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An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

October 01, 2019 05:53PM
I had the advantage of knowing what this month’s topic would be and a lazy Sunday.

I know a regency gentleman would probably not react to a child this way, but in my mind Mr. Darcy would. He had to become the best of brothers somehow.

This is not beta’d so please forgive any errors.

I am lost. When I get my hands on Bingley, I am going to strangle him. Then I will buy him a new pen and make him write lines until there are no blots, Fitzwilliam Darcy thought.

Hearing a child’s giggle, he directed his horse off the road and came upon a little girl standing under a tree throwing a doll into the air.

“Miss Lizzy, you are so very high in the air,” she yelled.

With a grin on his face, Fitzwilliam Darcy dismounted and let his horse graze. “Excuse me miss,” he said.

The little girl turned suddenly and tripped.

“Ouch!!” she cried.

“Oh, sweetheart I am sorry,” William said. He kneeled, picked her up, brushed off her skirt, checked her hands for scrapes, and asked if she was okay.

“I think so,” she said with a little sniffle.

“May I introduce myself to you my fair lady,” he asked with a little bow.

“Yes, sir,” she responded with a giggle.

“My name is Fitzwilliam Darcy. And what is yours?” he asked.

“Fiswilliam? That’s a funny name.”

“No sweetheart, it’s Fitz-William. However, you may call me William, it was easier for my sister when she was your age.”

“How old is she now?”

“She is fifteen,” Darcy answered.

“I have a sister too!” she exclaimed. “Molly is seventeen, she is twelve years older than I am.”

“I am twelve years older than my sister, Georgiana, too. Sometimes I feel more like a parent than a sibling,” he mused.

“My name is Anna! You sister has part of my name!” Anna exclaimed.

“My sister is named for both of my parents. My fathers name was George and my mothers was Anne.”

“My mama died a year ago,” Anna said sadly.

“I am sorry to hear your mother passed sweetheart. My mother did too when my sister was born. I am glad your sister takes such good care of you and Miss Lizzy.”

With wide eyes she exclaimed, “You know Miss Lizzy?”

“She is in your hands isn’t she?” he asked.

“My doll is named Lizzy because she gave her to me. Miss Lizzy brings me clothes, treats, food, and plays with me all the time,” she explained excitedly.

“She sounds like a wonderful friend Anna. I would love to meet her someday,” William said with a grin.

“Okay William, stand up and turn around,” Anna ordered and after a moment he obeyed.

William frowned as he heard leaves rustling and something dropping to the ground.

“Okay William, you may turn back around now,” Anna said.

Elizabeth Bennet watched Mr. Darcy’s face carefully as he turned around. The second he saw her, his face lost all expression and he adopted an air of aloofness. Interesting, she thought, he was amiable, adorable even, while speaking with Anna.

“Anna sweetie, have you asked your new friend if he is in need of assistance?” Lizzy asked.

“No Miss Lizzy, but why do I need to ask him? Why don’t you?” Anna queried.

“Because I haven’t been introduced to him by an acquaintance.”

“William is my friend Miss Lizzy! I can do the ductions!” Anna offered excitedly. “William, this is my friend Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Miss Lizzy, this is my new friend Mr. Fiswilliam Darcy,” Anna introduced them proudly.

Elizabeth noticed how Mr. Darcy’s demeanor softened when he looked at Anna and the quiet chuckle at the mispronunciation of his name.

“Mr. Darcy, how may we assist you?”

“Would you be able to point me in the direction of Netherfield Park?” William asked.

“Field! Molly works at field!” Anna shouted. “Miss Lizzy taught Molly how to read and that helped her get a job as a up maid. I am only five years old,” she continued holding up a hand and wiggling her fingers, “so Miss Lizzy is starting my letters, reading will have to come when I get growed up.”

“Molly got the job on her own Anna, you know that. She is a very hard worker and deserved to be moved out of the kitchens,” Lizzy said.

“Field is that way William,” Anna said pointing behind herself. “Miss Lizzy and I would be glad to show you.”

“Anna, that is not necessary,” Lizzy admonished gently. “Mr. Darcy will see Netherfield as soon as he crosses over the hill.”

“But Lizzy, I really like William. I think you should marry him so Mrs. Bennet stops worrying about the rows and nerves,” Anna said.

“Anna Elizabeth Sayers, that is a most improper thing to say young lady,” Lizzy scolded while bushing fiercely.

