Thursday, October 24, 2013

another snip-it of my pemberly variation

I am. . . I have served this neighborhood well!” cried Mr. Cannonby.
I am not convinced. Mrs. Gardiner is satisfied her niece has no need for your services. You are dismissed and so is the second laundry maid. Next time, wait until you are summoned.”
Mr. Cannonby bowed his way from the room. Miss Darcy kept her eyes on her folded hands until her brother crossed the room to touch the tip of his fingers to her cheek.
Peace, dear sister, I do not hold you responsible for the gossip of the laundry maids. That is beyond your purview.”
I am sorry,” whispered the girl then glanced up to meet Lizzy’s eyes. “And, you, Miss Bennet. I apologize.”
Oh, dear girl,” said Lizzy, with a laugh. “I have observed any number of laundry days at home. I know very well how women gossip around the wrangle. I am not offended, I promise you.”
Darcy glanced about the room. “You all look very settled and comfortable here.”
Yes, thank you, sir,” said Miss Bennet. “Everyone has been so kind and accommodating.”
Shall I have some luncheon fetched for you?” asked Georgiana, leaping to her feet.
Please, sit, Georgiana. If you do not mind, I shall have our picnic fetched up here and we shall join you.”
Oh, please,” said Georgiana.
Darcy glanced toward the invalid in her bed who blushed and inclined her head to grant consent. It was the work of a few minutes to provide the men with sustenance and when all were provided for Darcy continued the conversation.
And how shall you ladies occupy yourself this afternoon?”
If Miss Bennet is well enough,” began Georgiana then faltered to a halt. “It all depends on what Miss Bennet desires.”
Well, Miss Bennet?” inquired Darcy. “Shall you play at cards? Read? Sew? My sister might offer to play for you. . . but the music room is too far away. No matter, that can wait until your health improves.”
I do not believe reading will serve for the moment,” said Lizzy. Although she was feeling a little better in herself her leg did still ache very badly and she would have preferred to rest, quiet and alone in her room but it was clear that her hosts would not permit that. The honored guest must be entertained. Besides, Miss Darcy looked so eager to be of use that it amused the studier of character that was Miss Bennet. Smiling at the younger girl, Lizzy continued, “But, if Miss Darcy can spare me the time, I might enjoy a game of Backgammon.”
Oh, yes, please. That is a game I do enjoy. And I am good at chess, if you like that!”
We shall save chess until I am a little better.”
Good, that is settled,” said Darcy. “Mr. Gardiner, after luncheon, shall we go and find out if the trout have returned from their hiding places in our absence?”
Lead on, Mr. Darcy!”
When the gentlemen left the ladies settled down for an afternoon of milder entertainment. Mrs. Gardiner fetched a novel she had been reading and laid claim to a chaise lounge near the window. Georgiana brought a chair closer to the bed and set up the playing pieces.
Do you enjoy music as well as games, Miss Bennet?” she asked. “Do you play and sing?”
A little,” said Miss Bennet accepting the cup and dice. “I would not wish to excite your anticipation. I share our old pianoforte with four sisters so you may assume that my practice time is of necessity too short to become a true proficient!”
Georgiana laughed. “You are quoting my aunt, Lady Catherine. That is her favorite phrase. In all her letters to me she urges me to practice more.”
You have caught me out,” said Lizzy. “Should I apologise for imitating your relatives?”
Not at all.” Georgiana glanced at the servant seated, waiting to be useful near the door and lowered her voice. “I have always thought her the oddest thing. You have met her recently, so you might tell me. Does it make sense to you that she says she would have been a true proficient had she learned to play? How can she tell?”
Mrs. Gardiner, who was not that far away, lifted her attention from her book. “Yes, Lizzy, I thought the same when you told me of the woman. Miss Darcy, if you quote me I shall deny saying it, but in my opinion, a woman who has not learned to play is lazy and cannot claim proficiency! It is like a house builder who has never built a house demanding praise for the houses he thinks he might have built! He knows not the materials he would have used or the color of the paint, nor the shape of the rooms, but he claims they would have been great! What nonsense!”
Both girls giggled and Georgiana pulled her chair still closer to the bed and settled in for the first sisterly coze of her short life.
The next morning the news passed from the innkeeper’s daughter, to the ostler’s son, to the kitchen maid’s cousin, to the Pemberly under butler, to the Darcy household’s breakfast table – that during the night Mr. Cannonby’s house had burned down destroying his books and still room, rendering him both homeless and deprived of a profession.
The neighborhood was aghast!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

