Chapter 1 Posted on Thursday, 28 October 1999
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the trees in Pomfret, Vermont change color the second week of October.
Whatever idiot comes the third weekend must expect to take pictures of dead things. Either that, or the four cows on the Long farm.
"A photographer?" Mr. Bennet asked his wife.
"A single photographer."
"Not to be confused with a couple of photographers," observed Elizabeth quietly, with a smile. She fully knew what was coming next...
"What a fine thing for our girls!"
Mrs. Bennet had said the same thing four months ago when Charles Bingley, the wealthy and single out of towner, bought Netherfield Cottage. All her elaborate plans of his marrying one of her five daughters came to nothing--apparently Mr. Bingley preferred his Beacon Hill townhouse in Back Bay Boston to rural Vermont.
"He must not be a very good photographer," Lydia said. "What is there to see here? Trees, streams, and houses...Lord! How dull!"
"Don't forget the four fat and nasty cows on the Long farm," Kitty added, with a sigh.
"Pomfret is a beautiful town, very picturesque, and the cows add a charming bovineness," Mrs. Bennet proclaimed. "Mr. Lucas says the photographer plans to do a series on New England autumns."
"Then he should have come last week, when all the leaves were so pretty...now they're all dead, and on the ground," Lizzy replied.
"It doesn't matter how many dead things he can take pictures of so long as he stays here long..."
"...and marries one of our daughters..." Mr. Bennet rolled his eyes, and went back upstairs to the little attic he called his business office.
Pomfret, Vermont, consisted of three streets, four and twenty houses, and an oft-mentioned cow pen. Teaco General Store, owned by the Bennet family, was the center of society and culture in Pomfret, located at the intersection of the three crossroads. It also showcased four of the six eligible women of the town.
Mrs. Bennet and her teenage daughters Kitty and Lydia ran the counter, where they were able to garner any gossip they could by refusing to be of service to anyone who did not supply any new juicy tidbits. It wasn't a store policy, of course, but it was often the only way to get their attention.
Mr. Bennet, always hiding upstairs, managed the business affairs, when he wasn't staying at home and reading. The women were all nonsense and would have scared away the general populace had it not been that Teaco was the only general store for five miles around.
The post office occupied the back third of the general store, with a service window that gave a view of the general store counter so as that when a delinquent citizen who was not doing his/her duty by coming to receive his/her mail, Elizabeth Bennet could simply badger him/her into coming to the window and receiving his/her mail whenever he/she ran out of food and visited the general store. (In a town without mailboxes, Elizabeth was not about to take up the issue of negligent mail customers at the two-member city council meetings, nor was she willing to walk to the door of every house and distribute mail to the meager masses. Therefore, hollering from the back counter had to suffice.)
Manning the post office, Elizabeth and Mary sorted the town's whole bag of mail that came every Tuesday and Thursday, a job which great taxed the imagination of both.
Elizabeth, the second eldest of the beautiful Bennets, did not appreciate, nor understand, the nonsensical happenings of the general store, but always found much inspiration for ponderance of her strange society. Just last week, there was a big to do whether Dr. Dashwood would go the big city of Montpellier to attend a big conference on podiatry; Mrs. Long wanted him to go so that he would treat her corns better, but on that day, Bessie the cow sunbathed on the road, and plans were canceled.
While Elizabeth enjoyed her sojourn to Rhode Island to obtain her masters degree in literature from Brown, she now remained at home because she liked it there. Her education was still being put to use, as she spent two days of every week running the library; never before had the Dewey Decimal system been so strictly adhered to. Her spare time was spent at her post office window, where she spent many an hour laughing at the customers, and writing The Great American Novel about small-town life (as all secluded creative minds do).
Mary sat in the back, and read, postmarking when necessary (and a demanding job it was...) She also collected depressing quotes about death and war. (A morbid habit not to be explained by the authors, as it confuses them as well.)
Jane was the only one to escape the banality that was the store. An alum of U Conn, she taught at Pomfret School, and got to ring the really cool bell every weekday morning. She did not appreciate the total coolness of it, but her class of five third graders and seven fourth did. As she was one of the sweeter, and by far the most beautiful of the available females in town, Jane's unmarried state greatly disturbed her mother, who had expected her to be planning wedding receptions by now.
The last of the six eligible women in town was Charlotte Lucas, whose parents ran the local ski lift on Suicide Six. She was plain, and there is not much more to remark about her.
