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Even More Consequences From A Call - Chapter 17

July 29, 2020 05:20PM
As planned I did get to the assembly this chapter, barely. The next chapter should be the assembly then I will start jumping the timeline to the Bingley’s arrival in September.

Mrs. Waldron is the governess turned companion of the Bennet family. I thought I would add a reminder since I don’t think she has been mentioned since the second chapter.

I know this is a day earlier than I usually post, but I had the chapter ready and have a busy day scheduled at work tomorrow, I have to physically be on site. I figured better a day early than late.

Chapter 17

Walking paths, Meryton
Monday, June 10, 1811

Elizabeth Bennet, older by one month, was enjoying a morning stroll along the paths near her home with her cousin, Juliet. The cousins were very similar in intelligence and their sense of humour, but in appearance and demeanour, Juliet more closely resembled Elizabeth’s sister Jane.

The cousins lessened the pain of their lengthy separations and strengthened their cousinly bond by maintaining a very frequent and most unreserved correspondence. They were apprising each other of the happenings in their lives since they parted ways after their presentations, things that were not easily conveyed on paper.

“Juliet, we have been circumventing the most significant event to occur. What do you think of Lord Halburn?” Elizabeth asked hesitantly.

“I could ask the same of you, Lizzy. What do you think of Mr. Darcy?”

“You will not dissuade me. I will answer your question when you answer mine.”

“I do not know, Lizzy, truly. He is tall and devastatingly handsome, to be sure, but, Lord Halburn is him! And,” her cousin sighed, “after all of the daydreaming I have done about what would happen when we are finally introduced, he insulted me and our entire family. How do I reconcile the image I built in my head with the reality?”

“Are you certain, absolutely certain? Never mind, do forgive my question, of course you are sure. He made quite the impression on you in London for someone you never actually met. At least now you know his name and that he is not the son of an insignificant country gentleman or tradesman,” she joked.

“Lizzy, do be serious. It would not have mattered to me who he was and you know me well enough to be certain of that. I may know his name, but how am I to move past our beginning? Will I ever be able to forgive and trust him?” her cousin asked quietly.

“I do not know, Jules. I would like to believe it is possible. You must remember my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure,” she said as a movement in the field caught her attention. Two men were racing their horses. “If I am not mistaken, there are Mr. Darcy and Lord Halburn.”

“It appears to be, yes.”

The cousins watched as Mr. Darcy took the lead and heard him give a whoop of joy.

“Lizzy, let us walk back to Longbourn before they see us.”

“Too late, they are riding this way,” she informed her cousin.

“Do not dare leave me to converse alone with Lord Halburn,” Juliet threatened while grabbing a hold of her cousin’s arm.

“You will have to speak with him eventually,” she said gently.

“I know. However, I am not ready yet.”

“We should continue walking. We do not know for certain that we are their destination,” Elizabeth said.


Walking paths, Meryton
Monday, June 10, 1811

Fitzwilliam Darcy directed his horse to intercept Miss Sakville and Miss Bennet. He was unsure if his cousin had seen the ladies, or if it was a good idea, but he was eager to speak with Miss Bennet.

“JT, we are about to come upon Miss Sakville and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. If Miss Sakville refuses to speak to you, let it be. I have found that with Georgiana, letting her work through anger is best. It bodes ill if I press her to speak with me, before she is ready,” Darcy warned his cousin.

“Now that you mention it, I have noticed the same thing with my parents. After they have a disagreement, father waits for mother to approach or initiate conversation with him. I will do as you suggest,” JT agreed.

As they approached the cousins, William whispered to his own cousin, “Steady, JT.”

William took in the scene at a glance. Miss Bennet looked glad to see them while Miss Sakville looked apprehensive and was holding on to her cousin’s arm with a fierce determination.

“Miss Sakville and Miss Bennet, how do you do this fine morning?” he asked after they had dismounted.

“We are well, Mr. Darcy, thank you for asking. Did you enjoy your race?” Miss Bennet asked with a smile.

“Yes, it was exhilarating. I enjoy letting my horse have free rein,” he responded.

