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Daisy 22-24 finis

May 22, 2018 12:24PM
Chapter 22

Daisy opened her eyes with a cry of pain, as someone did something terrible to her arm.
“Easy, miss, your arm be bruk in two places, and she won’t hardly heal bravely if she’s not straightened.” The voice was a woman’s. “That Simmy Goscher off of the gate, he do beat the devil about the gooseberry-bush tellin’ a tale, account o’ being a Horsham man, no doubt, able to make a boffle of anything. Right wearisome he were, thinking you to be a draggle-tail, as if he could think, the ardle-pated drib! Why anyone might see you do be bettermost folks. He do say that Sam say you was abducted.”
A tight bandage went on at this moment, immobilising Daisy’s mistreated arm and bringing blessed relief. She heaved a deep sigh.
“Oh, that is better. I do not understand all that you say, but I was abducted; this is my wedding gown, which is why I am so overdressed. I ... I need to send a letter to my husband, well he is my betrothed husband, but ... oh my head hurts!”
“There, now, miss, I’ve seen dunamany bumps and scrapes, me having seven boys as lived, and she’s right nasty but she won’t kill you. I’m Mary, my dear, and if you let me have your name, we’ll deal extremely.”
“I’m Daisy. Margaret for best,” said Daisy, dully.
“Well, now, Miss Daisy, you do go to rest up and you’ll do bravely,” said Mary. “My, you have been handled roughsome.”
“Threw me into a carriage,” said Daisy. “I jumped out when I realised he wasn’t going to stop for the gate.”
“You do be a good Sussex girl,” approved Mary. “We wun’t be druv.”
“Well, I certainly don’t let anyone make me do anything I don’t want,” said Daisy. “Where I come from, we’d say stubborn as a jinny-ass.”
Mary laughed, a warm, comforting sound, even though it echoed painfully in Daisy’s head.
“Bless you, Miss Daisy, sounds like your people are like my people. Now you try to sleep and we’ll see how she goes.”
“Thank you, Mary,” said Daisy. “But oh! Julian will be worried about me ... I have some money in my reticule, can someone go to the Old Ship Inn, and number 16 The Steyne, to try to find him? Mr. Nettleby.”
“Don’t you worry your head, Miss Daisy, I’ll send one of my boys,” said Mary, soothingly.
Her husband would be sleeping on the settle for the foreseeable future for having suggested that it was worth while seeing which would pay the most for her, her family or her abductor. Poor little maid! And brave, too, or plum terrified, jumping out of a moving carriage. Even if it wasn’t wrong to sell her to an abductor, it stood to reason a girl dressed in a gown like that had the sort of family who could make sure that anyone who aided and abetted an abductor was likely to end up hung. John could walk into Brighton.
John, as it happened, walked no further than the end of the lane, and gaped to see what he described as ‘half the army, agwain along o’ the waffle-way, bannicking the hidges and kiming about in the gawm in the ditches like frogs, and buzzin’ about like humbledores arter a stick was poked in their nest.’
Sergeant Regand addressed him.
“We’re looking for a girl, she escaped from a coach after she was abducted. I don’t suppose you know anything about where she might be?”
“Ar, well, you shouldn’t orta suppose ef you don’t hev the brains to go supposifyin’ with,” said John.
Regand untangled this.
“Do you mean you have seen her?”
“Seen her, no,” said John.
Regand mentally counted to ten.
“Do you know where she is?” he asked.
“Ar, reckon I do that,” said John.
Regand counted to twenty, under his breath.
“Perhaps you could enlighten me,” he said.
Julian rode up.
“Oh, pray, can you tell me where my wife is? I’m out of my mind with worry,” he said.
“Ar, master, she’s along o’ my ma,” said John, taking pity on a young man his own age who was not in a uniform.
“Oh thank goodness!” said Julian. “Sergeant Regand, what can I do to say thank you to the men for helping me? I want to say thank you without insulting them.”
Regand considered.
“I should think they’d take it an honour if you dedicated the book of songs to them, when you gets it published.”
“Surely I can do more than that? I tell you one thing I can do, my wife spent some years in an orphan asylum for ladies, and there’s a brother establishment for boys, where the orphans are treated as family, and the people who run them are pretty liberal in how they interpret ‘lady’ and ‘gentleman’. I can ask them to accept any of your company’s children in need. The children of those who have given their all for their country deserve all they can get.”
“Mr. Nettleby, they’ll drink your health for that, no man likes to think what will happen to their orphans, and if you’ll take them as was orphaned by lost colleagues, we’ve a sergeant’s girl who’s been living with officers’ wives, as their servant, who ought to have better.”
“I’ll write to Mrs. Macfarlane as soon as you let me have the details,” said Julian, shaking Regand by the hand. “And perhaps the lads will also like to wet their whistles ...”
“Thank you kindly, Mr. Nettleby,” said Regand, pocketing the substantial vail. Several gold coins would go a long way to improving the comforts of the company. “Close up, boys! The lady’s found!”
The flying artillery raised a rousing cheer.
“You tell Miss Ellis we’ll send her a medal for escaping and evading!” called out one of the men.
“She’d wear it with pride,” said Julian.
He turned to John.
“How badly hurt is she?” he asked, anxiously.
John scratched his head.
“Dunamany bruises and scrapes, I reckon,” he said. “Ma said her head and her arm was bruk, but she’s doing bravely now.”
Julian had picked up enough of the local idiom to be aware that ‘doing bravely’ was ‘getting along well’, having come across it in his inn. He hoped the man was right.