Anyhow, outside our little town of Pomfret, there was a small cottage that was acquisitioned four months previous by a young man who would remain nameless but is actually rather important to our plot. So we will mention him now.
Charles Bingley, intelligent, handsome, and independently wealthy, did not get out much. Rumor had it that he took to Pomfret only because he needed somewhere away from his sister to write (evenly; how he contrived to do so, we do not know).
Caroline Bingley was an elegant woman, who four months ago, upon visiting her brother, threw an elegant party for her elegant friends who all arrived in elegant cars, in elegant wardrobe, and, just as elegantly, left.
Left to herself, Caroline grew tired of the wilderness and her brother very soon, and left.
Left to himself, Charles Bingley proceeded to first celebrate, and then write The Great American Novel (that all struggling writers should try to write). Therefore, he had not time to go to the general store, when his servants could do it for him. Vexed, and highly above the level of servant, Mrs. Bennet did not deign to speak to them, and therefore relinquished all contact to that sphere. After all, it wasn't as if anyone else could get at him.
It was not a huge loss, for Charles Bingley was only in Netherfield Cottage two weeks at a time, which also vexed Mrs. Bennet.
And therefore, when the arrival of a new prospect came about, Mrs. Bennet returned to previous daydreams of having one of her beyond "of age" daughters married.
The new photographer had caused quite a sensation upon his arrival. He spent five minutes at Suicide Six, and Mr. Lucas was quite taken with him; his very direct approach in asking for directions merited much praise. In fact, such words were admirably talked of throughout the town, echoing loudly in the general store; he had said "Where is Netherfield Cottage?"
Upon receiving the directions (i.e. "Go down that road"), he had thanked Mr. Lucas politely, and when asked about his reasons for his visit, politely replied with much more brevity and wit: "I am here to take pictures...about fall."
Charlotte Lucas and her sister Mariah had not the luck of being at the desk for this occasion, as they were walking back from fixing a loose bolt in a chair in the ski lift somewhere two-thirds up the mountain. However, they had the great luck of seeing him drive off in his sleek black Saturn, (black does exude mystery), and discerned that he wore Armani sunglasses (we do not know how they contrived to perceive such detail, but we will leave it at that), and that his hair appeared dark (though it might have only been a product of the tinted windows).
It was noted by Mr. Lucas that the man remained ringless (wedding ring, of course), and not given any reason to hesitate, Charlotte assumed the business of announcing open season on the new photographer, at the general store.
But now that Charlotte had left, Mrs. Bennet was in a state to calculate how quickly Jane could engage his affections before Charlotte could get her teeth in.
Elizabeth shook her head at her mother's raptures, and continued to doodle and scribble onto a notepad of The Great American Novel.
And so ends our first part.
Chapter 2 Posted on Friday, 29 October 1999
In which Bessie the cow performs her bovine duties and the "mysterious photographer" is almost run over by a big red Ford pickup truck.
The second chapter is not much more serious than the first, but we must proceed.
Being as there was no snow, the Lucases had nothing better to do than throw a party. As the last time there was snow as about half a year ago, they've been throwing parties for quite some time, and there were only so many chairs on the ski-lift that they could send Charlotte out to fix.
This (the party, not Charlotte's ski-lift operations, though those would have gotten the same response) would not have attracted much attention at the general store, having become a common occurrence, had it not been for the much talked of appearance of Mr. Charles Bingley (at both ski-lift and party).
Charles had not much choice in the matter; he had been walking about Suicide Six, contemplating the next chapter of The Great American Novel, when he slipped on a leaf and grabbed onto a chair on the ski-lift. However, the screws on the chair lift were loose, and Mr. Bingley fell down the hill in a manner that would be conducive to much pain.
He would have continued falling in the painful manner, still holding a piece of the chairlift, had it not been for the fortuitous appearance of Bessie the cow, who was enjoying a brisk afternoon stroll in his path.
Neither cow nor man were serious injured; Bessie walked away happily (if she weren't a cow, perhaps she would be contemplating her own interpretation of The Great American Novel), and Charles, after looking into those compassionate soft, heroic eyes, fainted.
Mariah, working the desk at the Lodge, was waiting for phone calls by any idiot who would consider going to Pomfret (and there were many as we can all assume, being temperate October and there being no other attraction in Pomfret save the ski slope, which was by far less interesting than the rickety ski-lift). She was not contemplating anything worthy of The Great American Novel, when she heard the thunk of a most horrendous nature, sounding like a prosperous Bostonian stumbling from a broken ski lift into a cow.
