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They played together as boys - Prologue & Chapter 1

January 23, 2015 06:56PM
Authors note: Before it gets started, I would just like to point out that I have not wrote in a long time. As such, I am expecting that there will be errors in this. But you have to start somewhere right? I aim to post every Friday bar real life getting in the way. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks grinning smiley

Blurb for epilogue abbey: A tragic accident befalls the Bennets, when the Earl of Denton is killed. His younger brother, Henry Bennet and his wife take in his young son, who becomes the playmate of their own son Thomas.


Norton Park
November 1765


Henry Bennets' pen continued pace as the ink flew over the paper in front of him.


Henry Bennet at last looked up at his wife, puzzled. She looked worried which was unusual in itself. He raised his eyebrow questionably.

“There is an express rider on the road to Norton” she stated.

This gave him pause.


“He was due three days ago Henry. He should have sent word. You know it is not like him. You told him he should not have gone”

“I know that Elizabeth. I have thought about nothing else for the last three days!” he barked.

Elizabeth Bennet walked over to her husbands chair and wrapped her arms around his shoulders before placing a chaste kiss to his head. “I should not have cajoled you”, she apologised, “I'm sorry.”

He smiled morosely. “I know”

“I will go check on our children and young James and leave you to your express.” She smiled at him from the door. “All will be well Henry.”


It was not long before the ever dependable Godfrey made his way to the Masters study, currently occupied by the masters younger brother, who was steadfastly seeing to the estate while his elder brother was attending to other estate business in the wilds of Scotland.

He wordlessly placed the express within eyesight.

It took but a moment for Henry to realise the express was there. He reached out his hand and with a pause, took the offered article.

It offered no clue as to what was contained within, nor who it was from. He sighed. Perusal would give no indication but merely delayed the inevitable. He opened the letter.

November 1765
Ross, Gordon and Armstrong; Edinburgh

Dear Sir,

I regret to inform you of bad tidings of your elder brother, His Lordship Arthur Bennet, 9th Earl of Denton and his wife, Isobel Bennet, Countess of Denton......

He hardly noticed as the colour drained from his face. His wife however, who had returned after checking on the children, had noticed as soon a she walked in that his face was ashen white.

“Is it Arthur?” she demanded.

He nodded dejectedly. “And Isobel” he added.

Elizabeth gasped.

“Poor James!” she whispered. “Oh Henry!”

He paid her no mind. He was not of the mood for comfort right now.

“What will happen to him?”

“To whom?” he questioned.


He looked blankly at her.

“His parents...”

That pronouncement made Henry Bennet suddenly realise the implications for young James, who was residing in the nursery upstairs. At eleven months old, the newly titled James Bennet, 10th Earl of Denton, was an orphan.

“I had not thought”, he pronounced.

“I have”, she stated. “He will be coming back to Longbourne with us.”

And so James Bennet travelled back to Longbourne with Henry and Elizabeth Bennet; the angelic infant Jane and the young Master Thomas. Raised amongst the family, the young earl became the playmate of Master Thomas, a friend and a brother.

Chapter 1.

November 1813

The view from Oakham Mount was magnificent. An expanse of green; of grass and trees, farmland, farms and houses; a view where the the joy of nature was at its fore. Lizzy could not help but appreciate the vista whenever she was here.

This was a day that required solitude.

Glad to finally be home after having been cooped up at Netherfield with the superior sisters and the odious Mr Darcy, she had taken the first opportunity to escape outside and stretch her legs. There simply had been no opportunity as of late. Not that she begrudged Jane being ill. It was not her fault.

It was their mother that had declared that Jane had to go to Netherfield. On a horse. Because it was going to rain.

The result was a feverish sister that needed her help.

Lizzy sighed.

But it did no good to dwell on these things. Jane was safe and well.

She could only kick the ground in frustration.

It was not long before she arrived back at the gates of Longbourne. She was soon spotted by her father from his book room window, and he met her at the door as she came in.

“Ah Lizzy”, he joked, “Would you care to drag your father around with you a while?”

“Oh papa, don't be silly. I would not waste my energy dragging you around the garden... I would get the gardener to take you in a wheelbarrow.”

She took his arm as they both laughed at their amusement.

“I had a letter from your Uncle James today.” he said, as they strolled.


“He is looking forward to our visit next month. And will be quite glad to introduce his nieces to his youngest daughter.”

“I look forward to finally meeting little Amelia. Aunt Lavinia's anecdotes have been quite amusing”

“Teddy will be there.”

Lizzy only smiled and, attempting to hide her blush, could only venture to say that she would be pleased to see him again.

Over the last few years, James and Thomas had confessed via sporadic correspondence, their wish of bringing the two families closer together. James fevered wish was that Teddy would settle down with one of the more sensible Bennet girls and had chosen Lizzy as his preferred choice. Mr Bennet, not insensible to the fact that the current earl had chosen his favourite daughter to be married to the future one, was determined to let her behaviour be his guide and would not force her into a marriage she did not want.

“Your grandmother also wrote to extend an invitation for you and Jane.”

“Grandmother? Whatever for?”

He handed her the letter from his jacket pocket. “It seems that she has requested some younger company for a small visit to town during the little season. Your Aunt, it seems, is not best pleased”

Lizzy laughed. “She will not be insensible to the disservice I'm sure!”

“Why do you not write and accept on your and Jane's behalf? You can arrange it amongst yourselves. It would save me the effort.”

She could only roll her eyes at his response. It was very like him to devolve his responsibility. She bit her lip. It would not have surprised her to learn that he had every intention of accepting without the thought of replying. “I suppose I must.” she acquiesced, taking leave of her father.

Mr Bennet watched Lizzy go back into the house with an indifferent spirit. She was a sensible girl he mused – her just did not understand the fuss.


“It was very kind of Grandmama to invite us. Are you sure it would not be too much of an imposition for Aunt Margaret?”

“Not at all Jane. I have received a letter from her this morning. We are to settle on a date and she will send a carriage for us.” Lizzy informed her. And as an afterthought quickly added, “It seems she has a a lot of things planned!”

With that, the girls fell into conversation about what their Aunt and Grandmother may have in store - eventually deciding amongst themselves that they would leave around the beginning of December, just over a week after the Netherfield Ball.

Their mother was informed of their plans the next morning. Such an invitation was not lost on Mrs Bennet, whose chief aim in life was to see her girls married well. Their pronouncement caused her to go into a state of flutters and exclaim about London throwing them in paths of other rich men.

“For a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife!” Lizzy teased.

Mrs Bennet wasted no time in ordering a trip to Meryton. Although both Jane and Lizzy both protested against a trip to the modiste, they did finally relent to a visit for some new ribbons and trimmings.

They played together as boys - Prologue & Chapter 1

NatCRJanuary 23, 2015 06:56PM

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Yanely DFebruary 05, 2015 10:48PM

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Yanely DFebruary 05, 2015 10:55PM

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Debra McJanuary 28, 2015 01:03AM

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mpinneyJanuary 26, 2015 01:47PM

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Linnea EileenJanuary 24, 2015 11:09PM

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Margaret FJanuary 24, 2015 03:19PM

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terrycgJanuary 24, 2015 12:17AM

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Carrie CJanuary 23, 2015 10:27PM

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