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Kindly Relations Chapters 55 and 56

June 29, 2018 03:31PM
AN: We are down to the last two posts. After these two chapters, the last two are pretty much an epilogue. I am not spelling out everything but leaving the details to the imagination. thanks again for all the kind comments.
Chapter 55

Before the Darcys made any morning calls the next day, Lady Fitzwilliam arrived accompanied by Captain Fitzwilliam. As they entered the parlor, Lydia shot a triumphant glance at Catherine who saw it and blushed. She was acutely aware that this was a declaration of interest on the part of the captain.

Elizabeth managed to smile at her sisters as she greeted the visitors. “It is wonderful to see you again. We all had such a wonderful time at the ball.”

Lady Fitzwilliam smiled in return. “I am so pleased. Since Andrew and the Wentworths were able to join us, I enjoyed it even more than I had anticipated. And this morning, I had a note from Harriet that she has had another son. Both she and the babe are doing well. He arrived late last night.”

Everyone offered their congratulations. After they were over, Andrew continued the discussion of the ball with a significant glance over at Catherine, “I found it more pleasant than the last I attended in town.” Catherine blushed again.

Lydia boldly asked, “Indeed, and why was that?”

He replied, “I suspect the company was more to my liking than in the past.” Everyone smiled at that. He then asked, “I wonder if Miss Bennet would be available for a ride through the park? Mother thought she might like to visit for a while, and I thought we could take advantage of the carriage while the rest of you visited.”

Catherine was surprised at the offer and looked eagerly at Elizabeth to seek approval. Elizabeth replied, “She has my permission. Are you driving her yourself?”

“No, our coachman brought us. I thought we could enjoy the sights together while he drove and our tiger attended us behind. If I were to drive, I could not concentrate on conversation. I would like to become better acquainted with Miss Bennet.”

Catherine said, “I think that sounds delightful. Just let me get my wraps.” At his nod, she arose and left the parlor as quickly as she could while not looking rushed.

Georgiana said, “Andrew, take good care of Catherine. She has been a good friend to me and deserves all the happiness in the world.”

Fitzwilliam smiled, “I will be careful. I would like to become better acquainted and this seemed a good way.”

While Catherine was away, Fitzwilliam sent for the carriage to come around again to collect them. The coachman was not surprised as he had been informed of the captain’s hope for a ride in the park. He had always liked Captain Fitzwilliam and was pleased that the young lady had consented to join him.

When Catherine returned, Fitzwilliam offered his arm as they bade farewell to those in the parlor and descended the front steps to the carriage. Captain Fitzwilliam helped her into the open carriage and joined her on the seat. The coachman handed him a warm blanket which Lady Fitzwilliam had used on the ride to the Darcy’s.

Fitzwilliam held it and asked, “It seems a bit chilly this morning. Could I offer this to help keep us a bit more comfortable?”

“How thoughtful of you. Yes, that would be nice.” He spread the blanket over their knees and tucked it carefully around Catherine.

“I would not want to jeopardize your health simply for a ride in the park.” He nodded to the coachman who called to the horses and shook the reins. They set off for the park as they settled into the comfort of the coach.

“So, I know you attended school with Georgiana. Would you tell me of it? I had a few letters from her, and it sounds like a fine institution.”

“We liked it very much. Before Elizabeth married Mr. Darcy, we had been indifferent students at home. However, we met Georgiana and the Musgroves that summer before the wedding and learned all about the school. It sounded like a good place, and we could attend with our new sisters. It seemed a perfect fit and ended up being so. All five of us are come out together this year.”

He smiled. “Yes, I had noticed that last night. You are all also very popular.”

“It has certainly been fun so far and the height of the season has not even arrived as yet. Now, you must tell me something more about this tour of yours in the Baltic. I heard a bit of Captain Wentworth’s adventures from Anne, but nothing of yours.”

They talked until they arrived at the park. As they proceeded through the park, Catherine said, “It is always so interesting here. We walk here occasionally. There are so many fashionably dressed ladies. I just love to see them.”

