Liza couldn't believe it when her father told she and Lizzy the news! Her emotions were swirling! London? What happened to her father? "Father, this is lovely!" Liza said, hugging him tightly. "I am so excited! London?" Liza looked at Lizzy and they both giggled.
"I am letting you go under one condition." Mr. Darcy paused. "Alright, two conditions. One, that you make sure to behave yourselves and try not to embarrass the family." Lizzy and Liza exchanged glances. Liza's seemed to say she would try, but that it would be hard. Lizzy's seemed to say that what her father had demanded would be no problem for her. "Two, that Lee goes with you." Liza and Lizzy exchanged glances once more. Both of them saying the same thing.
"What?" Lizzy said.
"Father, why does Lee have to come? He'll only bore everyone," Liza said, turning back to meet her mother's disapproved glance. "Forgive me. I didn't mean to-"
"You are forgiven my daughter. Let it not happen again," Mr. Darcy said with loving, kind eyes. Liza smiled. "Lee must go with you to take care of you and keep an eye on you." Liza opened her mouth to speak, but Lizzy touched her arm, indicating that she shouldn't speak at this time. Liza closed her mouth. "I've already spoken to Lee about it," their father went on. "He says it sounds like a lovely idea and asked if Cassie might go along. Of course I said yes. Cassie is such a bright young lady and would be a very good traveling companion."
"I think it's a lovely idea as well," Lizzy chimed in, trying to break the silence.
"I supposed if I want to go to London that I must be content with my traveling companions," Liza replied, half smiling, half frowning. Just at that time, Lee and Cassie walked up to the garden area where the Darcy's were chatting.
"Good evening, ladies." Lee nodded his head. "Mr. Darcy, I trust that your evening has been well?"
"Indeed it has, so far," he answered.
"Good. Liza, I have to talk to you about something. If you could excuse us," Lee said, looking at Liza, then to her father. Mr. Darcy nodded, giving his consent.
"Liza, did you hear about Mr. Bryant?" Lee asked after a few minutes of them walking around the green pastures of the Darcy's land.
"No. What about Mr. Bryant?" Liza asked, trying not to sound too anxious.
"He and Mrs. Brunner are- well, they are..." Lee stopped short after seeing the look on Liza's face. "Maybe I should just let you figure it out."
"Figure what out? Lee, are you trying to say he's with someone else?" Liza asked, picking a rose from the nearest bush and slowly peeling off each pedal.
"Well... yes." Lee sat down on the bench under the big oak tree. Liza just stood in front of the bench. "I'm sorry, Liza. I know that you-"
"I what? Was friends with him?" Liza said, a bit jumpy. She was afraid Lee had noticed her interest in Mr. Bryant. "He was a very nice gentleman, but why should I care about his affairs with other woman?"
"I- I just assumed that you were interested in him."
"Well," Liza replied, "You assumed incorrectly." She took a seat on the bench next to Lee. He turned to face her.
"I am very excited about the trip." Lee paused. "To London."
"Oh, that. Yes. Me too," Liza replied, tossed the green stem that was left after all the beautiful, scarlet pedals were plucked from it.
Lee looked puzzled, "You don't sound that excited, Liza."
She tried to smile and placed her hand on Lee's shoulder, "I am excited. I was just distracted." Liza stood from the bench and started walking back towards the house. "We better get back. Mother is probably wondering how long I'm going to wander around the grounds." Lee knew it was just an excuse to get away from him. He figured Liza wasn't happy with him for "meddling" in her affairs with Mr. Bryant. Lee knew she was interested in him, even though she denied it. It upset for some reason. He had an unpleasant feeling he had never felt before.
When Lee and Liza made it back to the house, Cassie and Lee left for home. Lizzy pulled Liza aside, "Liza, what's wrong?" She waited for an answer. Then after a moment of silence, "Liza, tell me!" She was looking Liza hard in the eyes.
"Lee says that Mr. Bryant is... seeing someone else. If I had known this was true, I wouldn't have engaged myself with him so much. I feel like such a fool," Liza said, putting her hand on her forehead.
Lizzy took her sisters hand, "Whom is he seeing?"
"Lee says it's Mrs. Brunner. Tyra Brunner."
"Tyra? Why would he stoup that low?" Lizzy said, looked off into the distance thinking.
"Lizzy, you shouldn't say such things. If Mr. Bryant is in love with her, we shouldn't try to meddle. She must be a nice woman to get the interest of such a wealthy man," Liza said, bringing Lizzy back to the here and now.
"Yes, you're right." Lizzy put her arm in Liza's, "Well, if he's too blind to see what a lovely, beautiful woman my sister is, he's not worthy of her." They both smiled and giggled, walking off towards the house with the others.