next little bit of Pemberly story

I am feeling much better than this morning, as you see. The tisane I took this morning. . .” Lizzy glanced down and grimaced, “worked and I am quite well.”
I did not send any medicines,” cried Mr. Cannonby.
No. Our stillroom maid is very skilled,” said Miss Darcy.
Highly affronted Mr. Cannonby started wringing his hands.
I cannot be responsible for the health of my patients if they start dosing themselves with who knows what.”
Arrowroot rusk, vanilla, oolong tea, mint and catnip,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “Hardly dangerous. My mother dosed me with similar when my stomach was upset and no doubt, yours did as well.”
That as may be,” said Mr. Cannonby, “but they are of no use when a wound has purtified!”
Again you diagnose me with something dire,” said Miss Bennet, her voice crackling with irritation. “Still without the benefit of an examination! I assure you, as I have seen my own limb and can testify that there are no breaks in the skin to putrefy. I am quite well and not in need of your assistance!”
You cannot judge. Only a surgeon can answer that question adequately.” He stared at her. “Your color is very high, Miss Bennet. I am certain you are fevered. You should be bled.”
She is a healthy young woman who has been walking in the sun the last few days,” cried Mrs. Gardiner. “Of course her color is high. Her complexion is naturally pink.”
Mr. Darcy,” protested Mr. Cannonby. “I cannot be contradicted this way in a sick room. Sir, you can see the girl’s face is flushed.”
She is a trifle tanned,” said Darcy. “But that is to be expected when you travel in the summer.”
Miss Bennet giggled.
She is fevered,” declared Mr. Cannonby again. “Her eyes are fever bright and she most certainly should not be eating heavy foods.”
She is not fevered, nor has she a wound that has turned.” Mrs. Gardiner rose and took a deep breath. “When a wound purtirifes there are various changes that are noted. The skin is first red, then it darkens as the flesh dies. A wound suppurates. The exudate is foul smelling. Inhale, sir and you will find the air in this chamber is fresh and clean. My nieces skin is bruised, swollen, but intact and a healthy pink. She is free of infection!”
Mr. Cannonby flushed still darker. “Mr. Franks, the surgeon, should be summoned to make his own determination.”
How is it that you suspect my niece of a purification?” inquired Mr. Gardiner. “You came upon us in the garden, quite convinced of it.”
Mr. Cannonby hesitated then replied, “My kitchen maid is cousin to Mr. Darcy’s second laundry maid. Miss Bennet was violently ill this morning, a sure sign of overwhelming infection!”
Everyone in the room stared at him. Mr. Darcy was the first to speak.
You have an informant living in my house?”
Not an informant, no, sir. Not at all the thing,” said Mr. Cannonby. “Only I pay attention to all matters in the neighborhood. Regrettably, persons do not call for me when I am most needed, therefore I listen for the early signs of illness so that I will be prepared.”
An eves-dropping, peeping Tom,” said Mrs. Gardiner, disapproval in every syllable. “And, a gossip too, I have no doubt!”
That is beside the point,” said Mr. Cannonby. “I am trying to do my work to the best of my ability. A purification requires a surgeon.”
That is the third time you have demanded his presence,” snapped Miss Bennet. “Is he perchance, a relative?”
There was a pause, then Mr. Darcy stepped forward suspisioun drawing a deep frown on his face.
Is this true?” Darcy demanded. “There is no illness, no injury, that occurs in this neighborhood, that you do not demand requires the presence of a surgeon. Am I to understand that you have been forwarding a relative’s financial interests?”
No. No. Well, yes, he is a cousin, but no, we are persons who feel our responsibilities deeply. He is the best surgeon in these parts and I serve his clients with necessary medications. . . We pass. . .We talk.”
You had best hope,” said Mr. Darcy, “that I never discover that a limb has been cut off unnecessarily!”
Mr. Cannonby went white then started to stammer his assurances.
Oh, be still,” said Darcy, rolling his eyes. “I have endured your nonsense since you were the only apothecary in the neighborhood. Perhaps I would have better served those who answer to me to have located a better skilled practitioner and set him up nearby.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

a little bit of Pemberly to get you over your Wednesday

Mrs. Gardiner and Miss Darcy spent the morning walking in the rose bower near to the house so as to be available if another summons to the sick room was sent. When luncheon neared, by mutual agreement, the two repaired to the sick room.
There they found Miss Elizabeth sitting up and having her hair re-braided by a maid while Mrs. Reynolds supervised the arrangement of more furniture being brought into the room.
My dear Lizzy,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “You look much more the thing.”
I do feel much better. My leg still aches, but all else is settled.”
Oh, good,” said Mrs. Gardener “And has Kate, the still-room maid, attended on you?”
"Yes, she has been everything useful," said Miss Bennet.
Yes,” said Mrs. Reynolds. “I apologize, Miss Bennet, if the dose I gave you upset you. After consultation with your aunt we have decided to start with common powders and hold a very small dose of laudanum in reserve should you have difficulty sleeping.”
Oh, thank you. After last night I will have to be in a very great deal of pain to ask for it!” Miss Bennet assured her.
Then are you brave enough to try something to eat?” asked Miss Darcy. “As the gentlemen are out fishing I asked for something simple for our luncheon. We could have it on trays here with you, Miss Bennet, if you are well enough to so allow.”
I would enjoy the company,” Miss Bennet assured her glancing toward Mrs. Reynolds. “If it is not too much trouble.”
Oh, no trouble at all,” said Mrs. Reynolds and left to make the arrangements.
They were comfortably arranged, Miss Darcy and Mrs. Gardiner with small tables and Miss Bennet sitting up in bed, when a firm knock came at the door. One of the maids hastened over to open it, just a crack, and Mr. Darcy’s voice was heard.
Is Miss Bennet able to receive gentlemen callers?”
Lizzy glanced down at herself, blushing. She was in bed with several blankets covering her and a very pretty bed jacket covering her modest night-rail but even though she was as covered as ever she was when dressed for the day she was embarrassed to be receiving callers.
Her aunt and the gentleman’s sister being in the room should be enough for propriety sake.
Her aunt, however, had answered while Lizzy dithered.
Certainly, Mr. Darcy.”
Oh, brother,” cried Miss Darcy as the gentlemen entered, “I had sent an al fresco luncheon with you down to the river. Did it not reach you?.”
I did see it and we should be enjoying it, even now,” said Mr. Darcy, “except Mr. Cannonby insisted that Miss Bennet’s life was in danger so we came back to investigate.”
Mr. Cannonby, aware that Pemberley was the greatest estate within the reach of his modest shop in Lambton was meticulous in the maintenance of his relationship with the master. Whenever he was called upon to attend a tenant or worker associated with Pemberley, Mr. Cannonby would immediately thereafter hasten to Mr. Darcy to report his own good work – making Mr. Darcy the unwilling recipient of gossip and detailed workings of every ill body in the neighborhood - beyond his own preferences.
Therefore, as he stood beside a stream industriously drowning his hand-made flies Mr. Darcy, enjoying the silent and composed company of Mr. Gardiner, he was not surprised to see Mr. Cannonby huffing and puffing his way across the lawns toward him. He was already drawing in his lines when the man spoke.
Mr. Darcy, sir. I am come to see the young lady. I am informed that she has progressed to a purification.”
Mr. Gardiner almost dropped his fishing pole.
That is news to me, sir,” declared Mr. Gardiner. “My wife said nothing of the sort to me before I left the house, else I would not be here.”
Well, it is not as if she has the training to judge,” said Mr. Cannonby.
My wife. . “ began Mr. Gardiner, with some heat, but Mr. Darcy interrupted.
This is a matter that can only be settled by consultation at the house.”
He gathered his equipment together, handed his fishing rod to the footman who attended them then led the way back.
When they entered Miss Bennet’s room they found all the ladies at luncheon. Since all the women appeared relaxed and content Darcy was reassured. If anything had been untoward he was certain Mrs. Gardiner would not be calmly eating in the sick room.
Mrs. Gardiner, how do you find your niece this morning?” inquired Mr. Darcy.
Well enough, sir. As you see,” said Mrs. Gardiner rising from her small table to curtsey and regarding the new arrivals with some curiosity.
I must examine Miss Bennet,” said Mr. Cannonby. “She is obviously flushed with fever.”
That would be the first time,” said Mrs. Gardiner, with some asperity.
Mr. Cannonby drew himself up. “It is pointless to examine a healthy person.”
Everyone rolled their eyes but said nothing. Lizzy looked up from the dish of vanilla custard on the tray before her and smiled at Mr. Darcy and her uncle.
Have you caught all the fish so soon that you are seeking entertainment here?” she inquired.
We are seeking reassurance as to your health, Miss Bennet,” said Darcy.