“You are quite fashionably dressed, yourself.”

“Thank you, but I dress far more simply than many of these ladies. I like to look at the finery, but I find it less comfortable to wear.”

“Then I compliment you as you have far more sense than they have. You may find them fine, but I consider them slightly silly.”

Once again Catherine blushed at the compliment. He noted it and said, “I appreciate the modesty that causes the blush. It is another indication of your good sense.”

“Thank you. It would be nice to be more sophisticated and not blush so easily, but, frankly, I do not see that happening.”

“Well, I think it charming.”

She chuckled as she blushed again. “I suppose I will just have to become accustomed to it if we are to spend any amount of time together. Since we are with family, I suspect I will find myself blushing quite a bit.”

“I hope we spend more time than just as family. I know it is soon, but I am generally a man of decisive action. My last visit in London, I was searching for a wife. The one possibility, after a few brief meetings, became a distinct impossibility. However, after only two meetings, I already know that I would like to formally court you. If you are agreeable, I will talk to my cousin after I return my mother home.”

Catherine said, “You are correct that it is quite soon. We only just met. However, I would definitely like to find out if we would suit one another. Please talk to Mr. Darcy. Well, if that is to be the case, I must hear more about your life in the navy.”

After a drive of thirty minutes, they headed back to Darcy house well satisfied with their visit. He could see that she was still quite young but not at all silly. She had interests which indicated a depth of thought not often found in one so young. He found her everything charming. She found him a dashing young officer who seemed to have excellent prospects for the future. His last command had not been of a size where a wife could join him, but he expected to have such a command with his promotion from Master and Commander to captain.

When they rejoined those in the parlor, Lady Fitzwilliam arose and indicated it was time for them to continue on their morning calls. After they left, Catherine said, “Since no one else is here, I can tell you that Captain Fitzwilliam will call on Fitzwilliam to ask permission to court me. Oh, I am so excited.”

Lydia responded with a very unladylike squeal. “Well, that is certainly quick.”

Georgiana laughed, “So we would be cousins as well as sisters. I would like that indeed.”

Elizabeth said, “Yes, it is quick, but I am happy for you. Did you enjoy the ride?”

“Oh yes, we had such a nice conversation. He doesn’t think me silly at all. Since Father still considers Lydia and me to be silly young things, it is gratifying to find someone who thinks me something more.”

Elizabeth replied, “I think Father is just teasing as he is still not ready for any of us to be adults even though three of us already have children. He wants us still his little girls. I know the Captain was looking when he was here last time so I know he is ready, but this is rather quick, don’t you think?”

Catherine laughed, “Indeed it is. He said he knew very quickly that the last young lady he was considering would not work. Our discussions lead him to believe that I am a much better option. And I like him well enough to want to learn more.”

Darcy and Fitzwilliam spent an hour talking after Darcy gave permission to court Catherine. They covered many things including the previous tour of the Baltic. Finally, Darcy said, “Well, if you do not get the kind of command that will allow your wife to accompany you, Catherine is welcome to stay with us. I am sure your mother will offer as well.”

“Yes, she already has. I think she would enjoy it. She seems to like having us all around. Now that most of us have left home, she seems to miss us.”

“I imagine being in London for the season keeps her busy, but when she is at home, there is far less going on.”

“I think she would like it if her grandchildren lived nearby so she could visit them more often. Now, if you do not mind, I will return to your home and let Miss Bennet know of your approval.”

“Why don’t I join you? I believe we are off to a card party in a couple of hours. I know your presence would be welcome.”

They left Darcy’s club together and rode back to Darcy house. Now that the courtship was official, there was a great deal of teasing. Both Darcy and Catherine wrote notes to inform Mr. Bennet of this new development. That same day, the Bingleys finally arrived at the Findlay’s home.

Caroline greeted Jane and Charles, “At last. We have missed you greatly these past years. You must never delay so long again. We live too far for visits, so we must meet in London. You are both looking exceptionally well and so are the children.”