The sound of a twig snapping nearby startled the group. William quickly put himself in front of Miss Bennet whilst his cousin stepped in front of Miss Sakville with his hand in his pocket. When two large men exited the woods, he followed suit and put his hand in his own pocket to ready his pistol.

“We are in no danger, Noah,” he heard Miss Sakville say quickly. “My parents approve of both men. Mr. Darcy hails from Pemberley and Lord Halburn is his cousin. They were out riding and came across me and Lizzy walking.”

He saw the older of the two men nod and then move out of earshot while keeping the ladies in sight.

“I apologize. My parents require me to have an escort while walking and Noah is training his younger brother, Allan, to perform the same service for my cousins,” Miss Sakville explained quietly.

“No apologies are necessary, Miss Sakville. You may remember, I assigned Alfie to look after my sister. It would be hypocritical of me to judge your parents for doing the same thing I did.”

“Yes, how could one forget him telling mother no,” Miss Sakville responded with a slight smile.

William cringed when he heard his cousin start speaking.

“Miss Sakville and Miss Bennet, Darcy told me to not to say anything yet and I know I should listen to him because he has much more experience with women than I could ever hope to have,” JT said. “But I can no longer stay silent.”

William was shocked. What was his cousin saying? He saw Miss Bennet look at him with wide eyes and take a step back. “JT, have you lost your senses? I have little experience with young ladies. You know I keep my distance for fear of being compromised.”

“What are you going on about? I do not know for certain when Uncle George first became ill, but you have raised Georgiana, almost single-handedly, at least these past five years,” JT stated looking confused.

He turned to Miss Sakville when he heard her giggle and saw her patting Miss Bennet’s hand. JT looked at the ladies and blanched.

“Oh, goodness... I did not mean to imply... I have no sisters...” JT stammered. “I only meant that the experience of raising a much younger sister should have given you some insight into how the female mind works. With Georgie not returning to school after the holidays, Miss Hurst staying at Pemberley with her brother, and Lady Dobbs acting as a chaperone, you would have to be even more knowledgeable than previously.”

“We understand, Lord Halburn,” Miss Sakville stated with a genuine smile on her face. “My brother has said something similar before.”

He could not believe what he had just witnessed. How had JT managed such a feat so quickly? Miss Sakville was already showing signs of forgiveness.

“Darcy told me to wait, but I want, nay I need, to apologize to both of you, but most specifically to Miss Sakville. I was quite honoured and humbled when Georgie and Miss Hurst took on the role of my defenders yesterday, and, given the magnitude of my mistake, I felt it was best to stay silent instead of making the situation worse. While it may not help my case, I must also admit that, as an older brother, it was quite amusing to see them join forces against Richard,” JT said with a slight smile. “In truth, the situation was entirely my fault. I chose to leave London after a long day of travel instead of waiting for Monday. I chose to go to church instead of taking the opportunity to rest further. I chose to let my brother’s teasing irritate me. I made assumptions about the reason behind the introduction. I let my tongue run away from me. I have no one to blame but myself and I am heartily ashamed of my conduct. Whether you were the daughter of a blacksmith or a duke, you should have been treated with respect. I will never forgive myself for the unkind words I spoke about young ladies.”

William watched the ladies during JT’s speech. Unless he was mistaken, his cousin had just passed the most significant impediment on the path to forgiveness.

“If you will excuse me, I must return to Haye Park so my mother and Lady Dobbs may continue to berate me, as I so rightly deserve. Darcy, I will see you later,” JT said before bowing, mounting his horse, and riding away.

“May I join your walk?” he asked them.

Miss Sakville let go of Miss Bennet’s arm, stepped to the side, and told him, “Of course you may.”

William had been walking with a lady on each arm chatting amiably for at least twenty minutes, when Miss Sakville returned to the topic of his cousin.

“Mr. Darcy, we have met at least once a year while growing up. With that in mind, I hope you do not find my next question too bold.”

“Miss Sakville, our parents’ yearly meeting meant I saw you and your siblings more often than some of my extended Darcy family. Please, feel free to ask me anything and know that I will not take offense.”

