Summary: Elizabeth and Darcy danced without interruption at the Netherfield Ball. Bingley has left for London but seems to have difficulty with returning.
This is a work-in-progress which I am writing. Below is a sample of chapter one. No other chapters will be posted, unless I post a teaser at a later date.
November 30, 1811
Fitzwilliam Darcy struggled to read his letter from his host, Charles Bingley, once more.
“Mr. Darcy, what does Charles say?” Bingley’s sister Caroline asked as they were all seated together at breakfast.
“He says his business in town is taking longer than expected but he hopes to return within a few more days.”
“I cannot see his reasons at all for having to go to town so suddenly after the ball and then to leave us here for so many days in such a barbaric place. Those Bennets! I am certain they have designs on Charles. ”
Darcy attempted to not roll his eyes. They were twenty miles from London and yet her desires to become mistress of Pemberley, above one hundred miles away, were well known. If Meryton was barbaric Derbyshire must be as unchartered as the jungles of Africa. As for Mrs. Bennet’s designs on Bingley, it was little different than most mothers.
“I really see no need for him to return at all. Why do we not all go and meet him? His business is taking so long, he must be uncomfortable in a hotel.” Louisa offered.
Caroline looked unconvinced. “Mr. Darcy what are your thoughts?”
“I can have no thoughts on the subject. I am here as Bingley’s guest and he assures me he will soon return. I was always meant to leave in a fortnight.”
Caroline frowned. “But surely you must know the nature of his business more than we do. We had expected him back days ago and now he says it will take several more. How can he be certain it will finish then?”
“I assure you, in matters of business one likes to finish as quickly as possible.”
She let out a frustrated sigh and then glanced around the room, clearly seeing there were worse things than serving as mistress of a country estate for the winter with the hopes of impressing a wealthy gentleman.
He spoke no more and soon the subject turned to other matters before the ladies and Hurst departed entirely. Darcy looked to his letter again. He was not very forthcoming with Bingley’s sisters but had no reason to share his concerns. His friend was a lively, amiable young man incapable of declining any offer out of fear of giving offense. If Bingley had not raved so much about meeting Miss Agatha Markham again at one ball and being introduced to the angelic Miss Julia Cadogan at a recent dinner then Darcy could excuse his friend’s activities. As it was, Darcy could only speculate if Bingley would truly return to Netherfield this winter.