Bingley said, “Thank you, Caroline, you look well too.”

Jane smiled. “Well, perhaps we can manage a couple of weeks in spring each year. We have missed you too.”

Caroline continued, “And look how big the children are. They won’t even know their aunts and uncles. We must remedy that immediately.” Adults and children spent the next half hour becoming better acquainted.

Servants were dispatched to inform the rest of the family of the arrivals. That afternoon, the house was full of family and suitors becoming better acquainted.

Caroline watched the entire crowd from a distance. Findlay joined her and asked, “Is something wrong?”

“Not wrong. I am just taking it all in. We went from the three of us to four when Louisa married. But suddenly, we are a throng. Not all families are so close as the Bennets. We have Findlays, Bingleys, Hursts, Bennets, Gardiners, Wentworths, Musgroves, Beaumonts, Fitzwilliams, and Darcys. I am sure I have left some out. Even Darcy house seems crowded and it is only the immediate family and the suitors for the five girls. I do not think I could have foreseen a life like this.”

He smiled. “If Catherine does marry Captain Fitzwilliam, we will be even more closely related to Lord and Lady Fitzwilliam.

“The only downside is that all of us live in so many different places we can only really get together when we come to London.”

“I think that an excellent reason for coming to town, don’t you?”

Charlotte and Elizabeth sat aside together watching everyone. Charlotte said, “When you left for London for your season, could you have imagined such a scene?”

“We are all so interconnected now. You are now a cousin, we have all been presented, I have even more sisters than before, and many of us already have children. No, I could not have imagined it. My only regret is that Mother never saw it.”

Charlotte said, “I do wish Maria had chosen to have a season. I cannot seem to appreciate Mr. Collins very much. Your cousin is not terribly personable.”

Elizabeth smiled, “It would have been fun to have her here too. My sisters did not seem to care for Mr. Collins very much. Is she enjoying her home?”

“She seems to be. At least everyone else is making pleasing attachments.”

“I am sure Maria will have a happy life with Mr. Collins. He has a very respectable situation.”

“I suppose so. I am grateful that she is well settled, it is just that he is so… When I compare her life to mine, I am so full of gratitude. My life with Richard is not anything I ever anticipated. We have all come so far from Meryton.”

“Yes, we have certainly seen a great deal of change.”

Chapter 56

Letitia Raynor and Amanda Marsh called on Mary Beaumont the next day. Amanda asked, “Have you seen your sister lately?”

Mary thought for a moment. “No, I do not believe I have. What is happening?”

Letitia smirked, “We expect Sir Adam to make an offer any day now. He has been very attentive and seems decided. He hosts so many visitors, and she will make a pretty hostess for him.”

Mary said, “You know she does not manage Kellynch particularly well, don’t you? I learned so much from Grandmother that Elizabeth does not do.”

Amanda said, “Sir Adam has an excellent housekeeper who will not allow her standards to be compromised in any way. From talking with your father, I believe he sets the tone and your staff has not been held accountable. Sir Adam will not allow that, so they will make up for any of her deficiencies in oversight. However, she does seem to enjoy his company. I think they will be fine together.”

Mary asked, “So, are you making any progress with Father?”

Amanda smiled. “I think so. He seems to be paying some attention now. I think I can persuade him once Miss Elliot is settled.”

“We are hosting a small dinner in two days. There will be a number of friends as well as my father and sister. You would both be welcome to join us, along with Mr. Raynor and Sir Adam, of course.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Beaumont. That would be perfect.”

Mrs. Marsh spent the entire dinner flattering Sir Walter even as she paid attention to the other single gentlemen in attendance. It took very little work on her part to lead Sir Walter into thinking it might be time to marry again. With this in mind, he looked over at Elizabeth where she was talking with Sir Adam. He wondered if there was anything he could do to ensure that this time an attachment occurred.

