Elizabeth Marton

From even her first sighting of him, Elizabeth strongly despises Fitzwilliam Emmerson, the silent, surly friend of Edmund Fitzwield, owner of a nearby estate. However when things take a funny turn and something more than what Miss Marton could ever have anticipated is revealed, she begins to realize
exactly how wrongly judgemental she has been, particularly concerning Mr. Emmerson's father...


13. 13

For days, even one word spoken of Mr. Fitzwield's engagement to her eldest daughter was enough to send Mrs Marton into an excitable frenzy. "A daughter married at last!" she kept exclaming "Janet, darling, I am over the moon!" 


Elizabeth's regard for her mother over the next few weeks dropped rather rapidly because of this, so much, in fact, that it soon became embarrassing even to be in the same room as Mrs Marton, especially when there was another person in the room with her. This was brought on by the fact theat, every time her mother saw Mr. Fitzwield, Mrs Marton would become so forwards and unnesseccarily civil towards him that it was exeedingly painful to watch.


The day of the wedding came at last, and an awfully large sum of money had been contributed to send Mr. Fitzwield and his bride off in style; even Mr. Emmerson had paid for the cake and the carriages! However, Elizabeth, Kitty, Mr Marton and Anne were, upon hearing of the kind deed done by Mr. Emmerson, not especially happy as it meant that Mrs Marton would be embarrassing to him, now, as well. This Mrs Marton did, but none of them, it turned out, needed to have worried. Mr. Emmerson, to his credit, took the over-the-top word of thanks from Mrs Marton very well indeed, nodding modestly and letting her fuss over him very courtiously and sensibly. So well, was this done, in fact, that even Mr Marton felt very much in his debt and he thanked Mr. Emmerson himself in a much quieter way than his wife had done.


The poor young man took this sincere gratitude awkwardly, so Elizabeth could tell, acting indifferent to everyone, but turning away to hide the smile at frequent intervals. Elizabeth began to think that, after several months of knowing the man, she might be starting to finally make out his character. Certainly, at least, some of the pieces were beginning to make sense so that the giant enigma, that the whole of him was, did not seem so very impossible any more.


Two days after the wedding, in which time the happy couple moved together into Inklefield house,  and Elizabeth found out how she missed her elder sister most dreadfully, a ball was thrown again at Inklefields as a means of honering the recent marriage. Rumor had it that the Emmersons were to come again, this time hopefully staying for longer, and that even the drunk vicar whom Elizabeth had miserably encountered at the last ball was to be invited. At the last titbit, Elizabeth had felt rather worried: Who knew what that disgusting man would try to do to her this time? However, when Mr Fitzwield and Janet reassured her that no harm would be allowed to come to any of their guests, least of all her, Elizabeth relaxed, but only slightly, and she would not admit to anyone how truely frightened of the vicar she was.


Mrs Emmerson and her two daughters arrived a day before the date of the actual ball and, upon their arrival, the entire Marton  family was sent for to come welcome them. The guests, however, seemed only intent on eager congratulations to Mr Fitzwield and his lovely new wife and even Ophelia said how lovely it was to see the pair so happy.

Once congratulations had been said, Mrs Emmerson and her youngest child began to apologise for their last visit. Whilst Mrs Emmerson's speech to her son was heartfelt and possibly over-complicated, Georgia's idea of an apology was much more straight forwards and to-the-point. Throwing her arms around her elder brother, she actually began to cry with the weight of so much emotion on her shoulders and she buried her face in his shoulder whilst he drew his handkerchief for her and patted her on the back. Elizabeth felt quite moved by the spectacle. Until now, she hadn't quite realized exactly how deep the siblings' affection for one another ran. She had had some idea of it, yes, but she now knew that it was superior, equal, at least, to the connections between herself and Janet.


On the day of the ball, the Martons passed Janet, Miss Fitzwield and her brother as the family welcomed guests inside their house. Mr. Emmerson, Elizabeth supposed, had already gone inside the ballroom and was probably showing his family to the refreshments table or something smilar. And, indeed, this proved the case for Elizabeth met with three of them (Ophelia was off dancing) standing about at the edge of the dancefloor. Elizabeth joined them and the four of them stood there. Georgia, whom had been whispering intently into her brother's ear, looked up, smiling mischieviously. He looked horrified for a second, but then smiled and reluctantly nodded. 

As Elizabeth walked away, with the motive to find one of her sisters, Mr. Emmerson, blushing furiously and catching her arm, glanced over his shoulder to check if anyone was watching, and aked Elizabeth to dance.

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