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Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

May 09, 2017 06:16AM
AN: Yes, I know I have been horribly delinquent. When the kids went back to school last fall, I really did think I would be able to start posting a little more regularly. Instead, I got distracted by several other things. But, now several months later, here is the next chapter. We are getting close to the end, so I am hoping to post again soon.

A quick synopsis to catch you up (since it has been a really long time since I posted): The evening at the Hunsford parsonage, Darcy's proposal is interrupted very early with the arrival of an express from the Gardiner's letting Elizabeth know that her father fell from a horse and passed away. Darcy sends an express back to let them know he will escort Elizabeth home. When he asks Bingley for the use of Netherfield Park, Bingley decides to join him.

By the time they get to Longbourn, Darcy has basically forgotten that he never finished his proposal, and starts acting as if they are engaged. Although Elizabeth is not happy with this realization at first, she is coming to recognize his good qualities.

Caroline and the Hursts join Bingley at Netherfield because they are unaware of Darcy's engagement. Once Caroline finds out, she wants to leave again.

Darcy and Mr. Gardiner have been attempting to determine a suitable home in the neighborhood to provide for Mrs. Bennet and her remaining daughters. They have several months yet, because Mr. Darcy has been able to convince Mr. Collins that he should wait three months to arrive at Longbourn, and an additional three months (six total) until he could expect the Bennet ladies to leave their current home. In modern terms, Mr. Morris is the realtor.

Thank you for reading!


Timing is Everything

Chapter 12


The morning dawned with a drizzle. It was not enough to keep Mr. Darcy away from Longbourn, but it was enough to keep the other residents of Netherfield Park from venturing out of doors. Charles would have accompanied him to Longbourn, but first wanted to plan out how he would determine Miss Bennet’s feelings.

Charles Bingley had never before felt a need to be subtle, but knew that he could not just ask Miss Bennet whether or not she wished him to stay at Netherfield Park. After spending what felt like several hours (but was in reality approximately 45 minutes) trying to think of a way to subtly ask her opinion on the subject, he decided to enlist some help. He found Caroline pounding away on the pianoforte.

“Caroline, I need your advice.”

Caroline, preening at finally being recognized as a font of information, turned from the pianoforte.

“How do I determine whether or not a young lady would prefer to live in Hertfordshire or closer to Derbyshire?”

“Any lady with sense would vastly prefer Derbyshire,” Caroline replied. “Are you thinking of letting Netherfield go?”

“Not as of yet,” Charles answered. “But, certainly there must be some young ladies that would rather live in Hertfordshire.”

“That is ridiculous,” Caroline replied. “If Hertfordshire were such a desirable place to live, would Miss Lucas have wed Mr. Collins, knowing she would move away? I am almost certain that the main reason Miss Eliza pursued Mr. Darcy was in an attempt to leave this dismal place.”

“I would prefer to think that Mrs. Collins and Miss Elizabeth made their choices based on affection and inclination, rather than the location of their groom’s residence. Besides, Mrs. Collins will soon be back in the neighborhood. If her main goal in matrimony was to leave Hertfordshire, she would not have married the heir to a local estate.”

“Yes, but when she married there was no indication that Mr. Bennet would pass away so soon. I am certain she thought she would have the opportunity to escape this neighborhood for a much lengthier amount of time. It may be a perfectly reasonable place to reside when you are in your dotage, but there are not so many entertainments to be had for those that are young.”

“If you disdain the place so much, I am surprised at your determination to join me. I fully expected you to stay in town.”

“The decision to join you was made before we learned some very vital information. I can assure you that if we had possessed all the facts, we would still be in London.”

“Then why do you not return?” Charles asked. “If you disdain the location to such an extent, I will not be affronted if you were to decide to depart.”

“I would gladly do so, if only Louisa and Hurst could be convinced to leave. They do not want to return to London so soon after leaving,” Caroline replied.

“Then go somewhere else,” Charles suggested. “You could travel to the north, or there are any number of seaside locations you could visit.”

“That is an excellent idea,” Caroline replied. “I will make just that suggestion to Louisa. She has expressed a desire to go sea bathing. That just may be enough of an inducement to lure her away from here.”

As Caroline quickly left the room, Charles realized that he still had no idea how to subtly approach Miss Bennet.



Elizabeth sat, quietly contemplating the profile of Mr. Darcy as his carriage carried them, along with Mr. Gardiner and Mr. Morris, to the Great House at Stoke. Earlier that morning she had settled into the front parlor, intending to begin stitching the handkerchiefs she would gift to Darcy, as a replacement for those she had kept. She was surprised when Mr. Darcy requested that she join them on their venture. The three gentlemen had made many excursions throughout the preceding week, but had never requested her opinion.

