I really miss writing the story: Persuading Elizabeth. For those who are new to my odd collection of fan fic, my specialty (back in the day) was writing about the Fitzwilliam family.
A little of the back story involved: I wrote this one story called The Brothers Fitzwilliam (again, one that I never finished… that I feel was, at the time, just a little too ambitious for my limited skills). One of the chapters that never got posted dealt with the young Lt. “Montgomery” Fitzwilliam (as in Colonel Fitzwilliam) being posted to Gibraltar to a regiment that consisted of one Lt. Frederick “Tibby” Tilney.
Naturally the two became best buds, so much so that when Fitzwilliam became a Colonel some years later (in the Anne de Bourgh stories) and given command of the Welsh Guard (I know, where did that stupid idea come from?) he asked “Tibby” to come along to be his second in command.
Fast forward a few years later, Colonel “Montgomery” Fitzwilliam (not to be confused with Colonel “Jonathan” Fitzwilliam of FTLOJ… same person but a totally different charater in a totally differnet story) has married Anne de Bourgh.
While Monty is off fighting in the wars, Anne (de Bourgh) Fitzwilliam is visiting her sister-in-law, Lady Pamela Fitzwilliam (married to the irrepressible Lord Andy!… Lord, how I miss writing Lord Andy!) Lady Pamela had begun to strike a friendly acquaintance with the not so friendly Miss Elizabeth Elliot (who is unfriendly because the story Persuading Elizabeth takes place in the weeks that lead up to Anne Elliot’s wedding and Frederick Tilney is also in Bath at this time and getting in her way and irritating Captain Frederwick Wentworth by charming the pants off of Anne (his Anne, not Monty’s)… you get the gist of the story…
Ok, have I lost you yet? I think I’m confusing myself more… now you see why I stopped writing it all…
So anyway, this brings me to this scene I wrote that I always liked but it has never seen the light of day. It’s Miss Elliot’s narration, but I thought that I should explain (which I was trying to do above) exactly why and how two such disparate characters come to occupy the same drawing room.
So, without further ado, I give you a snippet of Persuading Elizabeth, which I am going to finish right after the Jane Saga is over.
I entered Lady Pamela’s sitting room and was asked by the servant to take a seat and that she would join me presently. The double doors opposite seemed to open onto a sort of playroom for her son because I could see several toys scattered about. The son must have been in there as well for I heard thumping about. Curious as to what the young boy could be up to I walked across the floor and peered through the opening. There on his knees on the floor along with young Christopher was Captain Tilney in a dishevelled state. His coat was removed, and he wore an odd sort of hat, made out of what appeared to be a newspaper. Little Christopher wore one too and they appeared to be playing at being pirates.
“Avast thar matey!” cried Captain Tilney, “Tis the plank for ya, ye black-hearted villain.”
“I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY AND MAKE ME! NO ONE CAN CATCH CAPTAIN CHRISTY, THE PIRATE!”
Christopher then jumped up on an ottoman and, brandishing a toy sword over his head, dove for Captain Tilney. I flinched slightly just as Christopher landed on the Captain’s chest.
The Captain rolled over on his side, curled up somewhat and was very still for a moment. I stood there, quite alarmed, not certain what I should do.
“NO, UNCLE TIBBY, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE YET!”
Captain Tilney moaned weakly and said with great difficulty, “I don’t think I want to play pirates anymore, why don’t we have a rest.”
“CAPTAIN WENTWORTH PLAYS THIS GAME A LOT BETTER THAN YOU!”
“I daresay he does. Do run along, there’s a good chap.”
The little boy pushed through the double doors and seeing me standing there came to a halt.
“Hello.” I replied.
Captain Tilney rolled over and seeing me, struggled to his feet reaching for his coat.
“WHO ARE YOU?” said the young boy.
“I am Miss Elliot. You must be Little Christopher.”
“I DON’T LIKE TO BE CALLED LITTLE CHRISTOPHER ANYMORE. MY NEW NAME IS CAPTAIN CHRISTY!”
“I am very sorry, I don’t feel that I can call you Captain Christy; may I call you Master Fitzwilliam?”
He looked like he was thinking over what I had just said and this seemed to please him a great deal.
“And I am…pleased to see you, Miss Elliot,” replied the Captain slightly embarrassed to be caught at child’s play, as he struggled to adjust his attire.
I bobbed slightly to acknowledge his presence.
Young Christopher tugged at my skirt, “WHAT IS YOUR OTHER NAME?”
“Other name? What do you mean?”
And turning to the Captain, Master Fitzwilliam cried, “UNCLE TIBBY, DIDN’T YOU GIVE HER A SPECIAL NAME YET? SHE NEEDS A SPECIAL NAME.”
“I’m sorry to say, Christopher, Miss Elliot does not like the special name that I gave her.”
“WHAT DID YOU CALL HER, UNCLE TIBBY?”
The tips of Captain Tilneys ears went a bit pink and he said, “Isn’t that your nanny calling you, Christy?”
Christopher turned back round to face me, asking, “WHAT IS YOUR REAL NAME, THEN?”
“I HAVE A COUSIN WHOSE NAME IS ELIZABETH; SHE LETS ME CALL HER COUSIN LIZZY. MAY I CALL YOU LIZZY, AS WELL?”
“Miss Elliot doesn’t like to be called Lizzy, Christopher,” said the Captain piping up rather quickly.
“WHAT DOES SHE LIKE TO BE CALLED, UNCLE TIBBY?”
He blushed, remembering our conversation of a few days ago and said, “Miss Elliot.”
“WELL THAT’S NO FUN!”
This time I heard Little Christopher’s name being called distinctly from the other side of the door and a moment later, a harried, middle-aged woman entered the drawing room.
“There you are, Christopher. It is time for all good little boys to have their supper. Thank the kind gentleman for his visit today.”
“Thank him? For what?”
“For playing with you today.” She patted him on his bottom to encourage him.
“Thank you,” he mumbled begrudgingly, but continued more forcefully. “But Nanny Beatrice, he can’t even play pirates properly! He died far too soon and he was wearing his patch over the wrong eye! Captain Wentworth always wears it over his left eye; you,” he pointed, “were wearing it over your right!”
“Christopher Ian Fitzwilliam!” shouted the nanny, “Is that any way to treat your guests?”
“I was only telling the truth and my papa says I should always tell the truth no matter what.”
“Apologize this instant, young man!”
“No harm done,” said the Captain smiling, “I will take all of Christopher’s criticisms under advisement and make sure that I trow the line next time.”
“See what I mean, Nanny; he can’t even say it properly; it is ‘tow the line’.”
The nanny curtseyed to take her leave and gave a stiff yank to the boy’s collar, pulling him away.