An occurence BEFORE the evening tea...
by Kara Louise
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At precisely nine o’clock, Fitzwilliam Darcy and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, walked through the double wide doors to the large parlour. Beautiful white linen table cloths were draped across several tables. Fresh flowers and candles decorated the tables. Fine china plates and teacups awaited the distinguished guests’ hands to claim them during tonight’s evening tea. The finest teas would be served as well as an assortment of scones and jam, fresh fruit, and rout cakes.
Three tables had been set up in anticipation of an evening of cards, and the pianoforte had been pulled out from the corner. A beautiful candelabra rested on top.
Mr. and Mrs. Darcy walked over to the young and stately Georgiana Darcy, who had come down earlier to rehearse her piece on the pianoforte.
“Elizabeth,” Georgiana said, turning to her brother’s wife, “you have planned the evening quite well. Everything looks splendid.”
“Thank you,” Elizabeth replied with a smile and a nod. “I heard you practicing earlier and I know the guests shall be delighted with your performance on the pianoforte.”
Georgiana looked down, a blush tinting her fare cheeks. “I hope so.”
Mr. Darcy put his arm about his sister. “You have no need to worry, Georgiana. I have every confidence that our guests shall be delighted.”
They all turned towards the door as they heard their guests approach. “Come,” said Mr. Darcy. “Let us greet our guests.”
Several guests had been residing at Pemberley for the past few days. Jane Bingley, Elizabeth’s sister, and her husband Charles, had come to visit them from Hertfordshire with the hopes of searching the nearby countryside for a suitable manor to purchase. They had discovered one just the day before that was not thirty miles away.
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Jane and Elizabeth’s aunt and uncle, were also visiting from London. They had become frequent and welcomed guests since Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth married.
Long-time family friends of Mr. Darcy’s, Mr. and Mrs. Fellows, had come to Pemberley with their two daughters, who were both just a little bit older than Georgiana. The three young ladies had become very good friends over the years.
Elizabeth invited the couples in and directed them to the tables of tea and cakes, informing them that they could sit around the tables and Georgiana would play her first piece shortly.
When the last of the guests came through, Elizabeth followed them in. Georgiana was enjoying visiting with her two friends. Darcy was about to walk in when he saw someone he did not recognize walking down the wide hall towards him.
Darcy’s eyes widened as he took in the dress and all-together dishevelled look of the man. He could not imagine how this man came to be here. He was certainly not a well-bred gentleman. He quickly closed the door and stepped out.
“Who are you? I insist to know who you are!”
The man laughed while Darcy scrutinized him warily.
“Me name is Cap’n Smith. Ye don’t remember me?”
The man’s white teeth could barely be seen because of his dark bristly beard. He wore a tri-corn hat, and his wayward hair extended down in curls almost to his shoulders.
“I certainly do not, and I insist to know what you are doing here!”
“I’m come to evenin’ tea. Ye need to ’ave another person to make the tables even.”
Darcy leaned in to him. “Ye’ll…” He cleared his voice. “You will do no such thing! I demand you leave at once!” Darcy’s brows lowered as he pointed to the man’s clothing. “How dare you come here dressed as… as…”
Captain Smith looked down at himself and gave a wave over his clothes with his hands. “Might ye be thinkin’ I looks like a pirate?”
Darcy nodded, barely able to reply. The man wore a white ruffled shirt with billowy sleeves, a red sash around his waist, and boots with gold garish buckles. His nod slowly turned into a vehement shaking of his head. “I insist that ye… that you leave!”
Captain Smith rubbed his jaw with his hand, fingering his beard as he did. “I’m afraid that’d be quite impossible.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Just then the door opened, and Elizabeth peeked her head out. “Fitzwilliam, the guests are waiting. Shall I…” She stopped as she noticed the additional guest. “Captain Smith! How good it is to see you, again!”
Darcy turned abruptly. “You know this… this…”
“I most certainly do.” She turned to the captain. “Would you care to join us tonight?”