“Ma, this yere is the lady’s husband,” said John.
Mary regarded Julian askance.
“And wass your name, Mr. Husband, acoss you shouldn’t oughta reckon I’ll be passing Miss Daisy to no abductor, sureleye,” she said.
“I’m Julian Nettleby, ma’am,” said Julian. “If she is sensible you may ask her about me. Oh! And I have the license on me,” he said, fishing it out of his pocket. “We were to be wed this morning to prevent an abduction.”
“Bless you, son, I can’t read,” said Mary. “I got married by banns, so I wouldn’t know what a licence looks like, but Neddlebee, that be the name she said. She be asleep now.”
“May I see her?”
“Don’t you go waking her, not that it wouldn’t do her good, sureleye, to see you, but her be likely to go on bravely with more rest than not.”
Julian was allowed to go up to the bedroom and peek at his wife. He felt a pang at how small and vulnerable she looked in the big bed, dressed in a nightgown several sizes too big for her.
“Ma’am, you are a kind and generous soul,” he said. “I will be back presently with the landau to take her out of your way, if you think it safe to move her, and then I want to say thank you to you and your family.”
“Ar, well, you didn’t ought to give us no money or that worthless man o’ mine will lose it at dice and drink it. I’d refuse a reward, but ef I let her cut her stick without, Ollie can be narsty.”
“So, something like a sow and her piglings?” asked Julian. “Or a piece of land you could use to expand the farm?”
“A good milch-cow and a heifer calf,” said Mary. “Milk and budder they want always in Brighthelmstone.”
“It shall be so.”

Daisy dreamed that Julian came to see her, and woke with his name on her lips. The room was darkened, with one curtain drawn, and Mary obscuring the light on the other side of the window, using the light to sew.
“You do be looking bedder now, sureleye,” said Mary, approvingly.
“Oh, Mary, I dreamed that Julian had found me,” said Daisy, her eyes filling with tears. “And now I am awake and see it is not so, and I feel quite down.”
“There now, liddle miss, you didn’t dream it, sureleye, for he was here, and I tellt him not to wake you,” said Mary.
Daisy brightened.
“Really? Oh Mary, thank you! Now Julian knows where I am, everything will be just fine. I ... I hope he has offered you thanks for your aid?”
“Bless you, Miss Daisy, he be going to send me a cow and heifer calf,” said Mary. “There do be much trade for milk and budder in Brighton.”
“Indeed, I imagine there is, especially when the Prince Regent is in residence,” said Daisy. “I expect a lot of people come to see him. I think my companion was hoping to glimpse him,”
“Aye, well, plenty o’ folks likes to fawn on them as are bettermost, and they say the regent do be a real bread-and-cheese friend to his intimates, so mebbe he’s a bedder prince nor some to agwain after follerin. You didn’t come here to see un,” said Mary.
“No, we came for the sea air for my grandmother, and because I wanted to see the pavilion for myself,” said Daisy. “And it really is as outlandish as reported, so I am glad we came, for it seemed impossible to accept that anyone could dream up such a thing. I expect it’s due to living on a diet of brandy and too many rich sauces from M. Carème’s kitchens.”
“Ar, reckon that boco Frenchie stuff would be a denial to straight thinking,” agreed Mary. “Now, Miss Daisy, I’ve a dosset of stew for you, and when you’ve drunk ut down, we’ll see what to dress you in, for Mr. Neddlebee do be bringing a lando, or someat like that he called her. And you can’t go out in a nightrail, specially not one wass falling off you.”
“Oh, Mary, you are kind to loan me your nightrail, I am sure that Julian will bring clothes, for though he might not think of it himself, being a man, my grandmamma and my companion will think of it.”
“Ar, like as not,” said Mary. “Howmsoever, she don’t hurt nowise ef I sort out an old gown o’ mine in case he have less sense to ask than you think.”
“You are kind,” said Daisy, thinking it unlikely that Julian would fail to describe her situation to her grandmother and Amelia. And failing the older women, Moira would think of it.