Friday, September 6, 2013

celebrate friday with a little more pemberly

Elizabeth Annette Bennet, known to her sisters and father as Lizzy, and to her mother as that dreadful hoyden, had her own idea of personal dignity and privacy from a very young age. She maintained her own room at home both to reduce the bother to the servants and keep them from prying into her affairs. She bathed herself and for the most part maintained her own hair and person and had since she was old enough to outrun her mother and the nursery maid.
Such, she discovered, were the benefits of health, and only to be granted to those in good health.
It was the burden of illness to have no privacy at all.
Therefore, it was to be expected that she found her current injured state horrible. She could not find a position, sitting, standing, or lying that was not agony. She could not stand without aid, nor tend to her own personal needs without assistance. She even required a servant to turn her over in bed, repositioning the many pillows that supported the blankets over her wounded limb. Never in her life had she experienced this degree of pain and helplessness, even including that time she’d fallen out of a tree and broken both shoulder and forearm bone. At least then she could still walk to the withdrawing room.
Her first night at Pemberley was spent in a pain ridden, drug induced sleep. Just after dawn the next day she was aided from her bed to a commode by two stout maids. She clung to the women, her lip caught between her teeth, as she hopped around in the circle. Once she had achieved a seat on the porcelain bowl, embarrassed and swaying, she had to cling to them least she fall. Accustomed to a degree of privacy in her essential functions she was mortally embarrassed by the undeniable necessity. While she was occupied the maids stripped and remade her bed, taking away the bedding soaked by her chilled bandages and ice packs.
The trip back to bed was a torment despite it being only a distance of twelve inches. It took them a full quarter hour to get Lizzy back into bed. Finally settled under the covers another maid stepped forward to offer Lizzy a thin cup of luke-warm gruel.
At this point Lizzy brought up the sour contents of her stomach over herself, the bed, the floor and the maids, and burst into tears.
Mrs. Gardiner was fetched.
Arriving only moments later, ignoring the mess, Mrs. Gardiner climbed onto the huge bed to take her niece into her arms.
Oh, aunt,” sobbed Elizabeth, holding her head. “I cannot think. The world spins and lurches about about even when I am lying down. I am hungry and sick together. My leg hurts so much, the blankets are too heavy and I cannot think!”
Hush, hush, my poor little bird. All will be well.”
Mrs. Gardiner then comforted and reassured the maids who feared they had made matters worse. Mrs. Gardiner took command of the room.
A bath was drawn and Lizzy was lowered into the warm water while lying on a blanket. Her hair was washed, since Mrs. Gardiner stated that no woman could be truly comfortable if her hair was dirty. All through the production Mrs. Gardiner kept up a constant flow of reassurance to her niece that she would again recover her dignity. The bed was again remade and weak tea provided for her to sip while Lizzy was still seated in her bath.
Once the bed was regained, exhausted, Lizzy slept for the rest of the day.
When Miss Darcy emerged from her rooms and inquired how Miss Bennet had spent her night she wrung her hands at the dreadful report and sought out Mrs. Gardiner.
Oh, Mrs. Gardiner, I am so worried. I was told Miss Bennet . . . cast up her accounts this morning.”
Mrs. Gardiner smiled at the sight of poor Miss Darcy using gutter language.
She was unwell, I admit, but all is in hand now. I think it was a reaction to the size of the Laudanum dose she was given. Mrs. Reynolds doses with a generous hand, I believe. As a general rule Lizzy is healthy and has had little exposure to it.”
Are you certain? Perhaps we should send for Mr. Cannonby.”
I have consulted with the still-room maid and we have given Lizzy a tisane to soothe her stomach. Do not fear, your guest will recover and give testimony to the excellence of your hospitality.”
Miss Darcy gave a hesitant smile.
I am only concerned for her health.”
Mrs. Gardiner risked giving the girl a hug. “All will be well. Lizzy is strong.”
To Mrs. Garderner’s surprise Georgiana returned the hug and clung for a few seconds longer. Could the girl really be that starved for gestures of affection that she would turn to a stranger? Her next words assured Mrs. Gardiner that indeed she must.
I should like to help. May I come and sit with her? Will it help if I were to read to her? I do not want her to feel abandoned and lonely in a strange place.”
My dear girl, Lizzy is quite resilient and able to cope with most of life’s trials. . . however, later, shall we go together to call on her and inquire her preferences for distractions?”
Oh, excellent.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

