Not as in part 2 of the same story. As in Part 2 of the same topic.
Author’s Note: So, the thing about “this” story: I wanted to tell a dark Colonel Fitzwilliam story. In this one, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s brother dies, and he becomes the future Earl. Meanwhile, Jane Bennet is in town (during the whole time Elizabeth is in Kent). Jane and the future Earl meet and do not get on (although, secretly, he is in love with her) Consequently, Jane meets Georgiana and they become friends. One day Jane calls on Miss Darcy. However, before she can reach the house, poor Jane is abducted by evil men who think she is Georgiana. Colonel Fitzwilliam becomes the avenging angel and kills everyone in his path on his way to rescue Jane. Of course, the clip below doesn’t go into those details, it just illustrates the pitful setting I have established in Viscount Malcolm Fitzwilliam’s sickroom. No telling when I will finish this story either.
I have no idea why I LOVE the Jane/Colonel F pairing. All the stories I have read about those two seems to ring true. The manly Fitzwilliam, IMO, would be a much better fit for dear Jane than the boyish Bingley. I have quite loss my patience with poor Bingley. I guess it’s because I have grown older, and “pretty boys” have no appeal to me anymore. Give me an unhandsome man of the world any day.
So anyway, here’s the other story I stated writing.
She was engaged one day as she walked, in perusing Jane’s last letter, and dwelling on some passages which proved that Jane had not written in spirits, when, instead of being again surprised by Mr. Darcy, she saw on looking up that Colonel Fitzwilliam was meeting her. Putting away the letter immediately and forcing a smile, she said:
“I did not know before that you ever walked this way.”
“I have been making the tour of the park,” he replied, “as I generally do every year, and intend to close it with a call at the Parsonage. Are you going much farther?”
“No, I should have turned in a moment.”
And accordingly she did turn, and they walked towards the Parsonage together.
“Do you certainly leave Kent on Saturday?” said she.
“Yes—if Darcy does not put it off again. But I am at his disposal. He arranges the business just as he pleases.”
“And if not able to please himself in the arrangement, he has at least pleasure in the great power of choice. I do not know anybody who seems more to enjoy the power of doing what he likes than Mr. Darcy.”
“He likes to have his own way very well,” replied Colonel Fitzwilliam. “But so we all do. It is only that he has better means of having it than many others, because he is rich, and many others are poor. I speak feelingly. A younger son, you know, must be inured to self-denial and dependence.”
“In my opinion, the younger son of an earl can know very little of either. Now seriously, what have you ever known of self-denial and dependence? When have you been prevented by want of money from going wherever you chose, or procuring anything you had a fancy for?”
“These are home questions—and perhaps I cannot say that I have experienced many hardships of that nature. But in matters of greater weight, I may suffer from want of money. Younger sons cannot marry where they like.”
“Unless where they like women of fortune, which I think they very often do.”
“Our habits of expense make us too dependent, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.”
“Is this,” thought Elizabeth, “meant for me?” and she coloured at the idea; but, recovering herself, said in a lively tone, “And pray, what is the usual price of an earl’s younger son? Unless the elder brother is very sickly, I suppose you would not ask above fifty thousand pounds.”
He stumbled. Then, he looked at her earnestly, before glancing away towards the horizon; and the manner in which he immediately winced and then coloured, convinced her that she had somehow or other got pretty near the truth.
“My brother—” He paused, seemingly collecting himself, before schooling his countenance into complaisance and answering her in a humorous tone, “Neigh, I would not scruple to ask for less than fifty-five.” He then swallowed, clearly not enjoying his own joke.
Elizabeth, seeing his distress, looked down at her letters and quickly changed the subject.
“How well do you know the Bingley family? I think I have heard you say that you know them.”
“I know them a little. Their brother is a pleasant, gentleman-like man—he is a great friend of Darcy’s.”
“Oh! yes,” said Elizabeth drily; “Mr. Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr. Bingley, and takes a prodigious deal of care of him.”
“Care of him! Yes, I really believe Darcy does take care of him in those points where he most wants care. From something that he told me in our journey hither, I have reason to think Bingley very much indebted to him. But I ought to beg his pardon, for I have no right to suppose that Bingley was the person meant. It was all conjecture.”
“What is it you mean?”
“It is a circumstance which Darcy could not wish to be generally known, because if it were to get round to the lady’s family, it would be an unpleasant thing.”
“You may depend upon my not mentioning it.”