Imagine her surprise when she looked out the window and saw a cow...and the wealthy Bostonian!
She immediately summoned her father, who went to check the situation of the young man. Seeing as he (Charles, not Mr. Lucas) was fortuitously unconscious, Mr. Lucas declared another guest to his party. He removed him (Mr. Lucas, Charles...not vice versa) to Lucas Lodge, and Mariah properly and promptly called the general store.
Enthusiastic predictions of his slow recovery circulated throughout the general store. Mrs. Bennet called Jane at the school in a state of emergency to make sure she'd look particularly nice this evening. (She was always nice, but you know Mrs. Bennet.)
Of the other mysterious unknown (whom we all identify quite early on as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy) they knew nothing. They assumed he was taking pictures of more dead things (that would merit no chapter in The Great American Novel) and Mrs. Bennet received only a brief account of him from an encounter with her daughter Miss Elizabeth (as she will be called this chapter, for no particular reason other than Crysty's enjoyment of typing "ss").
Such an account should be ignored as it is trivial in the grand scheme of things, especially compared to The Great American Novel. Miss Elizabeth certainly would not write it in her interpretation of The Great American Novel.
But the authors, being sappy Miss Elizabeth and Darcy romantics, decided to include it anyway. (Confess friends, you wanted to see it too!) It went like this:
The mysterious photographer (which we will proceed to call him as in this scene, as he has not been properly introduced) was taking a picture of a not quite dead flower on the side of County Road, not wearing bright reflective clothing (the photographer, not the flower).
Our heroine entered the scene driving at high initial velocity, and her current velocity had not been much decreased by air resistance nor friction (authors' comment: physics homework). She was coming from MeadowRue Farm, where she had bought half a dozen pumpkins at her sister's request, in her big red Ford pickup truck, which happened to be ideal for smashing moony photographers. She would not have seen the one she was about to run over, had it not been for Bessie the cow.
Bessie the cow, upon saving one wealthy single man previously that morning, decided that her bovine duties had not been fully satisfied, and therefore took a three mile stroll to County Road, where she first chewed the mysterious photographer's photography subject, and then proceeded to get in the way of Miss Elizabeth's big red Ford pickup truck (not to be confused with a small one, a green one, or a Chevy).
No! The authors protested. She's not a hick!
She then noticed the moony photographer (who was now appointed the adjective "moony," for she did abhor photographers who took pictures of dying flowers in flannel (the photographer, not the flowers)).
She was given the opportunity now to confirm Charlotte Lucas's dark hair theory, to which she added that it was curly and rather scruffy. (what more romantic description do you need!)
At this point, the authors would love to say that the photographer looked up into her eyes, and said, "You are beautiful, and clever, and charming, and I must marry you!" And Miss Elizabeth would say, "Let us go to Pemberley and have Bessie the cow airlifted to us, as she was the means of uniting us."
However, Miss Elizabeth was oblivious to the romantic potential of her actions, no more so than the mysterious photographer. And so, the authors must contrive another way to get them together (and we will have several, some involving and some not involving Bessie the cow...)
The moony photographer proceeded to scrounge up some dried weeds from July to take pictures of, and Miss Elizabeth was riled that he had not decided to take pictures of Bessie the Cow (who of course is more aesthetically pleasing than dead weeds, in both the opinions of the character and the authors). Bessie the cow apparently was not handsome enough to tempt him.
And Miss Elizabeth drove on.
End romantic flashback.
And so now that we have described the romantic scene between the hero and heroine, we proceed to the happenings at Lucas Lodge that evening, during which Bessie got a new friend, and Jane an admirer, and flowers (Jane got the flowers....Bessie eats them).
Charles Bingley, upon waking up in the midst of the party, had much to tell the six eligible women in town. Unfortunately for five of them, it revolved around one subject only: the very great pleasure which a pair of large soft compassionate eyes in the face of a pretty cow can bestow.
He remembered the great nobility of Bessie the cow, and therefore resolved to include her in his interpretation of The Great American Novel.
Five of the six promptly left; however, Jane, who had been a long time silent admirer of Bessie the cow, despite her tendencies of wandering out on the road disrupting traffic (Bessie's, not Jane's), animatedly listened and offered her own creative metaphors by which Bessie the cow could be a symbol of all good in American culture.
Looking deeply into each other's eyes, talking so lovingly of Bessie the cow, of course they fell in love, and the authors would like to say that they would be married soon, but that would shorten the story considerably, and we still have more cow scenes to write.