“But William is nice, smart, and very pretty Lizzy. That stuffy old Baron who wanted to court you was nothing like William, so I thought if you said no to him you would say yes to William. Is that wrong?” Anna asked. “William, Miss Jane and Miss Lizzy are my most favoritist people besides papa and Molly. Mrs. Bennet always says they try the nerves and will be in the rows when Mr. Bennet dies because they refuse to marry just any old man.”

“Anna, that is enough. We should let Mr. Darcy get on his way,” Lizzy suggested desperately.

“William, did I do bad? I was only trying to help by splaining. Miss Lizzy says a good hostess makes sure her guests are comfortable. I love Miss Lizzy and want to see her happy,” Anna said looking sad.

William stepped forward, picked Anna up, and gave her a hug. “It’s okay sweetheart. This is not a proper conversation to have but since you were talking to two such good friends it’s okay this time. However, you should never say something like that when there are other people around. Do you understand?” he asked gently.

“I think so William, so when it’s just you, me, and Miss Lizzy we can talk about you marrying her?” she asked.

With a sigh William tried again, “That’s not what I mean sweetheart. I barely know Miss Elizabeth, what if we wouldn’t suit? What if I found out she has horns hidden under her hair or that she enjoys playing cards to reading books?”

Anna was giggling too hard to respond.

“Don’t worry Mr. Darcy, my horns are carefully hidden by my hair and I love nothing more than improving my mind by extensive reading. Just think Anna, maybe Mr. Darcy doesn’t like peas. I could never marry a man who hates green peas or vingt-un.”

“Maybe Miss Elizabeth climbs trees,” William said with a smirk. “You want me to marry someone who climbs trees and teaches people their letters?”

“Maybe Mr. Darcy likes to eat porridge? Remember our agreement about porridge Anna. I am afraid he simply will not do.”

“Maybe Miss Elizabeth doesn’t like custard. I would be miserable if I never had custard for dessert,” William said while tickling Anna. “Adults must get to know each other, their likes and dislikes, before they can decide to marry.”

“Mrs. Bennet doesn’t agree. I heard her tell Mr. Bennet once that Lizzy would be her death cause she and Miss Jane will only marry for the bestest of love,” Anna explained.

“Mr. Darcy, I am afraid Anna will give you the wrong impression of my family. She is right that my mothers goal in life is to see her five daughters married. With an entailed estate and no son, I am sure you can understand her worry,” Lizzy explained. “My father, however, has a different point of view. None of us will be made to marry against our will.”

“William, will your sister be coming to field with you?” Anna asked.

“No sweetheart, my sister is in London with her new companion,” William answered.

Lizzy wondered if she was her imagination or if Mr. Darcy looked sad when he spoke of his sister.

“She must miss you and be lonely,” Anna responded. “I know I am very lonely when Molly is at field and papa is working on the farm.”

“You may be right Anna,” William responded softly.

“William, you look sad. I could cheer you up! Papa says it always makes him happier when I give him a kiss and a big hug,” Anna said before kissing his cheek, laying her head on his shoulder, and giving him a hug.

Lizzy’s heart melted to see Mr. Darcy hugging the child back.

“Mr. Darcy, if you mention to Mr. Bingley that your sister is lonely, I am sure he will issue an invitation. Papa said he was very amiable,” Lizzy said.

“He did offer an invitation Miss Elizabeth but Georgiana declined. She is uncomfortable with people she doesn’t know very well,” William answered.

“You could help her William, you like meeting new people,” Anna said.

“Oh sweetheart, I am afraid I am just as shy as my sister is,” William said.

“But you are my new friend. You aren’t shy,” Anna stated.

A flash of insight came over Lizzy. “Anna sweetie, did you notice how Mr. Darcy became quieter when I made myself known,” Lizzy asked gently.

“Hmmm, he did look kinda scary for a second, but he was probably prised cause you were in a tree rescuing Lizzy,” Anna giggled. “I threw her too high William.”

“I had wondered,” Mr. Darcy said dryly causing Lizzy to blush and Anna to giggle again.

“What if you didn’t stay at field William? Your sister could come if you stayed with Miss Thomlin,” Anna suggested.

“That is a wonderful idea sweetie,” Lizzy said before turning to Mr. Darcy to explain. “Miss Thomlin is an elderly resident of the village of Meryton. She inherited her fathers house on the edge of town and takes in boarders occasionally to supplement her income. She would never allow you to rent rooms as a single gentleman, but with your sister and her companion in residence it would be proper.”

“Miss Thompson makes the best sweets!” Anna said excitedly. “I could duce you to her too.”