“Your cousin is a singular man, Mr. Darcy,” Miss Sakville started. “He did not plead his case or try to pressure us into saying we forgave him. Is Lord Halburn as contrite as he seems because he now knows my father is a duke?”

“If I am being completely honest, I would have to say your father’s rank does have some effect on his remorse in so much as there are possible tangible political repercussions he is worried about. Unfortunately, we do live in a world with a strict class system and it is hard to let go of things you have been taught your entire life. Having said that, Matlock is not too far from Pemberley and my mother was sister to the earl. I have been an intimate of JT my entire life. We do not have a bond as strong as Richard and I, but JT is still one of my closest friends. He may be a bit harsh to people he feels are overstepping their place or are putting someone else down, but in all our years, I have never heard JT speak the way he did yesterday, about anything or anyone, regardless of their sex. If anything, he is more likely to come to the aid of someone who is being trodden upon. It truly was a conflagration of smaller things that caused an outburst for which he is honestly remorseful. As soon as we got into the carriage, he was beside himself with regret. He even called it the most embarrassing moment in his life. I will only add, he did not know your father’s rank until we arrived at Netherfield.”

William saw Miss Sakville was thinking about all that he said, so he turned to Miss Elizabeth and asked her a question about the upcoming assembly that he had heard his sister mention.


Longbourn, Hertfordshire
Friday, June 14, 1811

As Elizabeth Bennet was preparing for the Meryton Assembly, she thought about the past week and how eventful it had been. Grace, Georgie, and Clara had arrived from London on Tuesday and got along with everyone so well, that Juliet and Celia had begged their mother for permission to stay at Longbourn too. Aunt Jane had only relented when Elizabeth assured her that she and Jane would prefer to share a room for a month if it meant their cousins would be allowed to reside under their roof.

Elizabeth’s parents had good naturedly allowed all ten young ladies to take over Longbourn’s larger parlour, with Mrs. Waldron to act as chaperone, with Mrs. Tucker’s help occasionally, and Mrs. Bennet accepted callers in the smaller, lesser-used parlour. The ten ladies jokingly referred to themselves as the Longbourn Dieci, or either LD or dieci, to honour the group decision they had made to increase their fluency in the Italian language.

At dinner the previous evening, her mother had told their father she needed a bigger food budget and asked if the estate could afford to hire another footman, maid, and cook’s assistant because of all of the gentleman callers every day. Once the laughter ended, Elizabeth had to assure Georgie that her mother was simply teasing.

They had spent the past few days getting to know each other, accepting calls, and riding along the countryside on their horses, with and without the gentlemen, but always with Allan, Angus, and Alfie following at a discrete distance. Elizabeth thought she saw one or both of the Sims twins a few times, but kept that to herself.

All ten of the ladies were excited about the assembly for similar but slightly different reasons. One thing they all agreed upon was that it would be an entertaining evening with all of their relatives and friends. It was also a good chance to practice their dancing skills without the pressure of society’s eyes judging them.

With so many family members in the vicinity, Georgie and Lydia had easily been granted permission to attend. They could only dance with gentlemen agreed upon in advance and were expected to return immediately to Mrs. Waldron or Mrs. Tucker’s side. Elizabeth’s own father and Mr. Darcy had told the girls that they may dance with any male staying at Longbourn, Haye Park, or Netherfield, including Mr. Phillips. It was perhaps a liberal use of the term relative, but it suited them all comfortably. Lydia and Georgie would not be obliged to sit out any dances due to a scarcity of approved gentlemen. Lydia would be dancing the first with their cousin Edmund and Georgie with her cousin, Lord Halburn.

Kitty was still becoming comfortable in Meryton society and appreciated that Lydia and Georgie would be there to speak with if she did not feel like dancing. Uncle Stewart had asked for Kitty’s first set. Usually the Phillips’ danced the first together, but with so many young ladies in attendance, Aunt Evelyn had encouraged her husband to ask their niece.

