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?”