it is wednesday - good enough reason for some more Pemberly

The Gardiners returned before the afternoon was much advanced and were escorted by the housekeeper to their rooms. Mrs. Garderner went to her niece’s room where she met the still room maid to discuss Elizabeth’s progress while Mr. Gardiner walked down to where Lizzy had taken her fall. He found Mr. Darcy and the groundskeeper standing contemplating the gentle incline down to the lake. An under-gardener was already at work digging up the offending lump of grass that had tripped up the unfortunate girl.
Mr. Gardiner,” said Darcy in acknowledgment.
Mr. Darcy. I hope you do not mind. I wanted to take the walk we were anticipating this morning, while my wife spends a little time with Lizzy.”
I have no objections. Indeed I shall walk down with you.”
The groundskeeper was dismissed with a nod of Darcy’s head and the two gentlemen began walking across the lawn.
I was considering,” said Darcy after a few moments, “the possible need to install a path or staircase here. Obviously the incline is enough to be dangerous, when the grass is wet.”
Mr. Gardiner folded his arms and considered the scene, turning to glance back toward the house. “The difficulty would be to chose a manner to insert it gracefully into the landscaping design. Should the path wind or be straight? Should it be gravel or stone? Should there be a balustrade? Decorative or plain. Local stone or imported. Or courses, one must consider the whole vista, particularity how such a path should appear when viewed from across the valley. That is vitally important, I have found. One does not wish to introduce an asymmetry!”
You understand,” cried Darcy?
Mr. Gardiner chuckled. “I may not own a country manor, Mr. Darcy, but my wife and I have spent several years visiting houses on our summer tours. Many an evening we have spent admiring this and tearing apart that gardener's plan that we have become, we think, quite the fireside experts.”
Darcy uttered a short laugh. “I imagine your good wife is after you to purchase a country residence of your own.”
Oh, no. Not in the least. Madeline is too sensible to suggest such a thing. She knows the address I have in London is based on my need to be close to my warehouses rather than our income. But that does not mean we do not spend our winter hours by the fire discussing what we might do if we had such an expanse of garden to play with. Or, at least, what she would do. Myself, as long as there was a stream to stand beside, I would be happy.”
You like to fish, then?”
Indeed I do, when I have the chance of it. It is a compromise I have with Madeline. In the summer, when we tour, for every three days we spend visiting, I must have one day alone to fish. She spends those days either with friends or shopping.” He looked downcast, suddenly. “We had planned that I would have that day when we, ah, but Lizzy’s health comes first.”
Do not despair. Pemberley has one of the finest streams in Derbyshire. I would be happy to lend you equipment, provide you with the more knowledgeable of my staff to show you the best places.”
Well, thank you, sir. I would be pleased. Grateful. If it would not be an additional imposition.”
Not at all. The fish are there to be caught by someone. Trout become arrogant when not taught good manners. I might find time to join you, if you don’t mind the company.”
I would be delighted. Currently I have no one who shares my interest, until my son grows old enough to be more interested in fishing than making mud pies.”
How old is your son?”
I have two, one five, the other three. And two older sisters for them, aged eleven and nine.”
A respectable family. And Miss Bennet, has she sisters and brothers?”
A total of five sisters in that family. No brothers at all. Lizzy, the second daughter, being the brightest and active of the family, assists her father with the estate.”
Darcy blinked. “She does?”
Someone must. My brother in law, apparently, has always afflicted with a creeping fatigue and he remains most days in his library. Our Lizzy, however, has energy in good measure. She carries his messages to his tenants, visits their wives and busies herself about the estate. If there is anything about the estate that must be discovered Lizzy is the one who goes looking for it. She also helps with his accounts. You know, yourself, it takes more than one man to maintain the records of even a small estate.”
Then he will miss her. . . if her return is delayed.”
Indeed he will. He could barely be persuaded to let her go for a month’s holiday. I expect your express messenger to return with a note begging that Lizzy be brought home by any means necessary.”
And she will go, when she is well,” declared Darcy. By this point the men had arrived at the side of a broad stream. “What do you think of this location, Mr. Gardiner? Shall we come down tomorrow and see who shall win? Men or fish?”
I am agreeable to that plan, Mr. Darcy.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

A little P and P variation because it is Monday.

As soon as they were safely out of earshot Mrs. Gardiner turned to her husband.
My dear, please tell me. How vital is it that you return to London?”
I prefer not to delegate a delivery of this size to my agent. I must pay the duties and it must be my hand that signs for so large a payment. Or do you wish for me to place the temptation of so large an amount before my staff? Give them access to my bank accounts? Let my stock sit uncatalogued? You know how quickly pilfering would decimate our stock!”
Mrs. Gardiner sighed. “And I do not wish to be away from my children, not for much longer than the month we agreed with the Bennets. Your poor sister’s nerves are much tried by their antics even with dear Jane’s help.” She leaned back against the squabs. “When you were meeting with Mr. Darcy, did you speak to Mason again?”
How serious is Lizzy’s injury?” inquired Mrs. Gardiner. “Did he explain?”
Well, he confident she will eventually be able to walk, but, from what Mason said, it may be two or three months before she can walk unassisted and even then she will be in pain!” Mr. Gardiner shook his head. “He said, in cases such as these badly pulled ligaments heal slower and with more complications than a simple broken bone.”
Oh dear, what are we to do?”
Lizzy must stay in bed and rest, there can be no argument. She cannot travel yet. It is utterly out of the question!” Mr. Gardiner glanced out of the window even though Pemberley was no longer in sight. “In the two weeks remaining to us Lizzy might heal enough that we might impose on one of your friends to take her as a guest.”
I think it would be rude of us to go about visiting tomorrow, leaving the Darcy’s to look after Lizzy. But in a day or two I might visit and see if anyone is able to accommodate her.”
Lizzy is such a charming girl. She will be as little trouble as she could. Only, I think, it is sad that the accident happened before any of your friends have met her. They will only have our word for it that she will be good company.”
Mrs. Gardiner reached out and took her husband’s hand.
Perhaps the Darcy’s are sincere. If it is only to be a month, and then we could take Lizzy home in slow stages, I think Miss Georgiana would not mind having her as a guest.”
But Mr. Darcy is a bachelor.”
There is a companion. A Mrs. Annelsey.”
Miss Georigana’s companion. Not Lizzy’s.”
We might hire someone, short term. A companion of mature years, or a skilled nurse. Or one of your friends.”
That we must then ask the Darcy’s to accept into their home. Increasing our imposition.”
Mrs. Gardiner tightened her grip.
If only Lizzy could have taken her fall at the Inn! Somewhere more practical!”
Oh, my dear, you have spent far too much time with my sister. That is an utterly ridiculous suggestion more suited to her. Next can I expect you to complain about your poor nerves?”
They both laughed.
We shall have to wait and see how Lizzy progresses in the next two weeks. Perhaps her natural vigor will serve us well.”
We can only hope.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