Clara Owens was a delightful eighteen-year-old girl who was right between Elizabeth and her sister Mary in age. Like Georgie, Clara’s only sibling was an older brother who had recently turned one and twenty-years-old. Mary and Clara had formed an immediate friendship which deepened the longer they were acquainted. Like Juliet and herself, the prior season was also Clara’s official presentation in society. Clara had been asked to dance the first by Edmund’s cousin Matthew Rogers, Viscount Dover, whom she had met briefly in town.

Mary was the most apprehensive about attending, Elizabeth knew for certain. Surprisingly, her sister had divulged the reason to their new friends instead of keeping her own confidences. John Sutton, The Marquess Brundel, in his matter of fact way, without putting pressure on Mary, had expressed his interest in the middle Bennet daughter a year prior. He had been disappointed when Mary decided to defer her presentation by a year, but was certainly not discouraged. The first thing he did upon arriving at Netherfield, even before greeting his own cousin, was to ask Mary for the first set.

Celia was such a social being, that she enjoyed every opportunity to make merry with her cousins and new friends. Mr. Dobbs had confessed that this would be his first country assembly as a civilian where he would be expected to dance. Mr. Dobbs’ friend, Mr. Doyle, who accompanied him back from London, confessed he had not attended many dances since he left his service to the crown shortly before Mr. Dobbs. Grace and Georgie had taught Mr. Dobbs the common country dances the prior week but Mr. Doyle admitted he was afraid to humiliate himself by dancing. Celia had taken the initiative to arrange an afternoon of dancing. With all the young people from Longbourn, Haye Park, and Longbourn attending, their group was larger than some dinner parties. With Mrs. Waldron and Mrs. Tucker available to alternate between playing the piano and fulfilling the duties of a chaperone, they were able to ensure both gentlemen knew how to move in a larger group formation. To show his appreciation, Mr. Dobbs had asked Celia for the first set.

Juliet had, since Monday morning, been able to avoid speaking with Lord Halburn. With so many people in the parlour and riding horses, it was easy to do without being obvious to anyone but Elizabeth, who knew her so well, and perhaps Lord Halburn. Juliet had admitted to softening towards His Lordship, a little bit, but she told Elizabeth that she was not ready to interact with him. Juliet’s father had to be in London for the Parliament vote on Wednesday and had needed a few days to take care of some estate and business work with his solicitor. Instead of going directly to Dorset, Uncle Frederick had decided to visit his family at Netherfield for the weekend and attend the assembly. Juliet had originally planned to dance the first with Elizabeth’s father, until her own father had unexpectedly showed up at Netherfield earlier this same day and declared he would be Juliet’s partner.

Grace confided in the group that she had spoken with the Colonel on Sunday after dinner. She had made him understand that she truly did not blame him for his brother’s outburst, but she made certain he realized she felt he had contributed by his relentless teasing. The Colonel had confirmed, in a letter to Georgie, that he would be able to attend the assembly and had verified Grace held the first set on her dance card for him.

Jane was very excited for the assembly. She had confessed to Elizabeth and Juliet why her father had called her into his study on Monday after tea. Jane expressed to her sister and cousin how much more she admired Mr. Hurst after their conversation. Learning that Mr. Hurst was determined to honour his full year of mourning, and was unwilling to risk hurting her, made Jane declare him just what a young man ought to be. Jane acknowledged he was responsible, sensible, honourable, good-humoured, reliable, and naturally handsome. Before leaving Mr. Bennet’s study, Mr. Hurst had asked Jane for her first set.

Elizabeth’s excitement was rivalled by Jane’s. Jane thought to be the more excited of the sisters, but Elizabeth claimed the title because Jane only smiled while she was so happy she laughed. Mr. Darcy had taken to visiting his sister at least once a day at Longbourn and her mother managed to convince him to stay for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday. Before he left her and Juliet at Longbourn after their walk on Monday, he had asked her for the first set.

Elizabeth smiled as she watched Betsy, the maid she shared with Jane, finish her hair. “Perfect, as always. Thank you.”