“He’s doing… he is doing no such thing! I insist that he leave.”
Both Elizabeth and the captain let out a long sigh. Elizabeth took her husband’s arm. “My dear, since you do not seem to remember, Captain Smith is actually…” She bit her lip. How was she to tell him?
“Yes?” Darcy asked. “He is actually what?”
“You!” both exclaimed at the same time.
Darcy’s jaw dropped. He turned from the captain, to Elizabeth, and then back to the captain. Then he noticed something. “How’d ye get that scar above your eye?” He did not bother to correct his speech, but brought his hand up and touched the scar above his own eye.
“There, ye see? Me thinks he is startin’ to remember!” the captain said with a glint in his eye.
“I remember nothing, but again insist you leave. We have guests here, and I do not want to subject them to the likes of ye… you!” Darcy let out a huff.
“Now, now dearest, certainly you remember how you had to impersonate the pirate to help the authorities capture him? They asked you to help them because you looked so much like Lockerly.”
“Who is Lockerly?” he asked.
Elizabeth and the captain both answered, “The pirate!”
Darcy steepled his hands and brought them up to his chin. “I find this extremely vexing. But I cannot allow him to come in, and I especially will not have you in the same room as my sister!”
“But ye told ’er all about me an’ yer pirating adventures. While she couldn’t believe ye would do such a thing, she did get a few laughs out o’ it.”
“No, no…” Darcy suddenly turned to Elizabeth. “How did ye…you know about this?”
She looked up at him with admiring eyes. “Because I had been taken prisoner by Lockerly. You came to my rescue! At least Captain Smith came to my rescue.” She then turned to the captain. “I did find the captain to be the most gallant, brave, handsome, and kind young man I had ever met!” She and the captain exchanged warm, knowing glances. “I do believe I fell in love with him!”
“I will hear no more of this!” Darcy said. “You fell in love with me! Now Captain Smith, as I said before, I insist that you leave these premises!”
The door opened again and Georgiana stepped out. “Is anything amiss?” She looked at the captain. “Oh, my! Is this truly him? I have so longed to meet you!” She came up and grasped Captain’s Smith’s hands. She reached up on her toes and kissed his cheek.
Captain Smith stole a glance at Darcy, who was giving him a severe warning look. “I am her brother, remember!” the captain reminded Darcy.
Georgiana tucked her hand around the captain’s arm. “Come! You must join us this evening! Most already know about you, except our friends the Fellows, but they shall enjoy hearing all about your adventures!
Georgiana and the captain walked into the parlour.
Elizabeth sighed. “You have nothing to worry about with him, dear. He will be the perfect gentleman!”
Darcy shook his head. “Ye must know that I am worryin’ more about meself than him! Why am I talking like this?”
There was a knock on the door, and Darcy lifted his head with a start. He shook his head as he tried to clear his thoughts and remember where he was and – more importantly – what he ought to be doing.
Elizabeth quietly opened the door and stepped in. “Have you forgotten evening tea, my dear?”
Evening tea! The dream! It seemed so real meeting himself as Captain Smith.
Darcy looked at the clock on the mantel and gasped. It was almost nine o’clock! How had he come to fall asleep when guests were about to come down for evening tea?
“No, I have not forgotten. I…” He paused. “I just had the most vivid dream, Elizabeth. I dreamt Captain Smith came to the tea and I did not know who he was!”
Elizabeth laughed and took his hand. “That would have made for quite a lively evening, my dear. But come, the guests are waiting.”
To find out why Darcy is talking like that, who Lockerly and Captain Smith are, and what happens when Elizabeth is captured by the pirates, you will have to read “Pirates and Prejudice” available soon at amazon.com and other online booksellers.
Guest post and image of Captain Smith were created by Kara Louise, author of Pirates and Prejudice
© 2013. All rights reserved.
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by Kara Louise
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