another little piece of Pemberly Variation

Mrs. Gardiner waited until the dose took effect, sending Elizabeth into a restless doze before tip-toeing out of the chamber.
Georgiana took Mrs. Gardiner by the arm as they walked down Pemberley's long corridors.
I have asked Mrs. Reynolds to put you in the room next to Miss Bennet’s. I am certain you shall like to be near her.”
Oh, thank you, my dear. You have been everything that is considerate.”
Georgiana blushed. “I only thought what I should like to have were I in the same situation.”
That is an excellent guide.”
And will you be able to stay with us until Miss Bennet is well again?”
Unfortunately, that is a problem. My husband has to be back in London by the fifteenth. He is expecting a ship from Italy later this month and must stand ready to pay the duties and get the goods unloaded. There are so many things that can go wrong if you do not claim your goods when they arrive at the docks.”
Geogiana considered this information. “I have never thought that. . . well, I know nothing of trade beyond the purchasing of bonnets and gowns.”
Mrs. Gardiner sighed. “I am certain, as a land owner, there are many harvest times that your brother goes short of sleep from worry, likewise, my husband has his concerns for his profession.”
Oh,” said Georgiana with great confidence, “my brother never worries.”
I am certain he does,” said Mrs Gardiner, but her voice was calm instead of critical as she contradicted the young girl, “but I am equally certain he keeps it from you so that you will not be concerned.”
That would be like him. This will be your room,” said Georgiana guesturing toward a door. “Your carriage is at the door waiting to take you back to the Inn. I took the liberty of sending a messenger, so that the maid’s there will likely have all in hand by the time you arrive.”
How very kind.”
I look forward to visiting with you later . . . oh, and I should tell you we keep country hours. Dinner will be at seven.” Georgiana tapped her lip as she thought. “Oh, yes. I have asked for Millie to be your maid while you are here and Miss Bennet will have three assigned to her since she will require an attendant in the room with her, day and night. And the still room maid will be on call for her. Since she is Mason’s granddaughter she will be aiding him with the treatments.”
You do have all in hand, don’t you?”
I try.” Georgiana released Mrs. Gardiner’s arm as they reached the foyer. “If I have forgotten anything, please do not hesitate to ask.”
Mr. Gardiner emerged from Mr. Darcy’s office.
My dear, if you wish to stay with Lizzy, I shall undertake to collect our things.”
Lizzy is asleep at this moment and Miss Darcy has arranged all so well that I feel quite superfluous.”
Georgiana looked down and blushed at the complement.
Then we should go now.”
The Darcy siblings escorted them down to the forecourt and waited until the Gardiner’s carriage was away. As they stood watching Georgiana reached out to lay a hand on Darcy’s arm.
What do you think of them, Fitzwilliam?”
He glanced down and touched the tip of his finger to her cheek.
Do you like them, Georgiana?”
I do. . . if you do. I am impressed by Mrs. Gardiner and Miss Bennet. They are. . . everything that I am not.”
He looked to where the carriage was disappearing over the hill and did not comment on her admission of inadequacy.
Who you are is the lady of Pemberley of Derbyshire and automatically entitled to respect.”
Automatic is also uncomfortable, Fitzwilliam. Nor is it easy.”
You will grow into it, my dear.”
I hope so,” Georgiana clenched her hands.
He watched her for a moment. The girl she was and the young woman she was becoming was a mystery to him. Since he could not read her thoughts it was necessary to ask questions and trust she answered honestly. At least, that was what he impressed upon her all her life since he had come into her guardianship.
You were lonely at the school I sent you to, weren’t you?”
A small nod was his only answer.
You are lonely here as well. No, do not protest. I know I am not good company for you, away from home most of the time with business about the estate.”
I do miss you when you are gone.”
And Mrs. Annesley? She has not been what you need?”
She is an excellent teacher, Fitzwilliam. But she told me soon after she arrived that she will always maintain the proper distance of employee and employer. I am not to permit myself to become fond of her since she will not become fond of me. She is not my mother, my sister or my friend.”
Ah. Yes. I am sorry that is necessary. It would not do to cast a servant in the role of friend. Trouble can arise when they. . .leave.” Darcy decided this was a good time to change the subject. “I think I like this family,” he said. “Miss Bennet is not of our circle, merely the daughter of a country gentleman. The Gardiners are well educated for their level of trade, but not of the same circle as our friends, the Bingley’s.”
I don’t understand. . .”
What I am saying, my dear, is that even though Miss Bennet is not your equal, she is quite acceptable as a friend. Mr. Gardiner is not Mr. Bingley’s equal, but I am certain that they would be happy with the acquaintance, if they met.”
Mr. Bingley is friends with everyone.”
Darcy nodded acknowledgment of that fact.
I had a pleasant conversation with Mr. Gardiner about his understanding of politics and the unpleasantness over in France. He is educated, well informed and he tells me his wife is much the same. I give you leave to like them both. You will meet stupider people in the world. Sensible ones such as these are to be cherished.”
Oh, thank you,” cried Georgiana, giving him the quick hug which was all that Darcy’s solemnity would permit.
My pleasure.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