“You are welcome, miss. Shall I go see if Missy needs help with your younger sisters’ hair or dresses?” Betsy asked.

“Yes, that would be helpful. I am going to see how my cousins and our guests are coming along,” Elizabeth responded.


Haye Park, Hertfordshire
Friday, June 14, 1811

Fitzwilliam Darcy certainly missed his sister Georgiana, but allowing her to temporarily move into Longbourn had been a wise decision. In addition to allowing Georgie to develop strong friendships, he now had a valid reason to see Miss Elizabeth every day without raising the expectations of the neighbourhood. He had instantly been attracted to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and the more time he spent with her, the more this attraction increased.

William was sitting in the parlour of Haye Park with JT, Hurst, Dobbs, and Doyle discussing the evening to come. Two of the five men were eager, impatient even, to leave for the assembly and the other three varied from apprehensive to outright fear. Socializing was not William’s favourite way to spend an evening, it is true, however he was looking forward to dancing the first set with Miss Elizabeth and then the second with his sister. Hurst was excited to dance the first with Miss Bennet and the second with his own sister.

“Doyle, I will be sad to see you leave tomorrow,” William told his newest friend.

“So will I, Darcy. I am glad I did not follow my initial response and decline Dobbs’ invitation. He was certainly correct. You lot are good friends to have. Although, at this assembly I will be as handy as a cow in a spitkid1.”

“Doyle,” Dobbs chastised, “you know the moves and performed very well at Longbourn. You are not clumsy nor will you make a cake of yourself. Think of it as another practice session. There will be enough ladies present who you have already met, that you do not have to dance outside of our party.”

“Too right. My goodness there are a gaggle of beautiful women in the vicinity. It makes me think about going AWOL for a while, but since my brother’s accident, father would be upset if I did not return to the estate as soon as our solicitor has completed the contracts I was sent to London to collect. I have not felt this adrift since I was a new recruit.”

“It will pass, trust me. You may have left the service before I did, but I spent a week in London with my mother dragging me to meet her friends, and their daughters,” Dobbs added with a slight eye roll. “I had to get my bearings quickly. Thankfully, I had the gentlemen here to assist me, along with the Earl and Colonel who you will meet later, whereas you had to make do with your father as your sole means of advice.”

William was surprised when Mrs. Stanley entered and announced his aunt and cousin. “Lady Catherine and Cousin Anne, what do you do here?”

“I was invited, William,” his cousin responded pertly.

“Neither Lady Dobbs or Aunt Olivia informed me they had extended an invitation,” he said. How could Aunt Olivia do this to him? She knew that even though Anne had ousted Lady Catherine as mistress of Rosings, his aunt would still take every opportunity to insist it was his duty to marry his cousin. He could not allow her to harm his burgeoning relationship with Miss Elizabeth.

“It was not Aunt Olivia who invited me but your sister. Georgie extended an invitation to join her at Longbourn,” his cousin explained.

“I cannot believe my sister invited you to another person’s home. I thought she had a better understanding of propriety,” William said.

“Georgie sent me a letter that contained a note from Mrs. Bennet with an invitation. Apparently, she told the Bennet’s about me and they all decided I should not be excluded,” Anne told him.

“But where will you stay?” JT asked. “I remember the conversation about Longbourn’s bedchambers. Now that Miss Sakville and Miss Celia are staying there, Longbourn has no available rooms.”

“The youngest sisters have agreed to share a room so I may have my own. I am quite determined, cousins. I enjoy my solitude at Rosings, but the chance to meet so many agreeable ladies is a dream come true,” Anne said.

“William, I demand to meet these people before Anne accepts,” Lady Catherine said forcefully.

“Allow me to introduce you to Hurst, Dobbs, and Doyle,” Darcy stated. Once propriety was satisfied, he asked, “Lady Catherine, must we go over this again? Anne is legally of age and has accepted her inheritance as mistress of Rosings. She is beholden to no one and you can no longer order her to do anything.” He was discomposed when his aunt did not respond and simply stared at him.

“Lady Catherine, are you well?” JT asked tentatively.

