newly acquired fiancÚ she retired to a dark corner with an entire bowl of punch and began banging her head against the wall.
She was just beginning to lose consciousness when a familiar and beloved voice whispered in her ear, "Do not do that, you shall ruin the curl of your hair, and it looks so nice. And by nice I mean both tidy and becoming."
"Mr. Tilney?" Catherine asked weakly, slightly slurring her words.
"Yes, Miss Morland. I was wondering if we might have a word." He led her to a chair and helped her sit so she wouldn't fall over. "I must admit that I was surprised to learn of the contract between you and Mr. Thorpe."
"Probably not as surprised as I was," Catherine muttered.
"Do you love him?" Henry asked, almost fearfully.
"No! I hate him, I hate him! I love-" here she stopped and colored. Then she sighed, "Oh who am I fooling? I love you, Mr. Tilney. There I've said it You can't be surprised."
"Well no," Henry smiled, "But that does not diminish my happiness."
Catherine's jaw fell open and she stammered happily, "I can scarce believe it. I'm so hap- Oh! But what about Mr. Thorpe?"
"How exactly did you become engaged to him, Catherine my love?"
"I don't know exactly. He was talking about his horse or something and then all of the sudden he was professing his love and licking my hand. If I do not marry him then everyone will think that I am a loose woman."
"Ah, I see. You must bear the burden of Thorpe's impropriety."
Catherine nodded miserably. "You see, it's hopeless."
Henry pondered this. "My love, what if I behave more improperly than Thorpe did. Then you would have to marry me, correct?"
"What-" Suddenly Henry was leading Catherine to the center of the dance floor. He placed them right in the middle of the set and caused the dance to stop. When he was sure that everyone was looking at them he swept her into his arms and kissed her passionately on the lips.
The whole room was in an uproar. Thorpe was bellowing, "I say! D--n it what's going on?"
Henry broke the kiss leaving Catherine feeling even fainter and breathing raggedly. He turned to Thorpe. "Miss Morland releases you from your contract, "he said coolly. "Right, darling?"
Catherine nodded as vigorously as she could. Thorpe lumbered off, cursing loudly.
Henry turned to Catherine grinning. "You see, my dear," lecturing her as he loved to do, "Sometimes the most improper thing to do is also the most honorable."