“And remember that I have not much reason for supposing it to be Bingley. What he told me was merely this: that he congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage, but without mentioning names or any other particulars, and I only suspected it to be Bingley from believing him the kind of young man to get into a scrape of that sort, and from knowing them to have been together the whole of last summer.”
“Did Mr. Darcy give you reasons for this interference?”
“I understood that there were some very strong objections against the lady.”
“And what arts did he use to separate them?”
“He did not talk to me of his own arts,” said Fitzwilliam, smiling. “He only told me what I have now told you.”
Elizabeth made no answer, and walked on, her heart swelling with indignation. After watching her a little, Fitzwilliam asked her why she was so thoughtful.
“I am thinking of what you have been telling me,” said she. “Your cousin’s conduct does not suit my feelings. Why was he to be the judge?”
“You are rather disposed to call his interference officious?”
“I do not see what right Mr. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend’s inclination, or why, upon his own judgement alone, he was to determine and direct in what manner his friend was to be happy. But,” she continued, recollecting herself, “as we know none of the particulars, it is not fair to condemn him. It is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case.”
“That is not an unnatural surmise,” said Fitzwilliam, “but it is a lessening of the honour of my cousin’s triumph very sadly.”
This was spoken jestingly; but it appeared to her so just a picture of Mr. Darcy, that she would not trust herself with an answer, and therefore, abruptly changing the conversation talked on indifferent matters until they reached the Parsonage.
“You have yet to tell me of your visit, Harry.”
Colonel Henry Fitzwilliam could see that the answer to the question would have to wait, for it seemed to tax all of his elder brother’s strength.
Leaning forward, Malcolm Fitzwilliam was wracked with a cough so violent that it was some minutes before he could lie back and draw sufficient breath.
Henry had arisen from his chair, and, rushing forward, assisted his brother by holding a cloth to his mouth. When the cough had subsided, the colonel surreptitiously inspected the rag in his hands, thanking the Lord that there were no signs of blood.
In the weeks that Henry had been banished to Rosings Park his beloved brother had only grown sicker and paler. He was alarmed at so abrupt a change upon his return. Malcolm had loss a significant portion of weight, His once thick mane of auburn hair had become thin and lank. The sparkling green eyes, now seemed faded and somewhat sunken in their sockets. Henry knew that he should never have left.
It had not been his idea to go into Kent; it was at his parents suggestion upon seeing their second child’s health and spirits affected as he watched his beloved brother inching his way towards death.
At first, Henry had refused to leave his brother’s bedside; he would stay and no one could persuade him otherwise. Yet, in the few weeks leading up to the usual time for his yearly sojourn, Malcolm had rallied and had even showed his face in the dining parlor, looking very much his old self.
“Go, go,” Malcolm had said, gesturing impatiently with a flick of a hand. “The air of Kent will do you some good and put the roses back into your cheeks. Besides,” he added smilingly, “I would not dream of denying you Aunt Catherine’s most excellent company.”
Henry formed his mouth into a grimace and he protested once again. However, it was the Earl who had put a stop to the debate, intimating that if he did not go to his aunt, then his aunt would more than likely come to them, and even the suggestion of Malcolm spending his recuperation in such tedious and particular company was displeasing to all.
The colonels reverie was broken with his brother speaking to him once more.
“I see your face, Harry, you can not hide your countenance from me. Believe me when I tell you, I am resigned to my fate.”
“Malcolm, please, do not speak so. The doctors all say–”
“–that I shall die. Of course they don’t tell me such things to my face, but they do tell father and father tells mother, and I can read it in both their faces every time they take a step into this room.”
“But surely–surely some time away–the seaside perhaps, or Italy–”
“The journey alone would do me in. Neigh, I am resolved that I shall be no more before summer—probably long before summer.”
Malcolm reached feebly for the water carafe on his beside table only for his brother to stay his hand to do the job himself. Placing the glass in his brothers not quite steady grasp, he helped him to drink. His thirst quenched, Malcolm settled back into his pillows and closed his eyes for a moment.
“And so, you were about to tell me of Rosings. How does my cousin Anne. Still as sickly as ever? Is she as sickly as me?”
The Colonel smiled slightly at his brother jest, before allowing his forehead to crease. He remembered how strong and handsome his gentle and loving brother had been just a little over a year ago, only to brought low by an illness that seemed to appear out of nowhere. However, the colonel soon rallied and answered in a sarcastic tone that he knew his brother would appreciate.