“Why do my nephews and niece call me Lady Catherine while my sister is referred to as Aunt Olivia by all?” Lady Catherine asked softly.

“Anne?” Darcy asked, confused.

“William, my mother and I had a long talk on our way here. She will no longer insist we marry,” Anne stated definitively.

“What makes you so certain, Anne?” William asked.

“Anne, no offense intended to Lady Catherine,” JT interjected, “but Darcy, and his father before him, have been telling your mother that he will not marry you for as long as I can remember. Why should Darcy believe your mother would stop now?”

“Besides the fact that I have reached my majority and have been running Rosings for two years?” Anne asked flippantly. “William, how many times have you spoken with my mother since I assumed the role as mistress? Zero! When I took over, we replaced the previous Rosings steward with Mr. Grey’s assistant and I have been bringing the books to town for you to review.”

Had he really not spoken with his aunt in two years? He glanced at JT and saw his face looked as guilty as he suspected his own did.

Again Mrs. Stanley entered and announced more arrivals. “General Robert Trevor, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, and Dr. Mark Withers.”

“At least I was expecting two of you, this time,” Darcy said wryly. “Richard, please introduce everyone.”

Once Richard had completed the introductions, he turned to his cousin and asked, “Anne, what have you done to yourself? I have never seen you look so healthy.”

“Thank you, Richard,” Anne responded with a smile. “When I took over my inheritance, Uncle Michael and Aunt Olivia demanded I get a second opinion on my health. The very same Dr. Withers you arrived with is responsible for my good health. He suggested a change to my diet and that I walk every day.”

“That is almost the same advice Mark gave me,” Hurst said. “Oh, I do apologize for being so familiar. My Aunt Phoebe is a result of my grandfather’s second marriage. She is much younger than my father and is only ten years my senior. We both grew up together on our family’s estate, more like cousins. Dr. Mark Withers is my aunt’s maternal cousin. When Mark would visit, they would let me tag along on their adventures.”

“You did so very energetically, Reginald,” Lady Dobbs said as she entered the room with Darcy’s aunt and uncle. “Welcome Mark, I am so very glad you were able to accept my invitation. Mr. Darcy, I apologize for not letting you know about the invitation, it was a rather last-minute decision and you were out riding with the other gentlemen.”

“Cathy, it is a pleasure to see you and Anne. How was your trip?” Uncle Michael asked his elder sister.

“It was pleasant enough. Thankfully the weather cooperated,” Lady Catherine responded.

“We will have time to speak later, Catherine,” Aunt Olivia said. “Michael and I promised to leave early and stop at Netherfield to transport Mr. and Mrs. Sakville and Mrs. Tucker to the assembly. It will afford us the opportunity to visit with Mr. Sakville before he returns to their estate.”

“Aunt Catherine,” William said softly, “would you and Anne like to freshen up before the assembly?”

With tears glistening in her eyes at his form of address, his aunt answered, “That would be appreciated, thank you.”

“Olivia, may Lady Catherine use your room?” Lady Dobbs asked. When Lady Dobbs received a nod in response, she continued, “Mrs. Stanley, please take Lady Catherine to the Matlock’s room and Miss de Bourgh to mine. I apologize, ladies, but, just like at Longbourn, with so many guests, there are no extra bedrooms at Haye Park. Mr. Doyle is scheduled to leave tomorrow. I will barter with Lord Halburn and the Colonel to see what it will cost me for them to share tonight. I imagine cook will be baking some tasty desserts over the next few days.”

“Phoebe, we will speak with Mrs. Sakville at the assembly. With her daughters staying at Longbourn and her nephews visiting her son, I am sure she would extend an invitation to my sons for the evening,” Aunt Olivia said.

“Well done, Olivia, I am sure you are correct. Again, I apologize to the de Bourgh ladies for the inconvenience.”

“It is understandable, Lady Dobbs. I will only be here for a short while, I did not expect to be assigned a room,” Anne said.

“I will have Angus deliver your trunks to Longbourn when we are at the assembly, Anne. When you arrive at Longbourn with the Bennet’s, your belongings should have been unpacked by your maid,” William told his cousin.


