Friday, December 18, 2009
The Smiths' Ball
What a night we had at the Smiths! I'm so glad I was able to go, and now I need to settle down and collect my scattered thoughts discernibly on paper.
I was barely ready when the carriage arrived to take us, and I was feeling so excited and bouncy that it was hard to keep still on the ride. Lizzy, Liza and I talked and giggled all the way. I'm inexpressibly happy to be with them again!
When we walked into the Smiths' beautiful home, I got a thrill up my back as I saw all the lovely dressed people walking around, the music playing, and could smell the delicious supper prepared for us. As I gave my cloak to the attendant, I felt light, free, and ready for anything!
Soon after we arrived, I was delighted to be greeted by an old family friend, Captain James Taavetti. I hadn't seen him in a while, and it was good to catch up. He's in the navy, and often away at sea. His father came from Finland, and James's love of the water came from him.
"How's my handsome navy hero?" I teased him.
"Fine, fine. A little rusty on home manners, but fine." he replied.
"Nonsense. Your manners are emaculate." I countered.
He looked over towards another part of the room, where I saw Leland and Liza talking to another man.
"Sure, sure. I see you are here with your cousins. Fine young ladies they are. Oh, I see they're meeting William! He's a good friend of mine. Also a little rusty on his manners around ladies." he smiled.
"I think your manners are perfectly elegant, and you know they are." I insisted. "You act like a gentleman."
"Thank you. I appreciate that compliment. Must store it somewhere, so as not to forget it."
I laughed. James has often been teased for his bad short term memory. Just then, we saw the conversation between James's friend and Leland and Liza break up. Liza seemed to be looking for someone, and when she saw me she began moving our direction. James and I walked over to talk with her.
"Liza, this is my old friend Captain James Taavetti. James, this is Elizabeth Bennet, my cousin."
"How do you do?" James bowed. Liza curtsied and smiled. I noticed she looked a little out of sorts.
"I see you've met my friend Captain Milton!" James continued. "What did you think of him?"
"Honestly?" Liza asked.
"Hmmm, methinks my friend has been voicing his opinion on women to you, has he not?" James said in an all-knowing air (which he is also famous for).
Liza sighed. "He is not the most pleasant spoken of men."
"Nothing time won't improve." James said cheerfully. "He's here on extended furlough, as am I. I wouldn't be surprised if eight months in wonderful, wholesome society doesn't polish him up somewhat."
Then my favorite dance began, and Liza curtsied goodbye and James led me back to the floor.
"I hope I'm not taking away dances from other promised young men." James said.
"No, not at all. I am not engaged at all this evening."
"Good, good. I hope you will not be bored with me this evening. May I be your escort to dinner?"
"I would be honored." I replied.