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...

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When the dance ended, Elizabeth, having already done two others, feeling rather warm and secretly glad to escape the vicar, for he had made her uneasy, moved towards the punch table to pour herself a drink. But, no sooner had she selected a glass, then a male voice, slick and awfully familiar, offered to help pour it. Elizabeth jumped, almost out of her skin and dropped the glass on the floor, where it smashed into a thousand tiny shards. For a moment, she struggled to place the voice, still in a state of shock. It wasn't Mr. Fitzwield, whom she kney was buisy dancing with her sister, nor could it be Mr. Emmerson, for she could see him nearby, talking quietly to a smartly-dressed man in a blue suit. That, then, left one person. Turning slowly around, Elizabeth came face to face with the vicar. He'd followed her, and she could smell the champagne on his horrid breath.

"Hello, again, Miss Marton." Whispered the vicar, seductively, smothering her hand in his and caressing it possessively. Elizabeth shivered and felt a strong desire to snatch her hand away. But she stayed, for courtesy's sake. 

"I didn't mean to startle you. Are you in good health? You look slightly drained."

"I thank you, sir." Said Elizabeth evasively "and goodbye!"

"Wait!" Cried the vicar "would you care for a walk? I wish to propose to you. Alone."

The last part greatly confused Elizabeth, whom merely stared at the vicar incredulously "Propose?" She gave a shaky laugh, as if it were all a joke. "A likely story, sir! But, in case you are not trying to prank me, then I must tell you a very firm no. I will not and cannot marry a man like you! I have known you a mere hour! Of course I turn you down!"

"Well, Marton," sneered the vicar, his voice and breath becoming more and more repulsively vulgar all the time. "If you shall not be my lover, then you are my enemy! Goodbye! And may God punish you!" And with that, he left, leaving Elizabeth to tremble where she stood. 

It was also then, that Janet appeared and so did Mr. Emmerson, Mr. Fitzwield hot on their heels. "Lizzie!" Cried Janet, rushing to her sister's side, despite all the broken glass. Elizabeth did not think that there had ever been a time where she rejoiced over the appearance of her sister more than she did then. "Oh, Eliza! What ever happened to you?" 

And Elizabeth told them the whole sorry story. When she was done, the expressions of her companions registered varying degrees of shock and possible anger, where Mr. Emmerson was concerned. Mr. Fitzwield then summoned a mai to sweep up all the broken glass, whilst Janet checked her sister over for signs of harm. Finding none, she lead Elizabeth home to Rolands.

 

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