yet another bit of Pemberley to get you over your Wednesday

Thank you.” Georgiana curtseyed again then left the room with Mrs. Reynolds.
Mr. Gardiner had been in consultation with Mr. Mason then came back to join the group gathered beside his niece.
Mr. Mason has said Lizzy’s recovery will encompass weeks. I must write to her father as soon as may be and inform him of the situation and ask for his guidance.”
Of course,” Darcy nodded. “I will include a note, introducing myself and assuring him that all her needs will be met. Please come with me to the office.”
Once this is done I believe I should return to the Inn and arrange for the packing of our belongings, my dear,” said Mrs. Gardiner.
I am sorry to be putting everyone to so much bother,” said Miss Bennet. “I have quite spoiled your holiday.”
She turned to face her uncle and Darcy was struck by the expressiveness of her eyes. They spoke of pain and worry. Of spirit and determination. Of loss and, of disappointment. Of strength and pride. Truly she was amazing.
Please, Miss Bennet, be at ease,” he said. “Pemberley has hosted Kings and Emperors. You could not be as much trouble as they.”
She nodded and blushed. “Please excuse my fussing. I dislike, exceedingly, being ill.”
We must think of a way to get up upstairs without further injury and then, I think, Mrs. Reynolds must give you a dose and you must sleep.”
Miss Bennet looked down and gave a small nod. Her lashes, long and sooty dark, rested on her cheek and Darcy was impressed by the picture she made.
There was no artfulness in her manners. She was entirely natural.
When he and Mr. Gardiner returned to the room a tea service was being carried in. Darcy gestured toward Mrs. Gardiner, granting her permission to preside over the pouring out when the door opened behind him and Georgiana reentered. She must have taken the time to run to her room and was now properly attired in fashions suited to her age and rank – if a year out of date. Darcy was impressed. Georgiana glanced first to Mrs. Gardiner then to Miss Bennet to assess their reaction. Both visitors nodded and smiled encouragingly and without uttering a word they communicated their approval of the younger girl.
Darcy was astonished. With just a word, a slight gesture, a smile Mrs. Gardiner and Miss Bennet had put his sister at her ease, assured her of understanding and comforted her.
There was no sneer, no superiority or snobbery in their manner. Neither was there the encroaching excessive sensibility that so offended him.
In that instant he wished that either woman were available for employment so that they could provide good guidance for his sister and improve Georgiana’s public manner.
Darcy nodded to himself. Many other women of the Ton would have sneered at Georgiana, which was why he had kept her from society and declined to invite his friends to visit as he had in previous summers. One particular friend, Mr. Bingley, tended to travel in company with his unmarried sister. Although Miss Bingley was born into a family in trade she behaved as if she were the highest stickler of the Ton – endlessly critical of all she met except when she behaved as an encorching sycophant. Darcy compared Mrs. Gardiner to Miss Bingley and found much in Mrs. Gardiner’s favor.
Playing hostess to these guests – who would not complain of lack of consideration or fashion – would be healing to Georgiana’s wounded sensibilities.
If he had plotted and planned he could not have thought of this arrangement and yet he could see the many benefits. Mrs Gardiner returned to her seat, yielding her place beside the teapot and smiled at the younger girl.
Mrs. Reynolds entered and hastened over to Darcy’s side.
Sir, I know how Miss Bennet may be carried upstairs. We should use the sling.”
I beg your pardon?” said Darcy
Sir. Miss Anne’s sling. Do you not remember?”
I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage,” said Darcy.
Oh, sir. Well, I am not surprised you do not remember. Your cousin, Miss Anne DeBourg has not visited for so long. When she last came she was quite unwell and her mother, Lady Catherine, brought a sling with her in which we were to have Miss Anne carried up and down stairs. When they left Lady Catherine left the sling behind as she expected that they would be visiting frequently but Miss Anne’s health would not allow.”
I do not recall it,” said Darcy, frowning.
You were in the study with your father and Lady Catherine,” the housekeeper reminded him, gently, “when she entered the house and out of the house when she left.”
If you think it will serve, Mrs. Reynolds, I rely upon your judgment.” Darcy turned back to his unexpected guests while Mrs. Reynolds hurried from the room. “My housekeeper refers to my aunt, Lady Catherine DeBourg and my cousin, Miss Anne DeBourg, who has always been in fragile health.”
Oh, but I know a Lady Catherine,” said Miss Bennet, “and a Miss Anne. How remarkable. I wonder if they are the same. If it is the Lady who lives in Hunsford I was in company with them in Kent this Autumn just past.”
You have? You were?” Darcy was all astonishment. “My aunt does reside in Hunsford. How remarkable, indeed. Were you doing a tour of Kent?”
Miss Bennet laughed. “Indeed, not Mr. Darcy. Not a tour. I was visiting a dear friend of mine who was just lately married. I had a dual bond to the family since my friend had married my cousin, Mr. Collins, who is Lady Catherine’s vicar. She was condescending enough to invite me to tea when I visited.”
Good heavens,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “What a coincidence.”
Even so,” said Miss Bennet. “I can testify that Miss Anne DeBourg can climb staircases under her own power now, although she does get short of breath with the exercise.”
There has been some improvement in her health, or so my aunt informs me,” said Darcy. “However, not so much that she can undertake long trips, therefore she has not visited Pemberley in many years.”
Mrs. Reynolds reentered with two footmen. Between them they carried a long wooden yoke suspending a leather swing chair.
No. Oh, no,” cried Miss Bennet after staring at it. “I cannot be carried about in that. There is no dignity in that device.”
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner began to laugh. Even Mr. Darcy had difficulty keeping his face straight,
If you can walk unaided,” began Mrs. Gardiner, “you should do so.”
You know I cannot,” said Miss Bennet.
Then, my dear, I cannot see you have any choice.”
Miss Bennet rolled her eyes and turned her face away.
Oh, very well. If you must.” She looked again at the silly chair and began to laugh. “Aunt, if you ever tell my sisters about this. . .”
Unable to think of an appropriate threat she dissolved into giggles. Not, Darcy observed, the irritating high pitched titter so popular at Ton balls and assemblies, but a deep, sincere, happy sound.
Georgiana covered her face with both hands but joined in the laughter.
After tea Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner assisted their niece up from the chaise and into the sling. Mrs. Gardiner excused herself from the room and accompanied her niece upstairs.
By the time Elizabeth Bennet was settled into a bedchamber larger by half she informed them than the one at home that she shared with her elder sister Georgiana reappeared holding a bundle of fabric in her arms. She paused at the doorway looking in at Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Gardiner and three maids settling Elizabeth on the bed and wrapping her injured leg in bandages soaked in ice water.
I have brought some of my spare nightgowns and bed jackets,” said Georgiana.
Oh, that is thoughtful of you, dear,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “I shall fetch Elizabeth’s clothing shortly but I am certain she will be more comfortable out of her traveling dress.”
Lizzy sighed and endured the fussing with good grace. Although she expressed dislike of the taste and effect of laudanum by the time they’d aided her to change her clothing and bound up her leg she was more than ready for some relief of the pain.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let me explain why I am the way I am.

Okay, if you've read any of my writings you know that I value humor and I am, in fact, weird. I have been weird all my life. You can have some sympathy for the real world organizations that have, at one time or another, employed me.
Many decades ago I was a student nurse in a Diploma program. That meant that over a three year period I rotated through all the different wards of a large inner city hospital. Male medical, women's medical, surgical, optho, ortho, ER. .. you get the picture.
The year I was to graduate my father was left unsupervised at home and suddenly decided that it was the perfect time for him to defrost my mothers 16 cubic foot chest freezer. He took all the food out and wrapped it, opened the top and waited. After a while he noticed that the ice was still thick on the walls. He got out a wooden spoon to use as a scraper, a big can of salt and a couple of gallons of hot water and reached in and started strapping and sloshing and digging, trying to get rid of that damned ice.
After a while he noticed that one of the reasons he was not winning this fight was that he forgot to unplug the freezer.
About three o'clock that afternoon I was on duty in Male Orthopedics and recieved a phone call from the nurse in charge of the Emergency Room. Hospital policy was that if a member of a nurses family was admitted she was notified.
I ran down to the ER to be met at the door by the senior nurse and the ER medical director.
The nurse looked at me and said, "Now I know why you are the way you are!"
"What?" I said.
"Your father has just been admitted with frost-bite on the hottest day of the year," said the doctor.
All I can say is.... you have been warned.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

