Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Visit With Mr. Roberts

I was walking in the fields, just wandering about in order to get some fresh air, when it started raining. I was two miles from home, and if I walked much further, I would soon be lost.

"Miss!" came a shout. A tall figure moved towards me.

"Miss, you must get out of this rain! My house is only a couple seconds away." His voice sounded familiar.

"Thank you," I answered, taking his arm. By now, my teeth were chattering.

I entered a mansion, and, in the light, I found who my rescuer was.

"Mr. Roberts?" I asked, looking at him closer.

"Hello Miss Morgans," replied Rupert Roberts, making a gallant bow.

I was too shocked to curtsy, so I stood there, my eyes wide.

"Oh, don't look at me like that, Miss Morgans," said Mr. Roberts.

His hair was grey and long, tied back in a ponytail. His eyes--which were green--were sad and worn.

"Miss Morgans, you know who I am, so there is no reason for you to look at me in such a manner. I have a terrible reputation here for being a brute."

"Mr. Roberts, how do you know me?"

"I am related to your fiance. He talks about you a lot when he comes to visit me." Mr. Roberts looked down at me, his eyes very intent on my features. "Same hair and eyes..." he whispered, almost to himself.

"John comes and visits you?"

"Oh yes, he is my favorite. I would love if he would bring Lily more often, but Mary doesn't approve."

"That must be due to your unseemly behavior since Hilda's death..." my voice trailed off.

"She's dead," he said, looking even more sad then ever.

"I am sorry," I said.

"Never mind, Miss Morgans. The rain seems to have stopped. You will allow me to escort you home?"

"Oh no, that won't be necessary," I said quickly. "It's only just over the hill. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Mr. Roberts."

I left the sad mansion quickly, my brain churning. I had certainly experienced a new side of the ferocious Rupert Roberts!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Garden Discussion

It was only three days before Aunt Georgie's wedding, and I was anxiously awaiting the happy day. Maria and Mama had bestowed all their time on the wedding, and Aunt Georgie was very gracious towards their always willing, if not useful, help. I devoted my time to taking lovely strolls through the parks and gardens of London, drinking in the delicious scents of the rosebushes. Bekah often joined me in these walks, and her presence was always very welcome.
One morning I awoke early, dressed silently, and slipped out of the house. I strode down the still-quiet streets, heading towards one of the large public gardens. I was concentrating on the beautiful foliage around me, and I failed to recognize the pretty strawberry-blonde girl who was sitting sullenly on a small bench.
"Lizzy?" I asked in surprise, recognizing my cousin.
She lifted her large blue eyes to my face, two tears shining in them.
"Lizzy, dearest, what is wrong?"
"You have heard, I assume, about Liza and Lee?"
"Oh, yes," I answered, still confused. "Isn't it splendid?"
"Indeed," she answered quietly, although her voice suggested otherwise.
"Lizzy, why are you crying here?"
"It is the only place I could go where I could be... alone. Oh, it is not fair!" I almost jumped at her sudden outburst. "Lee and Liza's romance turned out perfectly! Just like a fairytale. And mine..."
I sat quietly, listening.
"It's Captain Milton," Lizzy spoke quickly.
"Captain Milton." Ah, now I understood. Captain Milton was an aquaitance of Lee's, and Lizzy had been introduced to him at a ball back home. From my understanding, she had been immediately disgusted by him at their first meeting. But over the time we had been in London, Lizzy's opinion towards Captain Milton seemed to have altered. Her tone when she spoke of him became softer and less harsh, and she was less inclined to think ill of him. I had sensed that something was going on between them.
"What about Captain Milton?" I asked softly.
"He... he's leaving. Today."
"Why does that bother you, Lizzy? You often spoke of him in such tones that gave me the feeling that you disliked him."
"I do!" she almost shouted. I jumped a little, then shivered in the chilly, early morning air.
"I do," she repeated again, this time softer. "Or, at least I think I do. He was such a gentleman at the ball..."
"Lizzy, do you remember the story about Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Darcy?"
She turned to me, understanding in her eyes.
"Aunt Lizzy strongly disliked Uncle Darcy at their first meeting, the same as you and Captain Milton,"--she blushed when I put her name together with his--"and Uncle Darcy felt as though Aunt Lizzy's position in life was decidedly below his. But, after a while, they began to understand the love they had for the other. Uncle Darcy realized this first, and he proposed, but in a very disagreeable manner. Aunt Lizzy refused him. It took some time, but after a while--and after Uncle Darcy started behaving in a less-haughty manner--Aunt Lizzy realized that she loved him. And when he proposed a second time..."
"... she accepted him," she finished for me.
"Yes," I said.
"Eva..." Lizzy spoke slowly. "Perhaps Captain Milton and I are acting in the same manner."
"Indeed," I said, a smile coming to my face. "Now, shall we go to our separate homes? I am sure we must be the cause of much angst--leaving this early, without a note to anyone."
"Yes, you are right," Lizzy answered. She too was smiling. "And, perhaps, we can arrive home before Captain Milton leaves..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lee talks to Liza