Thus, we end our second chapter, with promises of chapter 3, in which our mysterious photographer will be formally introduced.
Chapter 3 Posted on Sunday, 7 November 1999
In which our mysterious photographer is introduced and in which the authors, being very vain creatures indeed, place themselves in the plot-not necessarily in that order.
(Also known to the authors as the Cheez Whiz chapter)
Charles Bingley escaped the hospitality of the Lucases and limped back to Netherfield Cottage without any bovine assistance. However, his thoughts remained faithful to Bessie the cow. And Jane. He thought about how wonderful was Bessie the cow. And Jane. He thought of giving flowers to Bessie the cow. And Jane. But since Bessie the cow would just eat the flowers (established earlier in a Darcy incident), he sent them to Jane alone.
We will leave Charles to his thoughts about Bessie the cow (and Jane) and the Great American Novel in order to describe a certain house located a few yards away from the general store: Talbot House. It's yellow. If that is not an adequate description for you, we will elaborate. However, we have been studying too much recently to be very creative and we will simply look up a description in an appropriate reference manual.
The MIT course catalogue (where else did you think we'd look?) describes Talbot House as:
Talbot House is an old New England farmhouse just outside of Woodstock, Vermont, used by the MIT community as an affordable retreat. The atmosphere at Talbot House is relaxing and comfortable with meals provided by a caterer. Visitors to the house include clubs, living groups, alumni, staff, and academic groups. Some groups have gone for recreation and a study break; others have found Talbot House to be an excellent setting for special projects, seminars, workshops, or research discussions.
The residents of Pomfret had grown so accustomed to the sight of wandering MIT nerds that the identity of the guests of Talbot House on that 3rd weekend of October didn't even interest Mrs. Bennet. However, they do interest the authors, because among the guests from MIT were two silly freshmen, named Crysty and Margaret. We will now go on and vainly describe ourselves.
Margaret thought they were both perfect in every way. Crysty, however, was short. (Hey! I'm not short!) They currently cannot think of any better descriptions for each other, so their actions will have to speak for themselves.
The two said silly freshmen were avoiding organic chemistry (as they are doing now) by taking a walk. During the course of their walk, they saw no cows but they did see a certain photographer.
Crysty was the first to observe, as she always notices the hot guys first, "Wow, he's hot."
Margaret promptly ignored Crysty, until she saw him for herself. She then said, "My god, he is hot!"
Crysty looked insulted at this lack of faith in her taste of hotness, and she was promptly ignored again. She then whined and was promptly ignored yet again.
Margaret, uncharacteristically flirtations as she has a sixth sense when she comes across a literary character with whom she ought to be uncharacteristically flirtatious with, boldly batted her eyelashes and called out, "Hello there. Do you need help with your computer?" (MIT students have their own strange ideas of what consists of come-on lines.)
Crysty, not to be outdone, hollered, "What's your sine?"
Margaret sighed, "Since he's such a piece of pi, it must be zero." The authors think this is rather hilarious. They apologize for those of you who do not appreciate trig jokes. Margaret and Crysty admit to being rather socially inept, hence their being MIT nerds.
Such remarks were enough to scare the photographer away from the rotting fence post which he was diligently taking pictures of and he managed to escape into the general store. There he met Elizabeth Bennet, who was the only one in the shop (ooh! Romantic moment! squeals Crysty, the author not the character-the character is feeling rather depressed having lost trace of the photographer and still being ignored by Margaret, who is now depressed about the photographer and also about the problem set they should be working on.)
Elizabeth looked longingly...at the Cheez Whiz. It was Friday, the day she always bought Cheez Whiz, but her mother was not around to sell her the processed cheese product. (However, in the authors' opinions, she got a much better deal...mmmm....mysterious photographer!) The clatter of the door of the general store swinging open and the clatter of the photographer rushing in, immediately tripping over the autumn display of pumpkins, then just as quickly slamming the door and locking it behind him (ooh! Locked!), stunned Elizabeth out of her processed-cheese-induced reverie.
"What the sam hill's goin' on here?"
Authors' note: She's not a hick!
"Excuse me sir, can I help you?
The mysterious photographer looked at her, admired her fine eyes as all Darcys must, and said, "You have fine eyes."
She replied, "So I've been told by many a Darcy. There was Blake Darcy, Henry Darcy, Daniel Darcy, and Ralph..."
"What a coincidence," said the mysterious photographer. "I am Fitzwilliam Darcy."
