When Uncle Darcy announced yesterday at breakfast that we were all invited to take a trip to London, I was so excited! As soon as the meal was over I went to my room and wrote a letter back home to my parents, asking their permission to accompany the Darcys to town. I had just finished dressing this morning when the reply came.
"A letter for you Miss Rebekah." announced one of my uncle's servants. I thanked him politely and sat down immediately to read it. It was from my mother.
"My Dear Rebekah,
Of course you may go to London with my sister and her family. It will be a wonderful adventure for you. We will miss you sorely, especially since you've already been away from us for two weeks.
We would all love to see you one more time before you leave. Please come over this afternoon with your trunk so I can help you go over your clothes and pick out outfits for the trip. You may also spend the night if you wish.
That evening, I packed my trunk and went home for the night. There was hardly any need for a good-bye with my cousins, since I would be seeing them again the next afternoon. At home, I was affectionately greeted by my brothers, sisters and parents. It had been over two weeks since I'd seen them last. My seventeen year old sister, Margaret, and I had a long talk together that night. She, Mama, our maid and my thirteen year old sister Emma helped me to pack my trunk.
Also that evening, I talked to my father for a long time. He reminded me, gently, of what happened to my Aunt Lydia when she went away from her family for an extended period of time. He gave me many fatherly charges, and then wished he was going too so he could make sure I was protected.
"You don't have to worry about that, Father. Uncle Darcy and Leland Smith are accompanying us. They are both good strong men."
"Yes, yes, but I would feel better if I came."
"I understand." I nodded. Then added mischievously, "I could take Richard with me." My father began to laugh. Richard was my fifteen year old brother, and a very protective one at that.
"No, that won't be necessary. I trust you completely, Rebekah my dear. Still...."
It was then that I remembered something.
"Father, I just recalled that our old friend, James Taavetti, is planning a short business trip to London in two weeks. He could stop in and check on how I'm doing and bring a report back to you. Would that be satisfactory?"
"Good old James." My father mused. "Yes, that is a good plan. I will write him this evening." He stood to leave. "Good night, Bekah."
"Good night, Father." I replied, giving him a kiss before tripping up to bed.
The next morning I spent an hour or two playing around with the little ones of my family. My three little brothers were happier to see me than they would admit. I hiked up my skirts and went outside with them to see the new treefort and inspect a few new wooden swords they had constructed. Alexander, a brilliant ten year old, had designed them himself, with special features he and Frederick, age eight, had invented.
Michael, five, just walked beside me, holding my right hand. Three year old Harriet held my left.
All too soon, it was time to say good bye. I held little Celine, just two, as long as I could before handing her off to her nurse. Then I kissed my mother and sisters goodbye and stepped into the carriage. I did not know how many months it would be before I saw them again.
Alexander and Frederick ran alongside the carriage as far as they could, waving and calling. I waved back at them as the carriage left our family estate and headed off towards Pemberly.
Now that the hardest good-byes were through, I could look forward with anticipation for the coming trip.