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Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

June 23, 2023 01:11PM
Chapter 47

Finally, the day came when Darcy with Georgiana returned to Netherfield. This also coincided with Lizzy having her cast removed. The doctor was happy with Lizzy's arm which had healed straight.

Darcy and Georgiana came the next day with Charles, Charles’ aunt Mrs Susan Kennedy, and Charles’ cousin, Mr John Bingley. Mr John Bingley was a year or two older, and you could certainly tell the family resemblance. He looked much like Charles with some subtle differences. He was only slightly taller, his hair was slightly darker in colour, his face a little thinner and his nose a little sharper.

The conversation was carried primarily between Mr John Bingley and Mrs Kennedy with Mrs Bennet. Georgiana went immediately and started talking with Kitty. Mr Darcy and Lizzy, and Charles and Jane had a very jilted conversation between them. Eventually Kitty saved them all by proposing to walk outside.

Darcy and Lizzy welcomed the change but the conversation was not much better. There was only one thing in both their minds which they knew they could not yet talk about. So they caught up on all that had occurred in the last month, and stole looks at the other. In the end before departing, Darcy requested a private interview for the morrow.

The next day dawned bright, which matched the mood of all in the house. Today they were officially out of mourning, so it was the day for the mourning dresses to be put away and to return to their normal clothes.

Jane came to Lizzy first thing in the morning. Lizzy had been too nervous to go out for her normal morning walk in case she missed Darcy’s call. “Lizzy, what do I wear when Mr Bingley comes to call? I want to look my best.”

Lizzy found herself in a similar dilemma. “It is now so strange to go back to thinking of what to wear. I think we forget about how we look and we just wear whatever makes us feel happiest.”

“Yes, I shouldn't worry. This is a happy day. That is good advice, Lizzy. I think I'll wear my blue dress.”

They waited nervously in the parlour after breakfast, pretending to read or sew.
Fortunately, Bingley and Darcy appeared as soon as it was an acceptable hour for visiting. After exchanging stilted pleasantries with Mrs Bennet, everyone thought it a fine idea to have a walk in the garden, and Mrs Bennet certainly wanted those two men alone with her daughters as soon as she could.

In short order, Lizzy was walking in the garden with Darcy, and as soon as they were out of sight of the house in a private part of the garden, Darcy turned and stopped, taking Lizzy’s hand in his own. “You can be in no doubt, Elizabeth, as to why I am here this morning. I feel I have waited so long for this moment to finally arrive.”

“These last few weeks since I left you in Derby have felt very long. I've been counting the days to today and to seeing you again.”

“And for me, these last few weeks at Pemberley have been torture. Everywhere I turned I could see you there. I knew I loved you, but there is now no life for me that doesn't have you in it. Elizabeth, would you do me the honour of sharing a life with me and becoming my wife?”

“Yes, Mr Darcy, yes!” said Lizzy, throwing her arms around his shoulders. His own went to her waist and his head came down to kiss her lips, something he had been longing to do for so very long.

After enjoying their kiss for awhile, then going for a second and a third, Darcy pulled away. “I need to stop before I take this too far. Should we go to your father and make this all official? I'm guessing he's expecting us.”

“Of course, Mr Darcy, yes, we should go see my father before he comes out looking for us!”

Darcy tucked Lizzy’s arm in his. “Now that we are engaged, I can't have you calling me Mr Darcy. Georgiana calls me William, or Will when she is excited.”

“Then I shall call you William.” They strolled leisurely back to Mr Bennet’s study together, where Lizzy was going to leave Darcy alone with her father, but Mr Bennet waved for Lizzy to come in as well.

“Mr Bennet, you know how greatly I admire your daughter. She has accepted my offer of marriage and we are here for your blessing.”

“Yes, yes, of course, it's nice that you still ask, even though she is now of age and has no need for it. However, rather than officially announcing your engagement, your Aunt requests you enter into an official courtship with Lizzy instead.” He reached into his drawer, pulling out a letter. He passed the letter across the table. “Your aunt has laid out the instructions quite well. I believe she has planned to announce your engagement in three weeks time at the dinner she is hosting. I can not fault her planning, and she does not seem to be one who is used to disappointment.”

Lizzy raised an eyebrow. “So our future engagement had already been planned and discussed between you, the Earl and Countess? Do we get any say in it?”

“Well, it was no stretch of the imagination that this was going to happen. We agreed, after all that was printed in the paper, it would be best for there to be a public courtship, so that no one thinks there's been any impropriety that would require a hasty marriage.”

Darcy, who had perused the letter passed it over to Lizzy. “Sir, I don't like disguise of any sort.”

“This is not disguise. The two of you can formally go about enjoying as much of each other's company as you desire in front of all without worrying about gossip. The only difference is that you have a slight reprieve of having to spend all of your time planning a wedding, which is what your friends Mr Bingley and Jane will get to enjoy.”

Lizzy also read the Countess’s letter. “Our courtship has been completely stage managed by your Aunt.”

Mr Bennet leaned back in his chair. “I will announce your courtship. If you'd like to announce an engagement directly, Mr Darcy, I suggest you wait for the next three days when your Aunt and Uncle arrive here and take it up with them.”

“Very well then,” sighed Darcy.