more of my P and P variation

We shall address the matter when it comes due. Until then,” Mr. Gardiner regarded Darcy calmly. “Sir, you do not know us, but you have, of necessity, invited us into your home. I thank you. We will endevor not to be an imposition.”
At that moment a disturbance at the door heralded the arrival of the apocathery, a middle aged gentleman smelling slightly of overheated horse, balding, short sighted, with pebble glasses perched on the end of his nose.
Mr. Cannonby bowed to the room in general, three times, before taking off his glasses and rubbing them with a corner of his kerchief and addressing Darcy.
Here I am, sir. How may I serve you?”
This young lady took a serious fall while walking in the garden. . .,” began Darcy.
Oh, dear, that is bad. It is well known that the frailer sex should not engage in vigorous exercise. I can only hope it will not be necessary to send for a surgeon.”
Darcy glanced toward Miss Bennet, preparing to give her the reassuring information that Mr. Cannonby was a bit of a pessimist and not to be taken seriously but saw that although her lips were clamped tight, her eyes danced with laughter.
Oh, dear, sir,” she said, her voice trembling from surpresssed laughter and not fear, “do you tell me there is a risk I might have to have my hand cut off.”
Indeed, miss, that is a possiblity.”
Oh, you have the most amazing diagnostic ability,” said Miss Bennet, “since you have not yet examined me and I injured my ankle.”
For the first time in Darcy’s experience Mr. Cannonby was struck mute. In general the man was known to given dire predictions for everyone’s health who came under his management. Therefore, he could be calm when the person died, saying he predicted it from the start and unimpressed when they recovered, since it proved he was a skilled practitioner of the medical arts.
Miss Bennet, however, had punctured his conceit with one statement.
Turning to her aunt Miss Bennet continued.
I have no fear that I shall lose my leg, Aunt, since you assure me the bones are not broken.”
Indeed, they are all sound.”
Then all I need is rest,” said Miss Bennet, “and I can gain that just as easily at the Inn as anywhere.”
Oh, do not assume. What can appear to be a minor injury can fester and putrifiy before your eyes. You cannot take risks with your health,” said Mr. Cannonby, who had not yet turned to face the injured person. “Once a fever settles in your lungs. . .”
At this point Mr. Gardner winced and turned to Mr. Darcy.
With all due respect to your family apocathery, Mr. Darcy, do you keep a farrier attending to your stable?”
A farrier?” cried Mr. Cannonby.
Yes, I do,” said Darcy. “A good, reliable man who served my father’s horses before mine.”
Georgiana met Elizabeth’s eyes and the two young women began to giggle. Mr. Cannonby continued to pontificate and complain for several mintues – still without examining the patient - but was ignored. Darcy was a little shocked at the comment by Mr. Gardiner but, given Miss Bennet’s habit of humorous remarks, her uncle’s light manner should not have come as a surprise.
It is my experience that physicans and apocathery’s can say that the loss of a human life is God’s will, but a Farrier, caring for expensive, delicate animals on behalf of demanding masters, must answer if the horses suffer irrepratble harm. Therefore they have better medical sense and have gained a good understanding of how muscles and joints work. They have much experience in treating those pulls and strains to which horses are vicitim. I would like to consult your man on behalf of my niece.”
If you wish,” said Darcy, and nodded to Mrs Reynolds, whose answering nod to a footman sent a message to the stable.
Highly affronted, Mr. Cannonby stalked about the room, muttering and fluttering his hands but still did not approach Miss Bennet.
A Mr. Mason responded to the message. The best of all attendants of the Pemberley stable, Mason, a grizzled grandfather, stoop shouldered with large knotted hands, entered the Parlor for the first time in his fifty years of serving the Darcy family with a mere nod of the head to the master of the house.
Yee sen’ for me, sir,” said Mason, holding his flat cap between his hands.
It seemed best,” said Darcy, and differed with a bow to Mr. Gardiner.
We have a delicate, well bred filly who took a sad fall and I fear has wrenched her fetlock,” said Mr. Gardiner with a straight face.
Georgiana began giggling again. Mrs. Gardiner sent her a fond, understanding look and crossed the room to take her niece’s hand.
Seeing the direction of their laughter Mr. Mason turned and came to kneel at Miss Bennet’s side, keeping his own face composed although his eyes did sparkle with humor.
I’ll try not to hurt ‘ee, lass,” he said.
And I will try not to kick and bite,” said she, with a smile, “although I cannot promise.”
Chuckling to himself the old man gently palpated her damaged limb, making a more comprehensive exam of each joint and muscle than her aunt and Mrs. Reynolds had dared for fear of causing Lizzy pain.
Miss Bennet bit her lip and tightened her grip on her aunt’s hand but did not cry out.
Tha’s a good brave girl,” crooned Mason, setting off another round of laughter, so similar were his words to a horseman’s soothing words to a fractious horse.
Mason was not offended. At last he rose and addressed those in the room.
Aye, sir, she’s wreched her foreleg good and proper. Tha’s brusing in the ligament and strain in the muscle. Ye can feel the heat building and the joints are no’ yet swolle’ as tha will be. First ye must cool the muscle. Then politices tha’ speed the bruise out. Heat and massage does th’ healing ta begin in a few days. She’ll do well but t’will take time.”
I’d sooner trust your politices than Mr. Cannonby’s mixtures,” said Mr. Gardiner, in a soft voice and tucked a Guinea in the man’s hand.
Thank ‘ee, sir.”
If you need more laudinum and proper medicines, instead of country cures, let me know, Mrs. Reynolds.” Mr. Cannonby sniffed and stalked from the room, pausing the bow three times before he departed. “Send for me when her lungs putrify.”
When he was gone Mrs. Reynolds began issuing orders to a cluster of maids, then she came to join Mr Darcy and the Gardiners.
Mr. Darcy, I need your permission to remove a signifcant portion of ice from the ice house.”
We shall do without sorbets quite willingingly for the rest of the summer if it supports Miss Bennet’s recovery,” declaired Darcy.
Mrs. Reynolds curtseyed and nodded to the waiting maids, who left the room.
Now it is settled you are staying, Miss Bennet. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner,” said Georgiana. “I shall consult with Mrs. Reynolds which rooms would be best. Shall you take tea while you wait?”
Thank you,” said Mrs. Gardiner.
Yes, Indeed, I am most sorry to be putting you out,” said Miss Bennet.
Oh, it is nothing,” said Georgiana. “If you had not arrived I would have spent yet another morning painting the view from my window.”
Miss Bennet’s gaze moved over Georgiana’s costume. There was nothing judgmental or superior in her look, instead she smiled. Seeing the direction of her gaze Georgiana flushed and ran her hand over the faded fabric.
I was not expecting guests today,” she whispered, all animation at the prospect of guests vanishing.
Miss Bennet was quick to set her at ease.
Oh, I see your father is as strict with you as mine was with me. When I was studying painting he would command me to put on the oldest of my garb lest I ruin my clothing completely.”
You were not expecting guests,” added Mrs. Gardiner. “One dresses for comfort in one’s own house. It is to your credit that you rushed downstairs to assist us before changing your dress.”

