Chapter 19: The canceled section

Jane Austen canceled a chapter in Persuasion and fortunately for us, Cassandra did not burn it. (insert eye roll here)

I also have a canceled bit in For the Love of Jane – Chapter 19. It’s not very important to the story, but it is a good quantity of writing that I don’t want to just “throw away”

It introduces the Masons, Jane’s friends who are picnicking at Beecham Hill (the ones who she waves to). In my draft, Jane does go to them when it starts to rain. I eventually decided to cancel it as I wanted to keep the story moving along and did not wish to weigh it down unnecessarily.

BTW: Keep in mind that it is a rough (very rough) draft, not meant for “publication” nor to ever see the light of day. It picks up just after the Colonel tried to kiss Jane.

…colonel dropped his hands lamely to his sides

It was then that he turned from her and noticed her friends several yards away motioning for them both to join them in their carriage. The Colonel grasped Jane’s hand and pointed in the direction of her friends. They both set off at a quick pace just as the winds picked up.

They made it to the carriage just before the rains came. Mr. Mason held the door open and assisted Jane inside next to his wife and children, urging the Colonel in before him. Jane and Amelia sat together acknowledging each others presence while the two children garnered a lap from each parent.

The colonel hand Jane a handkerchief. She wiped away a few of the droplets on her face, and then recollecting that this was the second time in a week the colonel had chosen to be so gallant to her she acknowledged the gentleman with little nod in thanks.

“Dearest Jane, how are you? You look very well, I must say. How fortunate we brought the carriage today, is it not? Harry wanted to bring the curricle.”

“Amelia, my dear, if you will remember I was the one who insisted on the carriage; I said it would rain and so it has.”

“If you say so my dear, if you say so.”

Jane made the introductions, “Mr and Mrs Harold Mason, allow me to introduce Colonel Jonathan Fitzwilliam. Colonel Fitzwilliam is my… cousin.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam’s eyes opened widely at Jane Bennet’s boldface lie. Amused and having no idea of gainsaying her, he removed his hat and bowed his head.

“An honour, Madam, Sir.” As they each greeted him, he, for the first time since joining them, took a closer look at the family: the mother was a seemingly dim-witted, prettyish sort of woman with black hair and eyes just like the little son who sat upon her lap. The father and son, both blonde-haired and somewhat intimidating in manner, sat watching him narrowly, almost as if wondering what he was doing with their good friend Jane.

“And these two little dears are Michael and Walter,” added Miss Bennet, tickling the younger son underneath the chin, garnering a giggle.

“Are you a real colonel?” asked six year old Michael.

“I am,” stated the colonel in a manly sort of way as if he had something to prove.

Michael eyed the gentleman’s brown coat suspiciously. “Then where is your red coat. Papa says that soldiers always wear <i>red</i> coats.”

Jane averted her face, struggling to hide a smirk.

“Unfortunately I don’t have my red coat with me today; we soldiers do not like getting our red coats wet.”

The colonel noticed the younger son staring at him and so he winked. Two year old Walter giggled and shyly turned his face into his mother’s neck.

Amelia asked, “And how are your parents and dear, dear, Lizzy. Is your sister very excited about the wedding? Has she chosen a gown yet? Is she going up to London for the shopping?”

‘Well, I believe…”

“And where do you hail from, sir?” asked Harry Mason, just as suspicious as his son. He had never heard of this Colonel Fitz-something person and had no notion of the Bennet family as ever having any cousin such as this.

“From Derbyshire, sir. My parents have a <i>little</i> place on the outskirts of the town of Matlock.”

It was Jane’s turn to blink at the colonel’s lie.

“I’ve never been as far as Derbyshire; seems awfully far away,” replied Mrs Mason.

“It is, I believe,” replied the colonel

Amelia then asked, “Is not that where Lizzy is being carried off to?”

Colonel Fitzwilliam hid his smile very well after envisioning his cousin Darcy with Elizabeth Bennet thrown over one shoulder.

“Oh, look, Colonel the rain has eased. We mustn’t keep the Mason’s from their outing; Mama will be waiting tea on our account.”

The rain had indeed eased and the sun shined very brightly.

OK, so do you see why I took it out? It was too much back story to develop. …they had a house in Stoke and I felt I would have to introduce them to Darcy… and the children would end up as the friends of Edward and Delphie…

Just way too much drama.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 19: The canceled section

  1. Yes, I can see why you took it out but it was a lovely exchange nonetheless. Maybe you’ll be able to use it or as you said, it will live on the the ‘outtakes hall of fame’ with your readers. So glad you posted.

  2. Plus, I hate the whole deux et machina vibe the excerpt has. Yes, definitely not needed.

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