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...


27. 27.

"What you must be aware of, Lizzie," said Fitzwilliam gently, "is that I have known Amelia Westchild a very long time - For almost all of my life, I think. She was one of my mother's particular favorite playmates for me, and I must say that I most certainly did not ever dislike her. Quite the country, in fact; we were particularly close friends. We had a very strong acquaintance. But was there ever any love? No, Lizzie. The answer is no. Amelia and I never shared a single ounce of that sort of love and that, Lizzie, is what you ought be made aware of. We have known each other too long, I think, been more like brother and sister to each other than lovers. A lot of people did, at one point, especially as we grew older, want us to marry; it seemed like the perfect match... But there was, between the two of us, never any desire for matrimony. My father, Elizabeth, was entirely wrong. Listen to me, please.... What does he know about the complicated business of love?"

Elizabeth looked at him, looked straight into his steady eyes and she finally began to believe him.

"I am not a man to pretend to be in love with any woman, Eliza. Nor am I some person whom would ever marry for convienience or comfort. Think. Tink about it, dear wife, for if I was a person who did any of thoes things - if I had the choice between yourself and Miss Westchild - and I indeed chose to marry for convienience or comfort - who would I have chosen, you or her?"

Elizabeth thought about it. "Her." she said at last, her voice a mere tiny squeak. "You would have chosen her. Amelia Westchild."

"Exactly." said Mr Emmerson, gripping his wife tightly by the arms. "And whom is it that I really chose for a wife? Her or you?"

"Me." said Elizabeth, still in the same quiet voice. But then she raised it slightly as the truth sunk in. "You chose me."

Her husband beamed down at her. "Precisely." he said. "I chose you."

And Elizabeth started to laugh with relief. "You did!" she cried, embracing him happily "You really did!" 

And the joy of the moment was so intense, and their laughter so loud, that Peft, the two doctors, Maddy and the now almost perfectly unharmed Georgia looked up in astonishment.

Peft smiled softly to himself and winked cheekily at Elizabeth as he sent the two helpful doctors home. "What a day." he said, mopping his brow with a hankerchief. "And I still have Joseph Emmerson to see to...Don't worry." he added when Georgia, Mr Emmerson and Elizabeth exchanged worried glances. "He shall be put into gaol, I expect, after all he's done. He shall not be bothering you again." Then he doffed them all his grey top hat. "Good day." he said, and left.


Mr Emmerson let go of Elizabeth and as they, as husband and wife, stood there, he turned to Maddy, whom seemed to be in a right old daze. "Thank you for your assistance, today. You have, I want you to know, been most wonderously helpful to all of us. Therefore, Maisy, I thank you and congratulate you in every-"

Elizabeth cleared her throat. "Maddy, Fitzwilliam. Her name is Maddy, not Maisy..."

Maddy blushed and fiddled with her apron.

Mr Emmerson blinked. "Ah." he said, awkwardly. "Maddy. I do apologise. My mistake..."

Maddy curtsied graciously. "Oh, no, master. It does not matter. A name is a name, after-"

But Mr Emmerson would not have it. "No, dear gir! A name is your name and I sincerely apologise to you, Maddy. My own servants' names matter just as much as my own and I ought not be so forgetful."

"Aye," agreed Elizabeth playfully. She nudged her husband. "Indeed you ought not be!"

And Maddy giggled, then, when she was dismissed, went back to the kitchens.


Georgia Emmerson, meanwhilst, whom had, up until that point, remained silent, slipped one arm through Elizabeth's, slipping the other through Mr Emmerson's. 

"Pray, brother." she said. "Now that this entire business is over, let us show your new wife the gardens. And, of course, her own quarters." And off the three of them went, perfectly merrily, with not one thought of awful Mr Emmerson Senior on any one of their minds.


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