“No one, my dear brother, can possibly look as sickly as you.”
The jab had its desired effect and Malcolm’s smile was broad.
“How was my esteemed Aunt? ”
“As cantankerous and as opinionated as ever.”
“Good, good, I would not have it any other way. And Darcy, how did he like his stay?”
“You know Darcy, he bore his visit as he always does, and yet–” The colonel paused and became thoughtful for a moment, until Malcolm prompted him.
“It is nothing, I am sure, but when we left Rosings this morning our cousin was definitely out of spirits.”
“Perhaps–” Malcolm stopped to briefly to cough once more, before continuing, “Perhaps he can not bare to be parted from his betrothed.” Malcolm smiled again; it was an old joke between the two brothers.
“Heaven forbid! Exclaimed the colonel. “And mind that you don’t let Darcy hear you call Anne his betrothed; there will be hell to pay.”
“And how diverting that would be.” Malcolm laughed as heartily at that as he could muster. “I must have some amusement at my families expense; I haven’t long now.
The colonel let his brother see his slight smile before he turned away to hide the anguish that he felt before blurting out: “And I met a young lady in Kent.”
Malcolm said nothing for a long moment, which prompted his brother to turn. When the Colonel looked into Malcolm’s face it was to see him grinning back at him.
“A young lady, you say.” Malcolm raised his eyebrows in challenge. “And was she pretty?”
The colonel rolled his eyes heavenwards, knowing that look.
“Yes, she was pretty, very pretty, and no, I am not in love with her.”
“Well, this is a first,” replied Malcolm, a mischievous glimmer in his eyes.
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet is too fine a lady to trifle with, and far to clever and witty to succumb to my poor charms.”
“Ah, clever and witty; not the type you usually go in for. But then brother, you can hardly say poor; you shall be the next Earl, after all.”
“Now, if you had said sweet and and slightly stupid then I would have instantly known you to be a lost man.”
“You really are incorrigible, you know.” The colonel stepped over to the bookcase near his brother’s bed, perusing the volumes there. “What shall it be tonight, Mr. Shakespeare or Mr. Chaucer?” However, if I remember correctly, we were reading Cowper’s poems when I left.”
“Mother and I finished it just last night. I am in need of a new book, I find. I have a great desire to read this Waverly that I have heard so much about. Unfortunately, not a volume of it is to be had; Mother has looked.”
“Do I suspect this to be a novel and no doubt sadly popular,” laughed the colonel with mock disapproval, knowing his brother’s voracious appetite for all things literary and new.”
“Could you see your way clear to finding me a copy, Harry. I have a great desire to read it…”
The unsaid words: before I die hung in the air like a heavy, unyielding fog. They simply stared at each other for a moment.
“O-Or have me read it to you. You do know that you are asking entirely too much of me.”
Malcolm ignored the slight catch in his brother’s throat and pressed on. “You won’t find it in Clarke’s or in Dunburton’s, I’m afraid. Mother begins to think she will be forced to search off the beaten path.”
Henry laughed slightly, imagining his stylish and very elegant mother being forced to shop anywhere further than Bond street.
“So in other words, you’d like me to seek out this novel for you, going as far and as wide as the seedier sections of London, no doubt?”
“Come, come brother, it is not as if you’ve never set your highly polished boots out of Mayfair before.
(Blah, blah, blah. No ending for this bit yet.)
Author’s Footnote: So, as you can see, nothing major, no great epics in either case, just at the beginings of things… which brings me back to Heart’s Gardian. I have taken it up again and I am at about 80% completeion of the next chapter. However, I have made a discovery. I recently came to the realiztion why I’m having such a hard time with all my writing: I am over-committed!
I want to please my Spuhura readers.
I want to please my DWG readers.
I want to work on my photography.
I want to work on my graphic design business.
I need to go to work everyday.
See, way over-committed. I get so backed up in things that the best solution sometimes is to do nothing.
Then my writing suffers, and my art suffers, etc.
My solution: I think I really need to work on getting myself on a serious schedule. A daily schedule is not going to cut it for me. It will make me more scatter-brained than I already am. I am going to have to work on a weekly schedule.
Week 1. Graphics.
Week 2. Spuhura writing
Week 3. Photography.
Week 4. DWG writing.
Of course, this is only going to work if I am super strict with myself. This is the only way I have the possibility of regaining some sanity. I hope in the coming weeks to show improvement. And I hope to get back to posting “real” stories again!