Mr. Darcy turned from the carriage window. Upon catching Elizabeth’s eye, the edges of his mouth raised ever so slightly. She did not think she would have noticed a difference if she had not been studying his face. It was not many minutes longer before the carriage was pulling to a stop in front of the Great House at Stoke.

After the stairs had been let down, and the gentlemen descended, Elizabeth found herself being handed out of the carriage by Mr. Darcy. Taking his offered arm, she allowed him to lead her into the house.

Before leaving Longbourn, it had been explained that the purpose of this visit was to determine how many changes needed to be made to the house so that it would suit the needs of the remaining Bennet ladies. Elizabeth had to concede that the drawing rooms were dreadfully small.

“Would it be possible to open up the wall between the east drawing room and the music room?” Darcy asked.

“That may be possible, but then where will the pianoforte be placed?” Mr. Gardiner replied.

“Would it be necessary to have a separate music room?” Darcy asked.

“I am afraid that it would be best if Mary was able to practice on the pianoforte far from where my mother would spend her day,” Elizabeth replied. “But, I do not see why we could not move the pianoforte to the west drawing room.”

The party walked back to the west drawing room to further investigate it’s suitability as a music room.

“Do you not feel it is too small to use as a music room if your mother were ever to entertain?” asked Darcy.

“What if we were to combine this room with the current dining room and move the dining room to either the north or south drawing room?” Mr. Gardiner asked.

“I’m afraid that neither of those drawing rooms are large enough to hold a dining room,” Elizabeth replied.

“Could we combine the north drawing room with the library?” Mr. Gardiner asked.

“But then, where would the library go?” Darcy asked.

“I’m afraid that my mother does not overly concern herself with books,” Elizabeth replied. “If we were to combine the north drawing room with the library, we could move the library into the west drawing room. It may not be a large room, but it would be large enough for any books that my mother would concern herself with. We could then leave the current dining room where it is, and move the music room into the area currently occupied by the north drawing room and the library.”

“I do not understand why the house was built with so many tiny rooms to begin with,” Darcy stated.

As no one else had an answer, the mostly silent Mr. Morris replied, “From what I understand, Mr. Dunsworth, the original owner was very concerned about appearances. He had heard that all the great houses had at least three drawing rooms. Wanting to ensure that his house would be considered great, he had it built with four drawing rooms. I believe that is even the reason people started calling it the Great House at Stoke.”

“Four drawing rooms?” Darcy questioned. “Do you mean that tiny room on the south side of the house is supposed to be a drawing room?”

“Yes, but I don’t believe it has ever actually been used as one,” Mr. Morris continued. “It was much more for show. Mr. Dunsworth always left the door slightly ajar, thus allowing people to only get a glimpse of the room as they were led further into the house. It wasn’t until he passed away that anyone outside the family entered the room. The first tenants immediately changed it to a small parlor, where the lady of the house could entertain one or two of her close friends at a time.”

It did not take them long to investigate the rest of the house. The bedchambers were sufficient. The attics were large and well ventilated. The kitchen and servants quarters were adequate. All that remained was actually making a purchase offer on the house so that they could begin the renovations.

As they exited the house, Elizabeth slowed her steps to allow for some distance to develop between them and the other two gentlemen.

“Thank you for inviting me today,” she quietly told Darcy.

“I should have included you from the beginning,” he replied.

“You have been very kind and concerned; I cannot fault the care you have shown me.”

“But you were right; I should have asked your opinion. I have been my own master for so long, that I have grown accustomed to making decisions on my own. You are now the most important part of my life. If I am going to make decisions that will please you, I will need to ask for your opinion.”

They had reached the carriage, so the only reply he received was a slight blush, and a tightening of her grasp on his arm before letting go to be handed into the carriage.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

BethWMay 09, 2017 06:16AM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

LynetteMay 18, 2017 10:58AM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

Lucy J.May 13, 2017 02:29AM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

gioMay 10, 2017 03:52PM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

JeannineMay 10, 2017 02:14AM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

EvelynJeanMay 10, 2017 03:00AM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

LiselleMay 09, 2017 06:40PM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

LizzySMay 09, 2017 06:12PM

Re: Timing is Everything - Chapter 12

BethWMay 09, 2017 06:31PM

Links to the rest of the story

BethWMay 09, 2017 06:52AM



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