Lee rushed rather hurridly to the house. The maid was dusting.
"Where is Miss Liza?" he asked. She looked at him oddly, but he did look rather queer. His hair was mussed, his hat in hand.
'In her room..."
"Please call her to the parlor," he said, no longer dignified.
"Yes, sir." As she walked up stairs, Lee walked into the parlor.
She rapped twice on the door of Liza's room, "Miss Elizabeth?"
"Come in."
The maid entered and curtised.
"Ma'am, Mr. Leland is in the parlor waiting for you."
"At this time?" Liza asked as she got up from the window. She walked down the stairs and to the parlor slowly, and just before entering she smoothed her dress and hair.
When she came in, Leland bowed, and politely inquired, "How are your parents, Liza?"
Liza, still not understanding why he was here, sat down with a puzzled look.
"Why, yes Lee, they are very well," she said uncertainly, then, as if it was an after thought, "Please be seated."
He looked like he wanted to sit down, but was much too nervous to stay in one spot. After some unimportant talk, Lee walked over to Liza.
Bending down on one knee, he began to speak.
"Liza, we grew up together, and we were always fond of each other, and lately I have come to understand that,"--he paused--"that I love you. Elizabeth, will you do the honor of becoming my wife?"
Liza, who had at first turned white, now blushed and was smiling.
"Leland... yes, I will marry you."
Lee looked lovingly into her eyes, he took one of her hands and kissed it.
"I must speak to your father now," he said getting up.
Liza got up also.
"Yes, but stay for dinner. Our visit in London is almost done. We only have a week until Aunt Georgie's wedding."
The two looked at each other with love.
 "Will you stay for dinner, Lee?"
"Yes, then I leave in the morning."

Meet Herbert

Lily and I were sitting on the veranda when a maid entered.

"Mr Peters for you ma'am," she said, curtsying.

Lily blushed deeply.

"Send him in," she said.

A tall gentleman with brown eyes and blonde hair stepped into the veranda.

"Good evening, Miss Morgans and Miss Kingsley."

"Good evening Herb.. Mr Peters," said Lily, rising at his entrance.

"Good evening. How do your parents fare?" I said, also standing.

Herbert looked at Lily while he spoke.

"Very well. And I hope I find your parents in good health, Lily?" he asked.

"Do not speak in such an improper manner towards my daughter!" Lady Kingsley's voice boomed. "That's Miss Kingsley to you."

"Lady Kingsley," I said.

"Yes, sweet child," she said fondly.

"I was wondering if you would show me were Freddy is."

"Oh, yes, of course." She gave a hostile glance in Hebert's direction and led me out of the room.

We found Freddy on his small pony, receiving a riding lesson.

"Look at me, I'm riding!" he shouted at me when I arrived, jumping up and down in the saddle.

"Very good, Freddy," I said.

He dismounted, hurried over to me and gave me a big hug.

"So how are you?" I asked picking him up.

"I am good. Papa is coming home today!" he said.

John had left on a business trip to London and, as soon as a house for us was secured, we were going to be married.

A black mare trotted down the drive. I placed Freddy back on solid ground, and turned towards the rider of the mare.

"John!" I exclaimed.

John dismounted, smiling at me.

"Good to be home," he said, looking down at my face.

"Papa!" Freddy shouted exuberantly.

John gave Freddy a big hug, then instructed him to go prepare for tea.

"Herbert is here," I said, when Freddy had headed towards the house.

"What? He is here?"

"Yes."

"Good. I need to talk to that boy before he gets into trouble."

"What do you mean?"

"I ran into Edward Hornburg and Herbert yesterday."

"Herbert with Edward?" I asked, my voice somewhat worried.