Julian burst into the house on The Steyne, answering Saunders’ unspoken question by pumping that worthy’s hand with enthusiasm, and tossing the lurking Moira up into the air and catching her. Minney, lurking at the door to the servants’ quarters, would have been most wary of a young man behaving in such a way to one of the maids had he not also ruffled Moira’s hair for all the world as if she was a little boy.
And at that, thought Minney, Mr. Nettleby probably thought of young Moira as if she was a little boy.
“Saunders, put the landau up as soon as you might; we’re bringing Miss Ellis home,” said Julian.
“Begorrah, then I’ll go and pack her a noice morning gown and fresh linen, so I will,” said Moira. “For isn’t it likely she’ll be sick av her wedding finery without the wedding.”
“And it got wet and muddy in a ditch besides,” said Julian. “Invaluable brat, you think of everything.”
“And isn’t it me job as Miss Margaret’s dresser to think of everything,” said Moira, with a toss of her head.
Minney resolved to have a quiet word with the girl regarding the self-promotion from ‘maid of all work’ to ‘dresser’, a position generally considered on a social par with the housekeeper. Of course only the most foolish of dressers would antagonise the housekeeper, but even so, it was a piece of cheek.
Julian bounced into the parlour, and embraced a startled Mrs. Ellis, and turned to Amelia with a courtly bow.
“She’s alive, and has been taken in by a farmer’s wife who has patched her up,” he said.
Mrs. Ellis clutched her chest.
“Patched her up? What did that fiend do to her? Was it Hatherbere?”
Julian blinked.
“I forgot, I hadn’t been back,” he said. “Oh my, what was I thinking, leaving you all here worrying! What a tale it is, and Daisy untouched, as far as I can tell, by that Bennett fellow, but she was hurt jumping out of a moving carriage.”
“How like Daisy,” said Mrs. Ellis, her tone tart to hide her relief. “Even without the improvements to her foot, she’d be likely to do something like that.”
“Audaces fortuna iuvat,” said Julian. “Erm, that means ....”
“Fortune favours the bold, I’m not a scholar like Daisy but I’m not entirely without Latin,” said Mrs. Ellis. Her lips curved in a smile. “My brother let me join him in lessons because I was a better scholar than he was, and I was not expected to turn in assignments, so he let me do his,” she said.
“What a swine! Er, I mean ...”
“Oh, Harold is a swine, and I suppose that makes his wife Ella a sow, which slanders God’s good hogs,” said Mrs. Ellis. “We really have most unsuitable relatives on all sides, I trust yours are less unsatisfactory, Mr. Nettleby?”
“I wish you will call me Julian now we are almost family,” said Julian. “My father is a great gun, actually, but not stupid enough to cave in when I got into difficulties before. My great aunt is a splendid old lady and she gave me the confidence, along with good criticism from the Macfarlanes, to publish my poems. I don’t think I have any familial black sheep, only a few unsatisfactory one-time friends.”
“That is just as well,” said Mrs. Ellis. “Mr. Nettleby, will you be able to marry Daisy tomorrow? Will she be well enough?”
“No, ma’am, which is why I am going to bring her back here and ride all night if need be to get a special licence so we can have a parson in to wed her in her own bedroom.”
Mrs. Ellis nodded.
“You are a reliable young man,” she said. “And Saunders has been rounding up a selection of prize fighters to lurk in the area until she is safely wed, to deter anyone else from gaining entry to the house.”
“I should have asked the flying artillery,” said Julian. “They were splendid, Grandmamma Ellis, and they frightened Bennett into revealing that she had jumped out, when we caught up with him, and where, and then they combed the hedges and ditches. Seems she was taken up by some shepherd who asked the gatekeeper to take her to the farm, in any case, I need to buy the farmer’s wife a cow and heifer calf, oh, and if the artillery drop off a little girl, she’s to go to Swanley Court; couldn’t think of a better way to thank them than ensuring the safety of their children, if orphaned.”
“I wager that will be appreciated,” said Mrs. Ellis. “Though what anyone might think educating them out of their class I don’t know.”
“If they’re educated enough, who will notice?” said Julian, unanswerably.

Chapter 23

Daisy was sitting up in bed when a small, dark-haired missile flew into her arms and hugged her. Daisy cried out, and so did Moira as Mary boxed her ears.
“Have you no sense, you ardle-headed child?” demanded Mary. “Miss Daisy has a bruk arm, do you want her swounding off again?”
“Sorra that I am so clumsy, I am so sorry, Miss Margaret!” cried Moira. “Wirra, isn’t it so glad I am to see you alive! And what’s become av the villain that took ye?”
“Mr. Nettleby and the artillery threatened him, and if he isn’t in prison now, he will be soon,” said Daisy, fighting back the nausea.
“He’s in the barracks lock-up in case we needed more information from him,” said Julian, cheerfully, coming in.
“Julian!” Daisy hurtled out of bed, her ankle turning as it hit the floor, having been strained more than she realised when she jumped.
Julian caught her about the waist, avoiding her broken arm, and Daisy clung to him with her good arm. He looked down at her; and she raised her mouth to his, nausea forgotten.
Julian kissed her, and Daisy growled in her throat in satisfaction as she started figuring out how to kiss him back. He lifted his mouth from hers, and set her back on the bed.
“Daisyflower, I’m going to turn you over to Moira, and get you into the landau, and then I’ll be on my way to get a special licence so we can be wed in your own home, without interruptions,” he said. “I need to ride to London, to Doctor’s Commons, and I hope to be back by tomorrow morning.”
“I have only just got you back,” said Daisy.
“It feels a long time, but it’s still today, you know,” said Julian. “Daisy, will you give me a draught on your bank? I may need to buy another horse to ride back, my poor bay will be exhausted.”
“Of course, Julian, it is most fortunate that it is only my left arm which is hurt and that I am right handed,” said Daisy. “If you take the betrothal document also, I can refer them to that if they make a fuss, you know what banks are. Actually, you should go to Mr. Embury, and he will forward you some monies, much easier. I will write to him.”
“An excellent idea, and I can apprise him of the news,” said Julian, kissing her quickly. He strode out before he kissed her any more, for if he was not careful, he knew he would do so, regardless of the presence of Moira and Mary. Daisy was left to the gentle ministrations of Moira, who might be heedless when not thinking, but who was tenderness itself when getting her beloved mistress dressed ‘fit t’ go out droivin’ wit’ her beau’, as Moira put it. It made Daisy giggle, which had been the whole idea.
And downstairs, Julian slipped some gold to the stoic John.
“You hide that away where your father won’t find it, and keep it for if your mother needs anything,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a man who will have your cow and calf with you inside a few days, and you know where to find me if some unscrupulous fellow tries to cheat me and palm you off with less than the best.”
“Thankee, master,” said John. “Mind, I might give me da enough to get dead drunk on, and he’ll be all as he shouldn’t of, and maybe drown in gurt ditch down by the inn, what’s three feet deep o’ gummer and gawm.”
“I am sure Providence will be kindly,” said Julian.
John had enough now to hire a hand, if his father received a helping hand in falling in a ditch to drown in Sussex mud. John had communicated to Julian how his father was a man who had considered seeing whether husband or abductor would pay the more. John’s brothers had all left home, preferring to be hands elsewhere than with a cruel master who would use their relationship to him not to pay them. John, as the eldest, stood to inherit the copyhold of the farm, and didn’t mind if he did so sooner rather than later. And then some of his brothers might come back, if paid fairly.

Being driven back to The Steyne tried Daisy severely, but she tried not to let it show. She remarked as gaily as she might to see the Prince Regent riding out with his friends, drawing crowds which slowed the landau down and extending the hideous journey, where ever pothole or lump in the road shot arrows of fire through her arm.
“He has run sadly to fat,” said Amelia, sorrowfully, having come as Daisy’s chaperone. “In his youth he was so handsome, quite the Prince Florizel!”
“Amelia, you must not wish him to lose weight, why think how much more he will be in debt to his tailor if he needs a new wardrobe for so doing,” said Daisy. “But the reason for the domes becomes clearer, they echo His Royal Highness’s own shape.”
“You are very naughty, dear Margaret,” said Amelia.
“I like her that way,” said Julian. “But by Jove! You are quite accurate, and I wonder that no cartoonist has yet seen it!”
“Perhaps it is too cruel even for a cartoonist,” said Daisy. “Ah, we are able to move again; thank goodness for that. We have been much held up by heavy traffic, and his companions.”
Julian gave a shout of laughter, then shot Daisy a shrewd look.
He was beginning to learn that she hid pain by becoming more acerbically witty. He was glad to carry her inside, and ensconce her on a day bed, with a shawl over her feet. Daisy called for her writing desk, and Amelia carried it over to her. It was a curiously wrought piece of furniture, resting on a table most of the time in the normal fashion, but it had been made to the order of Dr. Spencer, when Daisy was his pupil, and the heavy-looking base folded down to make legs just long enough to go over Daisy’s lap when she was sat on a day bed. She wrote a hasty note to Mr. Embury, and signed it, passing it to Julian.
“He will probably feed you while he sees about a special licence on our behalf,” said Daisy. “Don’t turn it down. An hour or two’s rest rather than gallivanting about London will do you the world of good. If he doesn’t feed you, here is the key to the house in Red Lion Square, you may get ham in Red Lion Passage at Evett’s, and in the square itself there is an eating house serving hot joints from noon until five. We have sent out for food from there from time to time on Michaels’ day off. You can eat there, upstairs, to make sure it is hot. There’s a chop house next to Evett’s too.”
“I think I will not starve, Daisy,” said Julian. “I have been used to living in the city.”
Daisy laughed.
“I am sorry. But it is useful, I hope, to know the places where you might eat near to the London house.”
“It is indeed,” said Julian. “And yes, I will consider resting, in which case I will pay a watchman to knock me up after a few hours cat nap, enough to make me ride more safely. But I doubt I will emulate the regent, in his slender days, in making the trip in less than five hours each way. And indeed, I cannot hope to get a special licence before eight in the morning, and Mr. Embury must make a good case for it, with the threatening letters to back him up. If he is unable to convince the agents of the Archbishop of Canterbury that you are in danger of abduction, and indeed have suffered the indignity already from one relative, then I must return and wait until Wednesday morning to wed, and hope not to be besieged by your ignoble lord in the meantime.”
“Julian,” said Daisy, “it is not worth it. I will manage to get to church tomorrow morning with you. I will wait no longer, and even if I have to be carried in, and spend several days in a swoon before we may consummate our vows, I will do it. Please, I fear too many mishaps which may befall you, and for what? to avoid some discomfort.”
Julian dithered.
“She’s of my stock; she’ll make it to the church and back,” said Mrs. Ellis. “And instead of riding to London, my lad, you can go look for another house, and we’ll take her back to it. If she ain’t here, he can’t find her.”
“Mrs. Ellis, what a brilliantly cunning plan,” said Julian.