The mysterious photographer has hereby been introduced, and this chapter should close here. However, it's too short. So they will talk some more.
"Fitzwilliam-that has many syllables," Elizabeth observed quite accurately.
"Much fewer than 'the mysterious photographer," Darcy replied. "Do you talk by rule when admiring Cheez whiz?"
"Perhaps we should unlock the door," Elizabeth said, disconcerted by how perceptive, sensitive, thoughtful, intriguing, and hot he was.
"No. There are two psychotic girls out there, one of whom is in love with me, and the other is just odd."
We will not endeavor to distinguish which is which at this moment.
Elizabeth observed, "Isn't that very presumptuous?"
"I am a very presumptuous sort of man."
"Then I shouldn't like you."
"Most Elizabeth Bennets don't."
"How did you know my name?" she gasped in a very heroine sort of way.
"I presumed that as well."
Crysty would like to say he kissed her at this moment in one of those bold moves that makes the audience sigh, "What a handsome rogue!" but Margaret wouldn't let that happen, because she is the one that is in love with Mr. Darcy, (not to say that Crysty is indifferent to his charms), and because she (Margaret, not Crysty) was typing at the time. (Crysty is now typing.)
Elizabeth, adequately scandalized, (as all heroines should be upon hearing that the hero has improperly used her name in low seductive tones), turned around to face the window, where, in fact, she saw two girls, one of whom was odd, and one of whom was obsessed with Mr. Darcy. She thought of Mr. Darcy with more compassion than she had previously done.
Mrs. Bennet happened to also come by, having finally remembered that she had yet to sell Elizabeth her Cheez Whiz. She tried to open the door, but then saw the eligible, incredibly hot, formerly-mysterious photographer (he's still a photographer but no longer mysterious) alone with her very un-married daughter, and decided to leave them alone.
Margaret, being a very determined creature, remained outside the general store, and Crysty, not finished laughing at Margaret (as if she ever is) remained as well. They watched the general store for the next half hour, until Meriwether the cow, not having as good timing as Bessie the cow, realized that she (Meriwether, Bessie is quite good at appearing when necessary) had yet to exercise her bovine duties, and happened by. Crysty, being a Midwest girl, started chasing after the cow, as she sometimes does (particularly after too much orgo) and Darcy was able to escape.
In that romantic half-hour spent trapped in the general store, Darcy settled on two things: One, the video selection in Teaco General Store was quite horrid, consisting of five videos, and two, (the more romantic observation) the pickle selection was rather small as well. About Elizabeth he thought little because he was preoccupied with thoughts about Charles's version of The Great American Novel. (Darcy takes pictures, he doesn't write, not even Great American Novels)
And so ends our third chapter. The next chapter will open with a walk, a cow, and another sprained ankle (don't worry, the cow will be okay.)
Ewan McGregor's chapter
Dedicated to Ewan McGregor (I had no say in this, says Crysty)
In which the authors don't feel like reading what they wrote before, and therefore contradict everything they ever wrote.
But we do know that Jane twists her ankle.
Elizabeth felt it had been quite a long time since she'd been in a story set in Pomfret, Vermont. In fact, months.
Months being trapped in a general store with Fitzwilliam Darcy and cheese whiz that she had yet to pay for. Oh wait. She got out of the general store. Drat, we've already contradicted ourselves. Following our current idea of them being trapped in the general store for six months...
Her hair was quite long now. And our mysterious photographer had a beard, which he promptly shaved off, because the authors don't like Darcy with facial hair. (and Margaret persists that Ewan McGregor doesn't look too good with it, either, but that's another story, the Ewan and the facial hair, not Margaret).
But don't worry, our hero and heroine have not grown to like each other, as Bessie the Cow has not yet finished accomplishing all her bovine duties. She'd been modeling for sketches by Jane and Charles, who were currently enjoying their rather slow and uneventful and therefore unremarkable courtship that we just remarked on.
And why, may you ask, is it important to complete one's bovine duties? Especially when it involves being sketched? Bessie the Cow had yet to gain the status of "an accomplished cow". As for the sketching, we don't know. Charles knows. Perhaps he will include it in his version of the Great American Novel.
But we have a plot to tell.
Suddenly Jane sprained her ankle. (Think of your own amusing scene to get this accomplished.)