Netherfield Park, Hertfordshire
Friday, June 14, 1811

Olivia Fitzwilliam was nervous as she followed Mrs. Nicholls to the study to meet with the Sakville’s. She took comfort in the fact that Michael seemed unperturbed. Her husband knew the duke from parliament, but she was still uncertain what to expect.

When they were seated, she hesitantly raised her eyes and saw the duke smiling at her. “Be at ease, Lady Matlock.”

“Thank you, Your... Mr. Sakville,” she blushed at her near slip.

“You may speak freely, Lady Matlock. Two of the Sims brothers are ensuring our privacy. David, standing behind me, is my personal footman, but you could really call him my body-guard. As his Uncle Walters before him, David has been trained in the finest establishments to guarantee my protection. His younger brother Nathan is outside the door making sure we are not interrupted,” His Grace said.

“Thank you,” Lady Matlock said quietly.

“Matlock, my wife tells me our families may soon be connected through marriage, maybe more than one,” His Grace said with a smirk.

Olivia was shocked. Marriage? Certainly, she noticed how much attention William paid to Miss Elizabeth, even if he tried to hide it, but Lady Juliet disliked her son, justifiably in her opinion, even if JT was her own flesh and blood. To her knowledge, Miss Hurst was not related to the Sakville’s. Could he be referring to JT and Lady Celia?

“You are understandably confused, Lady Matlock,” Her Grace said. “You see, this past season, our families attended some of the same outings. While they were not introduced, my Juliet certainly noticed your son, Lord Halburn. She has kept her confidence from me, but I am sure my niece knows it all. Juliet’s eyes were drawn to your son as Mrs. Tucker and I have never seen before. If he manages to apologize sufficiently, and keeps his other foot out of his mouth, they have a chance at a wonderful relationship. Allow me to further explain my reasoning...”

Olivia was left with much to think upon as the carriage pulled away from Netherfield.


Assembly Room, Meryton
Friday, June 14, 1811

Fitzwilliam Darcy managed to get one step closer to dancing with Miss Elizabeth. The Hurst and de Bourgh carriages from Haye Park had pulled up at the assembly room, finally, with the Matlock and Sakville carriages from Netherfield right behind them. They had all arrived a little bit early and were enthusiastically met by Sir William Lucas.

“Mrs. Sakville, how kind of your large party to join us this evening,” Sir William welcomed the group with wide eyes.

“There are more to come, Sir William,” Mrs. Sakville said with a laugh. “We arrived at the same time that Mr. Darcy arrived from Haye Park.”

“Mrs. Sakville, at my count, including your family, because Netherfield is not your primary residence, and the ladies housed at Longbourn, our two parties total three and twenty. We visitors are to bring eleven ladies and twelve gentlemen to the assembly,” William said with a smirk.

“This will certainly be a charming assembly for the young people who live in Meryton. I believe this night will be spoken of for months to come,” Sir William, their gregarious unofficial host, said.

“Allow me to introduce you to our newcomers, Sir William,” he said and then performed the introductions.

Thankfully, another family arrived shortly after they did, so they were allowed to fully enter the hall. They stood together waiting for the Longbourn party to arrive.

“Mr. and Mrs. Sakville, did you know the Duke of Dorset shares your last name?” his Aunt Catherine said. “I am most attentive to such things. The last name is not terribly common so that must mean your family tree intersects with the duke’s noble line some generations in the past.”

How William held his laugh in, he knew not. Richard, JT, and Dobbs were unable to, but they indicated they were sharing a story.

Mrs. Sakville answered his aunt with a delighted twinkle in her eye, “Yes, I suppose it must.”

1 spitkid - A kid is a small tub, usually of wood, or any small container. The naval expression “as handy as a cow in a Spitkid” is adequately descriptive of clumsiness.

Even More Consequences From A Call - Chapter 17

LizzySJuly 29, 2020 05:20PM

Re: Even More Consequences From A Call - Chapter 17

NobukoJuly 30, 2020 01:20AM


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