Julian spoke very fast to the solicitor charged with selling the houses he hoped to bid on, a Mr. Crosweller, and engaged to rent the house in East Street for the week before the auction, and to vacate it if his bid was not successful. He took with him the threatening letter from Daisy’s great uncle, as well as correspondence from her other legal guardians to show that he had reason to ask for such an irregular arrangement. Fortunately, Mr. Crosweller was a romantic at heart.
If Daisy liked the house, she would advance enough funds to make sure their bid was successful.
The servants cheerfully moved what could be moved, and would walk over to the house on the morrow with any bedlinen left which needed to be carried, only the clothes they would wear and the sheets on the beds they slept in being left.
The rent on the house on The Steyne was paid to the end of the month, and it could be renewed if necessary after the auction. Otherwise it would be empty for immediate occupation by any who wished it.

Daisy slept deeply on a few drops of laudanum which her grandmother recommended, and breakfasted in bed at the early hour of seven. Julian arrived at a quarter to eight, and carried her out to the landau, already loaded with bedlinen to cushion Daisy as well as to remove it to the new house. The hour of eight was striking as Julian carried Daisy into the church, having sent Michaels for the vicar.
“I have come to perform a marriage, but why must the bride be carried?” demanded the reverend.
“Because of the wounds I sustained yesterday outside your church when a villain abducted me just as I was to be wed to my betrothed husband, that’s why,” said Daisy, irritably. “A fine business it is when brides can be abducted right at the door of a house of God. I will not last through the wedding ceremony without swooning if I may not sit, and there is nothing in the rules to prevent a cripple from marrying, nor anyone wounded. My husband has the licence, I have the money for your fee. We have been in Brighton more than fifteen days; I believe all the conditions are met. You will have looked over my guardians’ consent when you signed the licence.”
“Indeed, yes,” said the vicar. “Most unfortunate for you. Ah, good, cushions to support you ... excellent. Very well, Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here together ...”
The prayer book made a meal of the marriage ceremony, and once Daisy had repeated her vows and Julian kneeled beside her for the prayers and psalms she frankly gave up listening. The vicar, finding himself the only person singing, hastened through the psalms with almost indecent speed, and dismissed the married couple without asking if they wished to take communion. Daisy mustered enough strength to sign the register, and Julian carried her back out to the landau while Amelia and Saunders, who had acted as witnesses, gathered the cushions and pillows.
They were driving back down The Steyne, since they had to pass the other house before swinging right towards East Street, when Julian nodded to the street right outside the door of number 16. There were two coaches emblazoned with baronial arms, decorated in the baroque style.
“That can’t have been a comfortable journey if the springs are as old fashioned as the coachwork,” Daisy managed to giggle. A footman was knocking fruitlessly on the door of number 16.
“The birds have flown,” chuckled Julian.
“Who promoted you to Charles I?” asked Daisy.
“Was that who said it first? Well I have no wish to have my head chopped off, so maybe I should take that back,” laughed Julian.
“Oh, it suffices, and you are not a stiff-necked fool as the king was,” said Daisy. “Fortunately Hatherbere has no idea what I look like, so we are not in danger of being recognised. I am glad you managed to secure occupation of the East Street house.”
“So am I,” agreed Julian, fervently.
“Huh, squire, I’d of just carried on driving and turned off to Lewes or Hove,” said Saunders. “But a house not too far away is better nor any inn.”
Two right turns took them into East Street. The horses and landau must be accommodated in a livery stable, but that was unavoidable. The house snuggled in between others, all of them individuals, though generally four storied and of similar width to the house they had just vacated. There were no areas to these houses, however, so presumably the daily offices were on the ground floor. The first floor had a mock portico over the middle window, echoing the one over the door, and the uppermost floor was largely concealed behind a row of pilasters. It was handsome enough, but Daisy thought she would be happy enough to leave it, even if they secured a purchase on it. It was close enough to the social centre of Brighton and to the sea to be rented out for a good price, and Daisy personally preferred a place in the country to live. It was one of the conveniences of a husband that he might have an apartment in London as a pied-à-terre to check on her businesses, where a lady needed enough room for the servants considered indispensible. Daisy thought it foolish, but that was the way it was.
She was cogitating on asking Julian where he wanted to live when he deposited her on the big bed in the master bedroom.
“No adjoining rooms, I fear, save a poky dressing room for Moira,” he said. “Daisy, would you like me to seek a room of my own, or as the bed is large, are you happy to share it with me? I promise faithfully not to lay an unnecessary finger on you until your arm is healed.”
“Share with me,” said Daisy. “And as for not laying a finger on me, poppycock. We can take the opportunity to get to know each other. And as I’m not that impressed by convention, there is nothing to stop us doing as much as we can, but with me,” she blushed, “riding.”
“Daisy, you take my breath away!” said Julian, gasping.
“Why, Julian, do you like managing women?”
“You know, Daisy, I rather fancy that I do,” said Julian.

