Letter #9 27 March 1812 Express to Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam

Richard,

I am at my wit’s end, but for once, the source of my distraction is not our imperious aunt. I pray Darcy has found you in London and has explained our joint concern for Georgiana’s safety and well being. If William has not, of yet, spoken to you in person, the source of our agitation rests solely on my former associate, Mr. Wickham. Since my arrival at Rosings, I have heard from the dastard twice. As one might expect, the rogue initially solicited funds to cover the cost of his most pressing gambling debts, to which I most soundly refused.

Following my denial, a second missive arrived in which Wickham insinuated he would call upon Georgiana and offer himself as her “escort” in her brothers’ absence.

Learning of Wickham’s intentions, I meant to return to London immediately, but Darcy rightly reasoned my withdrawal from Rosings would draw attention to the situation. Therefore, our William has journeyed to Town under the guise of pressing business. Unfortunately, that particular fact leaves me to “entertain” and, likewise, be “entertained” by Lady Catherine. Trust me, I am well aware I deserve such excruciating agony for my short sightedness where George Wickham is concerned.

As I have heard nothing from Darcy regarding the arrangements he has made to protect Georgiana, I am begging for a word from you that all is well in hand.

Theo

 

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Letter #8: 26 March to Sir Montgomery Preston

Rosings Dungeon (rattling his chains), 26 March 1812

Dear Monty,

So much has occurred since we last corresponded; I do not know where to begin. I will leave the biggest event to last in order to keep you in a fever of anticipation.

The first important event has been that I met my aunt’s protégée, a man she has taken under her large bat wing. He a clergyman by the name of Collins who is so obligingly servile ‘tis a wonder he does not throw himself to the floor at the old bat’s feet. I may yet have a use for Mr. Collins. He has so far provided me with an excuse for laughter by becoming tangled in a holly bush, which resulted in such panic and mayhem that even Darcy (I promised myself I will no longer call him Prince William) found it droll. So you can imagine how ludicrous this personage must be!

I know you are thinking that I have turned into a veritable country bumpkin, thinking it worth the cost of ink, paper, and franking a letter to pen such nonsense, but since it is Lady Catherine who is providing all three, I feel no qualms about writing what claptrap I choose.

The second event which provided some entertainment is that I rescued a young lady’s bonnet. You may think that equally trivial and insignificant, but when you hear my third point you will realize the supreme importance of this occurrence.

For now I come to the meat of the matter. I have discovered the root cause of my brother’s transformation into a bull ready to charge at a rag. I will admit that your extraordinary insight into the human heart once more hit its mark. As you suspected, there is a young lady involved, and she is none other than Miss B., the lady whose bonnet I rescued. So you see, Monty, I have not yet taken leave of my good senses, though I do admit I am close. A few more days with Lady Catherine may well turn me into wild lunatic fit only for Bedlam.

But there is more to come, and here is where I require your exemplary wisdom in such matters. I do not yet believe the young lady’s feelings are engaged. The question is, should I allow matters to take their course (which could only lead to a certain party’s disappointment) or should I employ my arts of persuasion and try to influence both parties with the hope of a more favorable outcome?

Awaiting a letter from you with the utmost urgency – or else I shall go out on the fields with the sheep and begin bleating.

Sincerely, etc.

Theo

Postscript: do not be surprised to run into my brother in Town. He has gone there on business and left me at the mercy of the Tyrant.

Letter #7: 24 March 1812, Express to Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam

Rosings Park, 24 March 1812

Dear Cousin Richard,

While you are in town, I have a mission for you should you have time. I would caution it is imperative this be done without Darcy’s knowledge. I would like to know anything you can find out about a family by the name of Bennet who lives in Hertfordshire. The name of the estate is Longbourn. Longbourn is entailed to the male line, and as there are no sons (but five daughters), the estate will pass to one William Collins, cousin to that family. Does that name sound familiar? Currently, he has the living at Hunsford under the patronage of our Aunt Catherine.

Why am I asking you this favor? I have formed a theory that my brother may be enamored with the second eldest of the Bennet daughters, Miss Elizabeth, whom he met last autumn when visiting Charles Bingley at his new estate. Of all the strange coincidences, said lady is here at Hunsford staying with her cousin, Mr. Collins, who was recently married to another lady from that Hertfordshire neighborhood. Small world, is it not? If William’s interest in her is what I suspect it to be, this could explain his strange behavior over the past few months. After meeting Miss Elizabeth, I can only say I completely understand his fascination with her.

I think you will find her family is of good character but definitely nothing to the standing of our own. However, if there is no scandal attached their family name, then it is possible Darcy could pursue an alliance with her even though it would be somewhat unusual for someone of his status. Lord knows, he has found no one else to liking amongst the debutants of the ton – despite your mother’s efforts, I might add.

By the way, thank you coming to my rescue in the matter of the book in Aunt Catherine’s library. My future health was entirely in your hands! I was able to locate the volume and tear out the incriminating pages. Better she find a defaced book than discover the caricatures. I have to admit upon seeing them again that they were very cleverly done!

Please write to let me know of your progress, but do not tell William of my request. Give my love to your mother and promise her I will call the moment I return to London with the latest intelligence about our dear Aunt Catherine’s activities and absurdities. I know how your mother appreciates a humorous story, and you know how I love providing her with this type of entertainment.

Yours etc,
Theo