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...


28. 28.

Elizabeth found that she was quite impressed with Pickely house's gardens, for they were delightful things, vast and full of intriguing plants and winding walks. The three of them - Georgia, Elizabeth and Mr Emmerson (Ophelia had not been seen for the entire duration of Elizabeth's stay so far) - walked for a very long time, laughing and talking without a single miserable topic being passed between them, and it took them the entire of the rest of the afternoon  to get Mrs Emmerson even vaguely acquainted with the grounds closest to the house. Eventually, however, they found that they had not a moment to walk for any longer and so the three of them returned, very much satisfied, back up to the house, where dinner was being served. It was at this dinner that Ophelia took it upon herself to make her appearence and join the party, although she did not seem in good spirits, not good spirits at all, and the sight of her brother and sister's bandaged hands, and Mr Emmerson's bruised neck, only seemed to make Ophelia Emmerson even more dismal. She was sorry for all she had done and the trouble she had caused and apologised to everyone, most civilly, during desert. Georgia and Elizabeth, being the particular young women they were, accepted the apology instantaniously, but Mr Emmerson naturally found it a little more difficult to forgive and forget. In fact, it was only much later in the evening, as he dutifully wrote a letter to Sergeant Peft, that he even accepted the apology, when he realizes that Ophelia had merely been blackmailed and, undoubtably, stupid.


The next day, however, there came a surprise visitor. More than one, in fact, for, not only did Elizabeth get to finally meet Miss Amelia Westchild - whom came with a small posey of flowers for the recently married Emmersons - but she also saw Jantet and Mr Fitzwield as well. The visitors were all welcomed with eager surprise and much attention and hospitality, although at first Elizabeth was a little wary of Miss Westchild. However, the lady in question turned out to be quite pleasant, being a very gifted musician, an enthusiastic reader and a strong feminist and she got along with both Elizabeth and Janet very well indeed. Amelia was also a ver beautiful woman, with thick, blonde hair, a fosy complexion and soft blue eves that sparkled whenever she was amused. It was plain as day why people should have considered her to be the obvious choice for Mr Emmerson's wife; they should have made an extreamly prudent match had they not behaved so playfully sibling-like towards one another.


Janet, on the other hand, and Mr Fitzwield, came with some delightful news, for they were expecting their first child, a thing which they, as parents, were ecstatic about and at which the others, too, could express their delight.

"An aunt, Lizzie!" squeeled Janet happily, beaming broadly. "You are to be an aunt! Oh, Lizzy! I am so very happy!"

"You should be!" cried Elizabeth, throwing her arms around her sister. "This is simply wonderful news, Janet, and I can easily feel your joy. You and Mr Fitzwield shall make for the perfect parents! Really, you shall!"

Janet gave a little skip of excitement. "Which do you think the baby shall be? A boy or a girl?"

Elizabeth laughed. "Dearest Janet! I could not possibly be able to tell!"

"No." agreed Janet. "We shall just have to wait..."


Meanwhilst, over with Mr Fitzwield, Mr Emmerson was expressing similar delight. "Bless the Lord, Edmund, and the child to!" he said cheerfully. "But, for so long, you seemed only concerned with my own matrimony. And now, look! A future parent!"

And the ecstasy stayed like so for the entire duration of the Fitzwields' stay at Pickely, which came to the total of three weeks. 

It was shortly after those three weeks that Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam recieved some news of their own: Elizabeth, too, was to have a child. Yet more rejoicing was had upon recieving the happy news and Elizabeth became so overwhelmed with ecstasy that she drifted delightedly about the house for almost the entire duration of her pregnancy. She would spend hours with Mr Emmerson, planning ans scheming; sewing and darning; laughing and singing merry song, after merry song. And everybody else was delighted for the Emmersons, too, although no one's delight was equal to that of theirs. Nothing could dampen the Emmersons' spirits, nothing at all. Their little world at Pickely, with Georgia alongside them (but no Ophelia) - whom was, at present, being courted by a handsome man of the name Robert Graphling - seemed perfect. Utterly perfect. Beautiful. Magical. Wonderful.


That is, until the baby was born. Dead. Completely and utterly dead. Tiny. Stone-cold. Deceased. She'd been that way, the doctors told the crushed parents, for a very long time, and the Emmersons were not to blame themselves. It was perfectly common. But, still, their baby girl was dead. And now nothing could reduce their sadness.


For weeks, months even, Elizabeth sat in her bedroom, the yellow shawl she had been mid-way through knitting for the baby held close to her chest, sodden and stiff with salty tears. Slowly, day by day, the wool came unfastened and, left untreated, began to unwravel, thinning and winding, curling dismally away until therte was nothing left of it but a few unusable strands of faded, yellow wool.


Mr Emmerson, too, suffered from their terrible loss and began to spend his time, almost every second of it, on the bench facing the big old apple tree, upon which he had sat during the time of Elizabeth's labour. There the poor man sat, day after week, week after month, gazing, unseeingly into thin air and rendered almost insensibly by terrible grief. And that was how broken husband and wife lived out their days for almost an entire year straight. That is, until new hope arrived on the horizon.


Amelia Westchild was, in fact, the deliverer of this hope. After seeing two of her most beloved friends buried in shuch agony for so long, dear Miss Westchild decided to take action. Tirelessly, over the course of four months, she slaved to persuade the Emmersons to try again for another child and, this time, they were successful. Finally, and to everyone's relief, a baby boy was born, whom they named Edward. Then, another two years later, a baby girl was born, this time being proudly named Elizabeth, after her delighted mother. James, Rose and Kitty Fitzwield, meanwhilst, the cousins of the Emmersons and the children of dear Janet and Edmund Fitzwield, grew up happily alongside them and dear Maddy, as a reward for all she had done, was promoted to Elizabeth's own personal maid, a thing which pleased the young girl immensely. And neither Fitzwilliam, nor Elizabeth ever regretted it, for they lived out their long lives pleasurably in the hills of the Peak District.


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