“Anna, we don’t want to make Mr. Darcy feel pressured to invite his sister. It is your choice, sir. I have two sisters and there are four other gentlewomen in the area of the same age. It would give her a chance to make friends her own age,” Lizzy said gently. “Now, we have kept you long enough, Mr. Bingley is probably anxious for your arrival.”

William was surprised by the simplicity of statement. What friends did his sister have? She rarely had letters come in the post from school friends. Am I doing my sister a disservice, he wondered.

“But Miss Lizzy, I wanted to tell William all about the story you were telling me,” Anna said.

With a thoughtful look at Miss Elizabeth, William said, “Miss Anna, I am eager to hear your story. Would you lovely ladies escort me to Netherfield?”

“Yay,” Anna said.

“Sir, what about your horse?” Lizzy asked.

William whistled and his horse trotted up. “Allow me to introduce you ladies to Sis.” At Lizzy’s raised eyebrow he flushed and clarified, “His name officially is Cicero, I got him when Georgiana was about your age Anna.”

“Let me guess, she had a problem pronouncing his name?” Lizzy asked with a smirk.

“Yes, she calls him Sissy to this day,” William responded while shaking his head.

“Can I ride him William? I really, really love horses,” Anna said excitedly.

Lizzy answered William’s questioning look. “She is doted on by her father. He taught her to ride the farm horses bareback last summer. Normally a neighbor watches Anna on the days Molly works, but she is visiting friends. My sister Jane and I have been assisting the family when they cannot make other arrangements. Her father knows she is with me, our nature walks are legendary so she will not be missed.”

“In that case, it would be Sis’ honor,” William said as he lifted Anna into the saddle. “I will walk right next to you and if you get scared I will pick you up right away. Miss Elizabeth, may I escort you?”

“Of course, sir,” Lizzy answered as she took his offered arm.

The merry group walked to Netherfield Park discussing Sleeping Beauty. As they approached the house, the front door opened and they were assaulted by the screeching voice of Miss Bingley.

“Oh, Mr. Darcy, there you are. We were just about to send out a search party,” Miss Caroline Bingley wailed.

“Her voice hurts my ears,” Anna said quietly while putting her hands over her ears.

“Caroline, I told you there was nothing to worry about. Darcy, my good man, please introduce me to your escorts,” a grinning Mr. Charles Bingley said.

“This is Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Miss Anna Sayers. Ladies, this is Mr. Charles Bingley and his sister Miss Caroline Bingley,” William said. “Charles’ eldest sister Mrs. Louisa Hurst is near the front door with a maid.”

“Molly! Look William I see my sister. Molly, William is letting me ride Sissy!” Anna exclaimed while waving at her embarrassed sister.

“William?” Miss Bingley hissed with narrowed eyes. “Who is this urchin and what is she doing calling Mr. Darcy by that uncouth nickname. What sort of riff raff has been imposing upon you,” she finished glaring at Lizzy’s hand on the gentleman’s arm.

William and Lizzy looked at Anna when they heard her whimper and whisper, “William, I am scared.”

With a quick glare at Miss Bingley, William picked Anna up and held her naturally with one arm under her bottom then he offered his arm to Miss Elizabeth again.

“You there, Molly is it? Do you know this child,” Miss Bingley asked.

“Yes miss,” Molly responded, clearly flustered, “Anna is my younger sister.”

“You are dismissed without a reference. Take your sister and leave this property immediately,” Miss Bingley demanded.

Outraged voices all spoke at once, however Mr. Darcy’s carried over everyone with its deep and authoritative baritone.

“Miss Bingley, I helped your brother negotiate the terms of his lease. You only have the authority to dismiss a servant for cause, which you do not have. If I hear you have been making Molly’s life difficult, I will know how to act. Charles, unless you want to forfeit the amount you paid on the lease, I suggest you bring your sister in line.”

“Caroline,” her sister Louisa called from the steps, “this is unseemly. Come inside this instant, you must have a headache.”

“No Louisa. As my future husband, I have a right to dictate who and what,” with a disgusted look at Anna and Lizzy Miss Bingley continued, “Mr. Darcy associates with while here in this god forsaken place. His reputation is at stake.”