Monday, June 3, 2013

August release

Hi, We are working toward an August release date for my next regency - Crimes of the Brothers - Greed is thicker than blood.

more of my P and P variation

It is not necessary to provide me with these proofs, Mr. Gardiner,” said Darcy. “As I said, I witnessed the accident for myself. The slip and fall was quite sincere, as is the injury. I do not believe this is a contrived event.”
Thank you, sir,” said Mr. Gardiner, with a half bow.
Please, husband, and you, Mr. Darcy,” cried Mrs. Gardiner. “If you must remain in the room, please turn your backs.”
Darcy gave a slight bow and turned. Both he and the visitor gazed vaguely up at the many paintings on the wall. Mrs. Reynolds and Mrs. Gardiner began the examination of Lizzy Bennet’s injuries.
The ladies had barely begun their work when Georgiana arrived. Darcy stiffened, his hands clenching at his side as he saw his sister in comparison to their visitors. For the last several months Georgiana had insisted on wearing clothing suitable to a girl a fraction her age. Seeing her now, wearing a pinafore over a muslin dress that did not reach the top of her ankle, her hair unbound and held off her face by a narrow ribbon – the oddidity was more pronounced.
Standing, facing Mrs. Gardiner, who was attired in elegantly restrained and practical traveling garb, Georgiana looked ridiculous and if there was something that Darcy could not abide was his family appearing to a disadvantage.
Both of the female visitors raised their eyebrows when Georgiana entered but then they looked away without comment. Darcy felt a slight blush climbing his cheeks on his sisters behalf.
Brother,” she whispered, entering the room and crossing to rest one hand on his sleeve. “I heard the commotion. All the maids are in an uproar.”
No doubt,” said Lizzy. No, Miss Bennet. He knew her proper name and must use it even in his own thoughts. “I am certain they have me broken, bleeding, clinging to life. It has, after all, been a full half hour since I was injured. A travelling story is a growing one.”
Georgiana laughed, then blushed.
I hope you are not too unwell,” she said.
Mrs. Gardiner, Mr. Gardiner, Miss Bennet, if I might present my sister, Georgiana Darcy,” said Darcy, still with his back to the room.
Miss Darcy,” said Lizzy,” I do apologize for imposing upon you in this manner. As soon as my aunt is assured my injuries are insignificant we shall be away.”
Mrs. Gardiner who was kneeling beside the chaise, exchanged a glance with Mrs. Reynolds. While everyone else was distracted they had tented the sheet over Lizzy and examined the length of her leg.
I am sorry to tell you,” said Mrs. Reynolds, “but I suspect your injury is significant. We shall wait for the apocathery for confirmation.”
Then, should we not move Miss Bennet upstairs?” suggested Georgiana. “She can hardly be comfortable here.”
Oh, please, do not. Not yet,” cried Miss Bennet. “I would not have you put to unnecessary work.”
Mrs. Gardner crossed the room to consult with her husband. Darcy hovered nearby.
Mrs. Gardiner acknowledged him with a nod.
My dear,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “Mr. Darcy. Please permit me to be indelicate in the interest of being well understood. It is not a mere twisted ankle. Our poor Lizzy has wrenched her leg severely. You know she is not a girl to exaggerate her own discomfort therefore believe me when I tell you the entirety of her leg is affected.”
Oh, I say,” cried Mr. Gardiner. “Poor Lizzy indeed.”
There is no way she could travel seated in a carriage. Her. . . ah. . .limb will not bend. The swelling is already well established to above the knee.”
Oh. Well, perhaps Mr. Darcy can loan us a cart, or some such and some pillows and blankets. We can bear her back to the Inn lying down.”
I will not hear of it,” said Mr. Darcy. “I would not subject her to that sort of public display. As for the immediate future, as Miss Bennet needs must remain as my guest. You must remain also, to maintain the proprieties.”
Oh, sir, that is most kind,” said Mr. Gardiner. “But, we do have acquaintances in the neighborhood who could host us.”
Darcy dismissed that comment with a wave. “You have friends here? Family?”
Not family. Not anymore. Acquaintances. Mrs. Gardiner was raised in the neighborhood, Lambton to be precise, and lived here until she was sent away to school. One of her old neighbors is now married to your tenant, Mr. Jorgensen and I do business with the husband of another. Mr. Frobisher, the owner of the dry goods store.” Mr. Gardiner chewed his lower lip then addressed Darcy. “It is a shame our holiday has caused our dear niece injury. Her father will be most distressed with me.”
Mr. Darcy raised his eyebrows. This was the neatest intimation of the Gardiners status in life. Trade. How surprising. They appeared gentry. Not country gentry, their clothing was too London but no, it had not occurred to him until this moment that they were in trade. Their speech and manners were too good. Mrs. Gardiner must have gone to a good school to appear so well in company.
Mr. Jorgensen manages the largest of my tenant properties,” admitted Darcy, while noting to himself that Jorgensen possessed good manners and had arranged for genteel education for his sons and daughters, as well.
My elder sister, Francis,” continued Mr. Gardiner, “married my niece’s father, a Mr. Bennet of Longborne, owner of an estate in Hertfordshire. Our Lizzy is his second daughter. I must write to him. Inform him of this event.”
Ah, thought Darcy, this Francis married above herself. However, given that she was from a prosperous family in trade it was likely that Mr. Bennet married for money while she married for rank. Higher families had done the same. Well, it seemed that association with the Bennet's of Longborne had given polish to the tradesmen relatives. And, with those connections it was no problem to grant Miss Bennet, daughter of a country gentleman, a few days shelter at Permberly.
Where did you travel from today?” inquired Darcy.
We are staying at the Green Man Inn, at Lambton. Do you know of it?”
Indeed I do. A respectable establishment.” Darcy considered. “Were you planning on making much of a stay in the neighborhood?”
Two weeks only,” said Mrs. Gardiner. “Then we were to return to London. Oh, my dear, what are we to do if Lizzy is not well enough to travel?”