My fanfiction and other random ramblings

my thoughts on how to write (or not)

Manners

leave a comment »

“So this is the famous good breeding and proper manners that are so important in the Town?” she asked, both brows high on her forehead. “I’m so happy we don’t have these in the country. We wouldn’t know what to do with such a treasure.”

He stifled a giggle and made a choking sound.

“How terrible, Mr Darcy! You are already ill of it, I’m quite sure!”

“Thank you, Miss Elizabeth, but I’m quite well. However I’d like to see some members of the ton reacting to your statement. I’m almost certain the spectacle would be… interesting.”

“Oh, la, sir” she waved her imagined handkerchief and rolled her eyes heavenwards. “I’m perfectly aware of my status as a poor, unsophisticated small-town girl – practically a country savage! I’ve actually walked on an unpaved path at least once and most probably got sunburnt doing it! All town ladies would eat me for breakfast with their accomplishments, education and vast knowledge of topics most suitable for morning visit discussions.”

He executed a slight bow in her direction.

“I would however place my bet on you – if any bets were placed on ladies in situations such as these – to be able to survive any conversation on good walking shoes, ways to evade unruly horses and which trees are the best cover from rain.”

She blushed so hotly he could well nigh feel the wave of warmth coming from her.

“Please, Mr Darcy. These are hardly the topics for a proper morning visit in the Town. They aren’t even quite proper for a visit in the country, especially if one’s mother is sitting in on said visit and making various remarks about the fate that awaits the girls who climb trees.”

“So you also climbed trees, how interesting. Which kinds?”

“Mr Darcy! I’m not going to discuss the theory and practice of climbing trees in the middle of the park!”

“Would you rather discuss it in the middle of a drawing room?” he frowned in mock non-understanding. “I have not the pleasure of comprehending your unwillingness in this subject.”

She closed her eyes for a second, making the face of a person praying for patience.

“I’d rather not discuss my few painful and traumatic – at least to my mother – attempts at climbing trees with anyone and at any time or place. I’d rather not discuss the state of my dresses afterwards, either. Or the talking to I received from my father on each of these occasions. Or the one time that I managed to fell down a particularly tall chestnut tree and land on young Tom Lucas who was standing there and shouting encouragements all the time.”

“Ah” he inhaled slowly. “Did you break anything?”

“Yes. His left ankle.”

“Ah. Did it hurt?”

“From the way he screamed, a lot. He was, however, a rather plump boy, so my landing was soft.”

“May I inquire as to your age at that time?”

She stretched her gloved palms and counted silently.

“We must have both been about seven or so.”

“Did he keep accompanying you on other excursions?”

“I’m afraid sir William thought I was a bad example to his heir and he sent him away to school as soon as the ankle healed. That was the only way to make sure we won’t come into any contact before we’re both quite grown up.”

He smirked and looked down at the top of her bonnet.

“I’m finding such astonishing new things about you, I’m quite scared of the idea of introducing you to my sister. She’s but fifteen and could probably happily climb numerous trees in our gardens, had she ever had this kind of idea. I may want to keep the two of you separated so that she doesn’t get too… well. Just thinking about the cost of gowns she could shred to nothing if she took to climbing pines…” he shuddered theatrically.

She sighed.

“What can I do? You’re already committed to accompanying me to the dinner at your aunt’s tomorrow, and your sister will certainly be there. We will have to speak a little, and as we’ve already ascertained, I’m unable to keep to the correct topics. So I will either be absolutely dull and speak about weather in Hertfordshire as compared to the, most probably, superior weather in Derbyshire, or we’ll stray into the dangerous subjects of walking the stony paths and getting our dresses muddy.”

He smiled, unseen by her. Quite happily. She was holding his heart in her slender palm, not even knowing it. From the moment he almost run her over with his horse and she told him off so soundly he almost fell from his saddle, he admired her wit and vivacity and willingness to experience life in all its aspects. Their paths crossed again and again, as he met her ruining her parasol to fish someone’s purse from stinking river water and that someone turned out to be his own aunt Theresa, or when she snatched the last copy of a book he was looking for and paid for it before he managed to protest. He followed her, begging to let him buy the book off her, even for double or triple price, until she was joined by an older couple who looked at him with visible surprise – and a bit of apprehension, even though she was laughing all the time.

He felt like a fool. He was talked about in the Town and he hated the feeling, but he couldn’t help himself and keep away from her. Her relations in trade, her position in life, everything should have helped him to rein in the feeling of being pulled towards her, but every time he thought about them, they seemed somehow unimportant. His aunt was all for the match, as Elisabeth made her recall her own young years in her family’s estate. His uncle kept wisely silent on the topic, probably recalling the same. His cousins… He didn’t care what they thought. He thought she was perfect and this small walk in the park only made him even more sure, especially watching her trade barbs with some of the fashionable wannabe-Mrs-Darcys that accosted her just before he arrived.

“Mr Darcy?”

“Pardon?” he blinked and came out of his reverie. “I’m so sorry, I was just a bit lost in thought.”

“As long as we don’t get lost in the park, I’m quite happy” she smirked. “I was thinking about manners and wanted to consult with you, you having much more experience in the way the Town works in these matters.”

“Anything I can do to help. I’m yours to command.”

She tapped her lips with a finger.

“I was trying to work out the proper way for a lady to determine whether a gentleman’s intentions towards her are serious or not. Is there a savoir-faire solution for this kind of quandry?”

Advertisements

Written by Srebrna

2014/02/05 at 02:08

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: