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...


6. 6

Every respectable family in the area was expected to come to Inklefield's latest ball and everyone Elizabeth knew looked very much thoroughly forwards to it, including herself, as the last one, as a result of Mr. Emmerson, she had not found particularly fun. 


When the day of the ball at last arrived, and the Martons stepped in through the doors of the house, they found a very odd sight awaiting them indeed:

Just as had been the case the last time a ball had been held, whilst Miss Fitzwield was not there to meet them, the two gentlemen once more stood there to greet them. What was different, however, was that Mr. Fitzwield appeared to be keeping a firm hold of Mr. Emmerson's arm, the owner of which looked very much in want of a means of escape. But as the Martons approached, Mr. Fitzwield smiled gaily at them all and said "I wondered whether Elizabeth would mind playing along on the piano a couple of times before we begin, accompanied by Mr. Emmerson, here, whom has great talent and whom it would make my day to hear."

Mr. Emmerson tried, in vain, to free himself from the clutches of his friend, but stopped as he realized Elizabeth was silently quaking with laughter at him. Unable to resist, said Elizabeth teasingly, "I hope you are not scared of performing alongside myself."

Mr. Emmerson snorted impatiently. "Of course not!" He snapped, but Elizabeth noticed that he had gone rather pale. Good. She thought, satisfied. I am glad he is nervous. For, after all he's done, this is only a small part of what he deserves.

But she fixed a dazzling smile upon her face, instead of gloating, took Mr. Emmerson's arm in hers and lead the way to the piano stool beside the dancefloor, the other guests at the party crowding round to watch.

She began, first of all, to play one of her favorite tunes, one that ought be unfamiliar to Mr. Emmerson and which would require a male soloist. It was unkind, she knew, to pick a song with which her companion should not be able to follow, but Elizabeth began the opening bars anyway. 

Upon the first note, a look of immense surprise landed upon Mr. Emmerson's face and Elizabeth struggled to suppress a chuckle. However, to her great annoyance, the look of initial surprise was soon replaced with a flicker of pleasure and Mr. Emmerson actually managed to sing the entire song as though he had sung it many times before.

As the last lines of song faded away, and Elizabeth's fingers came to ease over the piano keys, Mr. Fitzwield came suddenly behind them, urging on the wild applause. "Beautiful." He smiled. "You see, Mr. Emmerson, did I not say that the mixture of your two voices would sound marvellous? Now, come sit by me and hear Elizabeth play some more." And the two gentlemen went away, leaving Elizabeth at the piano alone. As she played her final two songs, however, her mind stayed strangely absent. Could Janet have spoken the rightful truth of Mr. Fitzwield trying to match herself and Mr. Emmerson into an engagement?


Once her playing time was over, and Elizabeth left the stool to another young woman, she was asked to dance by a vicar from the town, whom she gracefully accepted. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ballroom, Mr. Fitzwield spoke to Mr. Emmerson, the latter whom was watching Elizabeth dance with apparent great attention. His friend indeed noticed this, and decided to approach the subject of Elizabeth with care. "How pretty Janet Marton's eyes always look..." Mr. Fitzwield said, dreamily. "But I am sure you've noticed how very similar they are to Elizabeth's."

Mr. Emmerson made no reply, but his expression twitched ever so slightly.

"She's a bright girl, is Miss Elizabeth Marton. Very shrewd. Most remarkable young lady. It's a pity you dislike her so, Fitzwilliam." Continued Mr. Fitzwield, pressing his advantage. But Mr. Emmerson nly shook his head. "Pray tell me your reasons of speech and, should I consider them satisfactory, than I shall feed you no lies."

Mr. Fitzwield sighed. "I cannot, dear friend, tell you of my reasoning. If you yourself are unable to admit it, or, in the least, take note of it, then you are a fool, Fitzwilliam, for you are only stacking your pride against you and giving yourself great grief. But, so be it! I can push you no further although I will do my best to get you to open your eyes. You ought listen more to your heart than your head, Will. It is not a sin, nor a weakness that you are suppressing, and -" 

But he got no further, for, quite suddenly, up had stood Mr. Emmerson and he had, like wax, melted into the crowd.

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