But Crysty will provide one for you, if you are, like Margaret, very unoriginal (like if you thought she slipped on a leaf). So, Crysty claims that Jane was walking in a pumpkin patch in the middle of June. She had not been aware of the status of her sister Elizabeth, and none of the Bennet family decided to go to work for the past six months, nor did any of the townsfolk notice the lack of groceries or mail or gossip. Crysty and Margaret also forgot about it, but that's because of thermo.
But anyhow, the twisted ankle. There's a pumpkin patch. For some unknown reason, pumpkins in that particular pumpkin patch were fairly large during June. Jane did not trip on those.
But she did trip on the rope of the really cool bell she rang every morning in the schoolhouse. Even though school had been out for quite some time.
(Jane took to wandering in the schoolhouse in summer.)
Of course, you can disregard the entire explanation. Margaret has; she imagined something involving Ewan McGregor and Jude Law, but Crysty thinks her explanation suffices.
Twisted ankle, that's right. Back on track.
Our very distressed Jane was saved by Bessie the Cow, who was followed by Charles. Had Jane been a jealous creature, she would have suspected something, but she had not, for she saw true concern in the eyes of her very close friend Bessie. And Charles.
Mrs. Bennet was also around, as she was not needed at the general store. (as the clientele had drastically decreased.) She therefore insisted that Jane stay with Charles, as sprained ankles were very contagious, and while he'd already had one, the rest of the Bennet family (save Elizabeth, who at this moment didn't matter, as she was still missing at this time) had not yet had sprained ankles. You know, like antibodies, and lymph nodes, and such. (We know how antibodies work. We know about immunology; Margaret took her bio class last term!)
Caroline happened to be visiting. Why? Because there was a remarkable lack of orange, as fall had passed, and she was wondering where Darcy was, as he had been missing from social engagements. (By the way, we have not mentioned before that Caroline was in love with Mr. Darcy. Caroline is in love with Mr. Darcy. Why? All Carolines must be in love with Mr. Darcys, and Mr. Ralph Darcy died that year)
Carolines Smith, Jones, and Brown followed. (Because one is never enough.)
Suffice to say, there were plenty of Carolines to make up for the months of absence, and Charles, being too nice to turn them away, allowed them to stay in his cottage.
This would have been scandalous, as there was only one man, in the house of 5 women. (as Jane was mending her ankle). However, as luck would have it, Darcy finally got out of the store (who knows why they've been in there so long, as the MIT nerds left about six months ago). And so, our ratio turned to 5:2. And of course, 4 were in love with 1. (thankfully, there was one 1:1 ratio of people in love with each other (that's Jane and Charles. Alas, Bessie was just never meant to be with Charles. She's an independent soul.))
Nevertheless, Darcy quickly noted how Charles was forming a silly attachment. To the stupid cow. (He doesn't think Jane's a cow. He just thought Jane was rather fragile, and of course, smiled too much.) (Also note, he has yet to discover the beauty that is Bessie the Cow)
This would be unwarranted, had it not been for a certain excerpt he had just discovered of Charles's Great American Novel (he was not aware that in fact Margaret wrote it months ago, and has since then lost it. And not in Pomfret.)
The excerpt would not be very remarkable, had it not been that it was very amusing. Hence, Margaret just spent lots of time finding it. And now we will include it:
Privates Young and Freeman exchanged worried looks as they listened to the sound of distant explosions. Their lines to the right were being hit hard by German artillery. Enemy bombers were flying from the left. There was no way to retreat even if their commanders would allow them.
"Llewellyn, are we going to die?"
"I don't know, Demetrius, I don't know."
No more could be said. No more needed to be said. The two scared boys silently sat together in the cramped trench, wishing they could still believe there was someone or something to pray to.
"Remember Bessie the Cow?" Freedman asked in a voice no louder than a whisper.
Young nodded his head. He wanted to say something more, talk about Bessie, but he didn't trust himself to control his emotions on the subject. He loved Bessie the Cow like a sister...
This fine work of literature made Darcy decide that it was imperative that they leave at once. First of all, it was June, and there were no dead things to photograph. Second of all, Charles was wrong about putting trenches with bombers, and sister or not, the affection for the cow freaked him out. And so, they left.
We would have put in some nice scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, but Bessie has been occupied this chapter, and they've already spent six months in the same store. (At least in this version; don't reproach us for not rereading what we wrote.) Hopefully the action will move a bit faster now, as the authors have nothing else to do but control other people's lives. i.e. Jane won't be alone in Netherfield Cottage for six months (yes, they just left her there, as the Carolines left with Darcy and Bingley).