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A Slight Sprain - Part 2 (completed)

May 11, 2019 07:05AM
AN: Here is the second half of this short story. Hope you like it!

A Slight Sprain

Part 2

Caroline Bingley was annoyed. She had taken extra care while preparing for the assembly in the insignificant town close to the estate her brother had leased; much more extra care than the local populace warranted. Mr. Darcy would be there and she wanted her superiority over any and all other ladies present to be clear.

As the party from Netherfield Park made their way to the Assembly Hall in Meryton, Miss Bingley had patiently waited for Mr. Darcy to claim one of her dances. He did not.

As they exited the carriage, she hinted that he should secure a set before they entered, as she was certain her card would be full for the evening. He still did not.

Mr. Darcy even told her that he had not yet decided if he would be dancing that evening. Why he would come to an assembly with no intention to dance, Caroline did not know. But, if he was not dancing, then she would not either.

As Charles Bingley entered the Assembly Hall in Meryton, he was delighted to be approached by Sir William Lucas. Sir William was such an affable gentleman, that Charles was certain he could easily learn about Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her family.

“Mr. Bingley, what a pleasure it is to see you this evening,” Sir William stated in greeting.

“The pleasure is all mine,” Mr. Bingley said in reply.

At this point, Sir William’s family arrived at his side to be introduced. As the introductions were made, Mr. Bingley politely offered to dance the first dance with Sir William’s eldest daughter. He was surprised when Caroline declined an invitation to dance with Sir William’s son, expressing that she had no wish to dance that evening. As the dance was getting ready to begin, Mr. Bingley was not able to question Sir William on the Bennet family at that time.

As they joined the line of dancers, Mr. Bingley tried to surreptitiously look around for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. He was disappointed that he was unable to see her. Ever the gentleman, he canvassed all the proper topics including the weather and the size of the room. He was in the midst of trying to determine the best way to enquire after Miss Elizabeth when he spotted her entering the room with a large party of young women. The young lady next to her was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Feigning ignorance, he inquired after the identities of the young ladies entering the room.

“They are the Bennet family,” Miss Lucas replied. “They are our nearest neighbors and great friends. My father would be happy to introduce them to you.”

“I would be delighted to make their acquaintance,” Mr. Bingley told her, smiling widely.

When the dance came to an end, Mr. Bingley escorted Miss Lucas to her father and requested an introduction to the Bennet family.

Elizabeth Bennet had stalled for time as much as possible without raising suspicions. The later they arrived at the assembly, the less likely her sprained ankle would be discovered. She even went so far as to “accidentally” snag Lydia’s hair shortly before they were all ready to go. This, of course, required Lydia’s hair to be completely redone.

After returning home that afternoon, Elizabeth had rewrapped her ankle, then spent the rest of the afternoon with it elevated. Although she would have to be careful in her steps, she knew from experience that if she danced at least once her mother would not notice if she sat out the rest of the evening. She would still be free to escape the house while her ankle healed.

As they entered the assembly rooms, Elizabeth was not surprised to see Mr. Bingley dancing, nor Mr. Darcy along the side of the room.

Shortly after the music ended, Sir William Lucas led Mr. Bingley towards the Bennet family to be introduced.

As Mrs. Bennet introduced each of her daughters to Mr. Bingley, his grin of delight grew larger and larger.

“It has been a pleasure to meet all of your lovely daughters,” Mr. Bingley stated after the introductions were done. “Now, let me see if I have this correct, in order of birth. We have Miss Bennet, followed by Miss Elizabeth, Miss Mary, Miss Kitty and Miss Lydia. Is that correct?”

“You are absolutely correct,” Mrs. Bennet replied, preening.

“I would like to become better acquainted with all of your daughters,” Mr. Bingley said. Addressing Jane, he requested the next dance. There were still some minutes before the dance was to begin, so he happily made his way over to Mr. Darcy.

“I have just made the acquaintance of the Bennet family,” Mr. Bingley said jovially.

Correctly interpreting the grin on his friend’s face, Mr. Darcy closed his eyes and sighed.

“Just how old is the hoyden?” he asked.

“Although I do not know her exact age, she is old enough to have three younger sisters who are all out,” Mr. Bingley replied. “Even if they came out at the rate of one every year, it has been at least three years since she came out. I think we can agree that is not fresh from the schoolroom.”

“So, your sisters and two other ladies of my choosing, correct?”

“Yes, but since Caroline has already stated that she will not be dancing this evening, I would ask you to consider asking Miss Elizabeth in her place.”

“She sprained her ankle falling from a tree today,” Mr. Darcy replied. “Surely she will not be dancing.”

“Would you consider one more wager?” Mr. Bingley asked with a smile.

“That depends on the wager.”

“I will introduce you to the Bennet family. If you ask Miss Elizabeth to dance with you, and she refuses, you are free from your obligation for the evening. But, if she accepts, you must dance with all of her sisters as well.”

Mr. Darcy pondered his options. Certain that no gently bred young lady would agree to dance on a sprained ankle, he accepted the wager.

The rest of the evening, Caroline Bingley sat fuming on the side of the room with the matrons and the wallflowers. Everyone knew that she had already refused a dance, so she was stuck watching her prey dance one set after another with the Bennet ladies.

Ten Years Later

“And that is why I always carry an extra cravat,” Fitzwilliam Darcy explained to his recently breeched son.

“I’ve never seen mama climb a tree,” his son replied, skeptically.

“That is only because you don’t know where to look,” Darcy replied, winking at his wife. “She is one of the best tree climbers I know.”

A Slight Sprain - Part 2 (completed)

BethWMay 11, 2019 07:05AM

Re: A Slight Sprain - Part 2 (completed)

PESJune 23, 2019 12:34AM

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Lucy J.May 12, 2019 11:10PM

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BethWMay 12, 2019 10:39PM

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EvelynJeanMay 12, 2019 06:57AM

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BethWMay 12, 2019 10:38PM

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Shannon KMay 12, 2019 03:41AM

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Alyssa S.May 13, 2019 12:52PM

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BrigidMay 12, 2019 01:08AM

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LisaYMay 11, 2019 04:35PM

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LynetteMay 11, 2019 03:45PM

Re: A Slight Sprain - Part 2 (completed)

DorisMay 11, 2019 11:33AM

Loved it! nfm

KarenteaMay 12, 2019 10:04PM


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