Chapter 24

The Julian Nettleby who had first met Daisy would have avowed then that a wedding night with a woman with a broken arm was not for him; but love of Daisy, and a desire to please her had changed the still selfish boy into a man. He shooed Moira out, declaring it a husband’s prerogative to undress his own wife.
He was unhandy with feminine clothing, of course, and Daisy blushed, and enjoyed it when his touch was randomly intimate as he fought with undoing her stays.
“I’m glad you don’t have a clue what you are doing,” said Daisy.
“You are?” he was surprised.
“I am; it means you have limited experience unwrapping women. I know you had an expensive mistress, but plainly she was not up to snuff or she would have shown you better how to manage laces.”
“I don’t recall if she wore stays,” said Julian. “She always received me in a see-through thing with ribbons at the front.”
“It sounds decadent. Shall we get me one?” asked Daisy.
“Daisy! I ... you bring me on far too well!” said Julian.
“You ought to take your breeches off before you burst them,” said Daisy, critically. “Why don’t you get undressed and then we can better enjoy unwrapping the rest of me?”
Julian blushed, but took his own clothes off. Daisy was also blushing furiously by the time he had finished.
“It’s been taking lessons from the artillery, to stand to attention,” she said.
“You’re the most outrageous being I ever met, my darling,” said Julian, kissing her.
Things got a little messy for him, as Daisy wriggled happily against his bare body.
Somehow, having a broken arm did not interfere too much at all with the rest of the wedding night, and Julian discovered that although Daisy might have a lot of theoretical knowledge, she was still capable of being very happily surprised by the practical demonstrations.

The happy couple did not stir until noon of the next day, though Julian did ring for chocolate and bread and butter several times, and Moira discreetly emptied the utensils at need.
When they emerged, it was to find Mr. Embury, Mrs. Ellis having had the forethought to write to him to tell him that they were removing to another house.
She had also sent Dan with a message to Captain Smith, so that he would not look for them in vain, and to Captain Wrenn on Amelia’s behalf.
“Well, Mrs. Nettleby, congratulations on both your escape, and your nuptials,” said Mr. Embury. “I have been to serve His Lordship, the Baron Hatherbere with an order of restraint, forbidding him to contact or approach you. I took a leaf from your book, my dear, and made full use of your Bow Street agent in your name to find enough, ah, prejudicial evidence about him that Bow Street was willing to comply, and indeed the baron was ready to back off and leave Brighton rather than have the Morning Post publish certain matters he preferred to keep private. You will not have any problems of that kind in the future. I have apprised him of the fact that you are now legally married, and he has retired to his country seat where he will have to retrench for the lack of your fortune.”
“He can always go to India to make his own, or embark in trade here,” said Daisy. “And if his grandson is much my age, if nothing else, he might become a navvy on the canals if he is too stupid to learn a profession.”
“My dear girl, I sometimes wonder if you might have republican leanings,” said Mr. Embury, disapprovingly.
“I do,” said Daisy, cheerfully. “Why, Julian, if the difficulties with America blow over, we might go and live there.”
“I fear,” said Mr. Embury, “That far from blowing over, rumour has it that the American President is set to declare war.”
“Oh, well,” said Daisy. “It was never more than a vague idea, not a plan. Is there any news of what is to be done to Augustus Bennett?”
“Why, yes, it is quite shocking,” said Mr. Embury. “Rather than await a trial, which would likely only have got him transportation, he decided to try to escape from the barracks where he was being held, and was shot whilst trying to escape. Thirty times,” he added.
“How ... thorough,” said Julian.
“I cannot help wondering ... but perhaps it is better not to speculate,” said Mr. Embury. “And I have spoken to Captain Smith, and I am to escort a little girl named Harriet to Swanley Court school when I leave you. I have left my particulars with Captain Smith and his adjutant, so that your promise might be fulfilled,” he added.
“And naturally I will pay for the education of any child who needs it,” said Daisy.
“Very good of you, Miss, er, Mrs. Nettleby,” said Embury. “Well, I shall leave you to your honeymoon, for I fear your visit to Brighton has until now been altogether too exciting, and not in a good way, dear me, no.”
“We’ll visit the school, of course, love, and if you like the child, we can have her to stay in the holidays with a view to adopting, if you wish,” said Julian.
“What an excellent husband I have,” said Daisy. “You know we should really let your father know.”
“I did write to him about you,” said Julian. “I’d better tell him where we are living.”
“Oh, Margaret, my dear,” Amelia was almost fluttering in agitation, “Would you object very much to finding another companion for dear Mrs. Ellis?”
“She can live with us if you don’t want to be her companion,” said Julian.
“Of course she can,” said Daisy. “Did Captain Wrenn come up to scratch?”
“Oh, Margaret!” said Amelia, pained.
“Oh, he has not? Forgive me for my flippancy,” Daisy went to embrace her chaperone.
“You misunderstand!” cried Amelia. “He ... the soul of courtesy! I ... it was your choice of expression I deprecated so much, not the sentiment. Captain Gideon Wrenn has asked me to be his wife, and ... and pending your approval, I have said yes.”
“Of course I approve, dear Amelia!” said Daisy, warmly, kissing the older woman on the cheek. “Indeed, as I am now married, and you are rid a troublesome charge onto my husband’s shoulders, you may be wed as soon as you wish.”
“Oh, never troublesome, my dear Margaret!” said Amelia. “You are all that is good, and ... and I am glad you are so happy!”
“And I am glad you are happy,” said Daisy.
There was much for the household to do over the next few weeks, though Daisy, taking the advice of her husband, let herself rest and heal rather than being at the centre of preparations for Amelia’s wedding and a sudden removal if Julian failed to secure the house by auction.