Now that they were somewhat better acquainted, Sir Adam spoke to Elizabeth of his very full social calendar while they were chatting together after dinner. “Many of my friends visit year round. We have angling, hunting, shooting, and a variety of outdoor activities when weather permits. Then, there are the balls and musical evenings, card parties, house parties, and general visits along with regular forays into the cultural scene in Edinburgh. However, it has been more difficult to conduct these without a hostess. I have spent this season in London looking for the perfect hostess. I believe I may have found her. What do you think?”

Elizabeth smiled. “Is it someone I know?”

“I hope it is. She is the most elegant lady in town and needed a showplace like mine to grace.”

Elizabeth felt a great deal of satisfaction that at last someone had recognized her true worth. “Yes, I believe I know who you mean. I believe she would be agreeable.”

Sir Adam smiled, “Well, that being the case, would you do me the honor of becoming Lady Sinclair? I can think of nothing I would like more.”

She pretended to think for a moment before announcing, “Yes, I would love to become Lady Sinclair.”

“I will call to speak to your father tomorrow. When would you like to wed? I can get a license and we can wed at any time. I imagine you will want some time for a new dress.”

“That would be wonderful. Shall we say next week?”

Sir Adam called upon Sir Walter the next day. They were able to come to an agreement and sign the settlement papers that day as Sir Adam had prepared them after his first meeting with Elizabeth.

With Elizabeth settled, Sir Walter determined to change his own situation. He called at the Raynor’s and asked to speak with Mrs. Marsh that very day. He and Amanda sat in the parlor as he asked her to consider his suit. She agreed with alacrity. They agreed to marry two days after Elizabeth and Sir Adam.

Amanda and Letitia called on Mary Beaumont later that same day to share the news. Amanda said, “I do not know if your father has called, but Sir Adam has settled it with Miss Elliot, and your father has asked me to marry him as well. Your sister will wed next week with us two days later.”

“You have my best wishes, Mrs. Marsh.”

She interrupted, “You must call me Amanda now that we are to be family. I hope I may call you Mary?”

“Of course, Amanda. I hope you will be very happy in this move. You know you will be neighbors with the Musgroves?”

“Yes, I look forward to visiting with them when he is not in London. I plan to pay her a visit to further the acquaintance while I am here in town. We have obviously not been terribly close but at least know one another.”

Mary said, “I know you will enjoy them. They are wonderful people. Father often includes them in his social gatherings.”

Amanda said, “Already knowing the neighbors will make moving to Somerset that much easier.”

Mary said, “We must also make you known to my sister, Mrs. Wentworth. They have just arrived in town.”

“Oh, are they returned? I met her before her marriage. Shall we visit them together?”

Anne was surprised to learn that Mrs. Marsh was planning to become Lady Elliot immediately after Elizabeth became Lady Sinclair. Amanda said, “At least you arrived before it all happened. I hope you and Captain Wentworth will visit Kellynch when you are on leave in the future. I believe your father needs more social activity than he has had since your mother’s passing. I plan to see that he gets it.

Anne replied, “Of course we will visit. I admit I am surprised because Father had not seemed to be trying to find someone to replace mother.”

“Oh, I would never replace her. After all, he had an entire life and three daughters with her. No, I just plan to move him forward into the future.”

Anne smiled, “I am sure that will be wonderful. Welcome to the family.”

The Elliots called upon Anne and Mary later that same day to issue invitations to their weddings. Elizabeth was obviously pleased that she was finally leaving her single status behind. She stressed what a wonderful future awaited her. Sir Adam had already given her a lovely allowance to procure a beautiful new gown for the wedding. Her new life would be quite spectacular if he continued to provide such little niceties.

Anne assured her, “I am sure you will be a wonderful Lady Sinclair, Elizabeth.”

“Yes, I expect I will be.” She preened at the idea of the new social heights she would scale.


Kindly Relations Chapters 55 and 56

ShannaGJune 29, 2018 03:31PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 55 and 56

Kimberly F.June 29, 2018 07:09PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 55 and 56

ShannaGJune 29, 2018 07:35PM


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