Mr Bennet rose and walked around the table, slapping Darcy on the shoulder. “I imagine after dinner tonight you might feel differently about this.” He then walked to look out the window. “Now where is Mr Bingley? I had thought he would get here before you two, but I was wrong.“

They exited the study together to find Jane and Mr Bingley coming up the hall towards the study. They both exchanged their excited news, and congratulations were given all around.

Lizzy took Mr Darcy back outside to stroll around the garden. Presently they heard an excited outburst from Mrs Bennet. “Jane must have told Mama about her engagement.”

“When will you tell her about our courtship?” asked Mr Darcy.

Lizzy laughed. “I will spare you the worst of my mother by telling her after you have left.”

“Surely you'll tell her before we depart? It will appear rude if I leave and we have not told her. And I am certain you have upbraided me on that.“

Lizzy sighed theatrically. “Do not say that I did not try to save you. Be prepared.”

“She will be my family as well.“

This brought on the most brilliant smile on Lizzy’s face, and Darcy realised he could put up with a thousand Mrs Bennet’s for Lizzy’s sake.

“Come, let us tell her now. I believe we have promised Bingley’s cousin that we would call on Mrs Long and her niece’s with him.”

They went in and Darcy passed on their news, and before Mrs Bennet could utter any disappointment in it being a courtship rather than an engagement, Lizzy interrupted her. “Lady Eleanor, Mr Darcy’s aunt, has suggested it best we are formally courting whilst I am with her in London to help curtail any gossip on there having been any impropriety, especially after the nonsense that was printed in the papers after the accident. Plus, you don't want to plan a wedding whilst I'm in London, do you Mama?”

“Of course, the Countess is most wise and certainly knows best. Why, Mr Darcy, did I tell you that she wrote to me after that night in Matlock where those awful highwaymen were caught? She wrote to assure me the safety of my daughters and of how brave dear Kitty was. It was most cordial of her, I, who was expecting no such honour. She is a great lady with very sage advice. Yes, yes, what a wonderful thing, dear Lizzy, a courtship in London!” Mrs Bennet did go on, but Darcy’s presence curtailed her worst impulses, and both Darcy and Lizzy were far too happy to care or to take great notice in it.

The men, along with Georgiana, Mr Bingley’s aunt and cousin, were invited to dinner that night. With that, they took their leave.

Later in the day, Lizzy was taking a turn around the garden and she saw Lydia sitting listlessly on the old swing. Lizzy went and leant against the tree trunk. “Are you disappointed? Were you expecting him?”

Lydia turned to stare at Lizzy. “Jane told you about Mr Wickham, didn't she?”

Lizzy nodded. “You know she keeps no secrets from me.”

Lydia stared at the ground. “I think I dreaded the possibility that he might come. Some part of me wanted him to, but that was more for my pride.... that I had not been wrong and that he had really been in love with me. But I know that's not true. I was just one of his games. I know he won't. I know I meant nothing at all to him.”

“Are you still in love with him?” asked Lizzy sensitively.

“I don't think I ever was in love with him. I liked it that he paid me attention. But I knew nothing of him and he offered nothing beyond the odd funny story. I was such a fool.” Lydia looked to Lizzy. “Your Mr Darcy came the moment he could to propose.”

“Yes, he did, “ said Lizzy.

“I don't want someone who forgets about me as soon as I'm gone. I want someone who would wait for me however long they needed to. Our father had a very long talk with me about how important it is for a marriage to be done properly.”

“Are you upset at no longer being out?” asked Lizzy.

Lydia sighed. “No, I can't imagine ever getting married to anyone.”

Lizzy was pleased at the changes she saw in Lydia. “Don't give up entirely. When the time is right, you'll find the right man for you.”

That night for dinner they celebrated the two couples. Lizzy and Darcy got a reprieve from Mrs Bennet’s attention as they were only courting. Jane and Bingley were the centre of Mrs Bennet’s attention as she spent the night bombarding them with wedding questions and ideas. Bingley separated with the men after dinner with relief. This is where Mr Bennet elbowed Darcy. “After seeing the attention your friend has had from my wife, does a courtship for a few weeks look better to you? Whilst you are courting, you don't need to spend your time wedding planning.”

Darcy did come to the conclusion that a courtship for a few weeks to thoroughly enjoy Lizzy’s company was looking better and better.

After the Netherfield party left, Mr Bennet pulled up Lizzy. “Lizzy, are you certain of your feelings for Mr Darcy?”

“Yes, Papa, the weeks won't change my feelings for him.”

“Lizzy, think of this. Your courtship with him was when you were critically injured, whilst mourning and having been attacked and hunted. You were in no proper state of mind for forming an attachment. Use this time to be absolutely sure of your feelings when you are fully able to enjoy his company without any other impediments affecting your judgement. There is no shame in you changing your mind during a courtship, if you have doubts.”

Lizzy acknowledged the truth of her father's statements, but still doubted that anything would change her feelings.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

Anne VJune 23, 2023 01:11PM

Re: Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

cfwJune 24, 2023 05:48AM

Re: Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

Anne VJune 24, 2023 12:43PM

Re: Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

Maria Teresa CJune 24, 2023 07:02PM

Re: Action Lizzy and the Four Thieves Chapter 47

AlidaJune 24, 2023 01:34AM



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