The auction passed off successfully at the end of the month, followed by Amelia’s wedding, and removal to Captain Wrenn’s own home, and July was well under way before Mr. Nettleby senior came calling. He was left in a parlour and consequently heard his son’s tones of alarm outside the room, addressing his bride.
“But my darling, if you are unwell, we must get a doctor! Is it something you have eaten?”
“Not exactly, Julian,” said Daisy, “Though I suppose there were elements of that in the process ... more a temporal ailment of the internal organs which will yield results in due course.”
“Daisy, what are you saying?”
“You are too naive, Julian! We are making a little Nettleby!”

Mr. Nettleby senior sat back and laughed. Any woman who would tell his son off for being too naive was a jewel amongst women as Julian had declared her to be.
“Papa?” Julian heard the laughter, and led Daisy in.
“My boy!” said Mr. Nettleby. “My daughter!”
“Oh, how lovely!” said Daisy. “I have missed having a Papa!”

On due consideration, Daisy and Julian settled at Richmond, close to both Swanlea Court and to Julian’s Great Aunt Augusta, dogs and all, which was in the country but close enough to the metropolis to drive in, conduct business, and drive home in but a few hours. Julian took to the business of being a buyer, and the millinery business expanded nicely along with the Nettleby family.
It was perhaps petty to buy out all the land the Hawe family had to sell, but sometimes Daisy could be vindictive like that. And if Hatherbere Court itself was entailed, it pleased Daisy to have all of its unentailed land developed to make modern houses around a park, named Daisy Court.
The ninth baron Hatherbere was reported to have died of an apoplexy.
“Are you sorry for his son and grandson at all?” asked Julian.
“His son could, and should have stopped him,” said Daisy. “And his grandson could have written to warn me what was in the wind. No, I’m not sorry for them. As you sow, so shall ye reap. However if my second cousin needs a job, I can find him one as a clerk, I should think.”
“And that is the most unkindest cut of all,” said Julian.
“I don’t like people who try to control me,” said Daisy.
Since Julian was quite happy to leave his wife wearing the metaphorical breeches he did not feel in the least bit intimidated by this statement.
His Daisy was a remarkable woman!

Daisy 22-24 finis

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