“How dare you!” Darcy shouted. He felt Miss Elizabeth taking Anna from him. He glanced at them and saw Anna with tears in her eyes and Miss Elizabeth stepping away looking angry. “Miss Bingley, since you had the audacity to claim we are betrothed in public, I shall be forced to refute you in turn. From the very beginning, nay from the first moment I set eyes on you, your manners impressed me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others. All these formed the groundwork on which todays events have built an impeccable loathing. How you, a tradesmans daughter, could insult a little girl who is your social equal! You are both tenants on an estate after all. A little girl whose only sin in your eyes is acceding to my request and using the nickname my younger sister came up with when she was also too young to pronounce my given name. You also look down on a gentleman’s daughter who is above you in every way. I had not known you a minute before I felt that you were the last woman in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

Darcy glared at his friend. “Bingley, I told you to have a discussion with her before I arrived! I refuse to even enter this house while Miss Bingley is in residence. When Andrews arrives with my belongings, direct him to the Inn.”

Turning to his escorts, he said, “Anna, Miss Elizabeth, I apologize you had to witness this scene. Would you be willing to escort me to the Inn? Anna, you may ride Sissy again.”

Anna held her arms out to William. Laying her head on his shoulder she looked up at him and asked, “William, will Molly be safe here?”

Bingley answered her question, “Yes Miss Anna, she will be. Louisa, would you please take over as mistress?”

“Yes Charles. I wish to apologize to all three of you for my sisters actions,” Louisa said.

“Charles, I am to keep house for you,” Caroline demanded loudly finally coming out of her shocked stupor. “And I WILL marry Mr. Darcy!”

“But William is going to marry Miss Lizzy, we discussed it earlier,” Anna stated helpfully. “Miss Lizzy will stop climbing trees and serve custard for dessert and William will learn to like peas and stop eating porridge.”

“What?” Miss Bingley sputtered.

Bingley looked highly amused and a little confused when he stated, “But Darcy loves peas.”

“Sweetheart,” William said softly, “what did we talk about before?”

“I am sorry William. I remember it’s not proper to scuss such things when we are in company. I don’t want you to marry that mean old lady,” Anna said before giving him a kiss on the cheek, laying her head on his shoulder, and giving him a hug.

“Mean old lady!” Miss Bingley gasped in shock as her siblings tried to hide their amusement.

“Don’t worry sweetheart, I will not be marrying Miss Bingley,” he assured her. With a glare at Miss Bingley and a pointed look at Bingley he continued, “no matter what situation she engenders. Bingley, I am sorry if this means an end to our friendship, but if your sister approaches me or Georgiana, I will be forced to give her the cut direct.”

“Don’t worry Darcy, I understand. Caroline will be gone before the end of the day,” Bingley assured him.

“I most certainly will not be leaving, Charles,” Miss Bingley said.

“Oh yes you will Caroline,” Charles told his sister in a low voice. “Did you forget fathers will left you AND your inheritance in my care until you are five and twenty or married. You will be leaving for London today. The only question is will you continue to Aunt May’s house in Scarborough or set up your own establishment in London?”

“Good day Bingley, Mrs. Hurst, Molly,” Darcy said with nods. “Come ladies, to the inn we go.”

“Miss Lizzy, when you and William marry, can I spread the flowers?” Anna asked hopefully.

“Anna,” Lizzy said with a sigh, “Mr. Darcy and I will not be getting married. Stop this already.”

“I wouldn’t say that Miss Lizzy, I mean I wouldn’t want to upset my new friend,” William said with a smirk.

“Sir, this precocious little girl does not need help.”

“No, but from the sounds of things I might. Anna, do you have any suggestions that could help me win Miss Lizzy’s hand?”

The conversation drifted off as they walked towards Meryton.

“I never thought I would see the day,” Charles Bingley said in awe. “Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley finally asking for help, from a tiny slip of a girl.”

“Who would have thought he had dimples,” a flushed Mrs. Hurst added.

Molly had a smirk on her face as she shook her head wondering why Miss Lizzy was trying to win a battle that was already over. Whether she realized it or not, Molly could tell Miss Lizzy was already half in love with the handsome Mr. Darcy. With Anna’s help, Miss Lizzy would end up Mrs. Darcy by years end.

An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

LizzySOctober 01, 2019 05:53PM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

DianRMMay 02, 2020 04:42PM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

Rose MOctober 04, 2019 05:15AM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

NobukoOctober 02, 2019 11:25AM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

Shannon KOctober 01, 2019 11:37PM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

Maria VOctober 01, 2019 07:31PM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

Harvey S.October 01, 2019 07:11PM

Re: An Escort to Netherfield - One Shot - October short story

MarciOctober 02, 2019 03:32PM


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