Thursday’s 300: Caroline’s Censure Excerpt #3

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Welcome back to Austen Promises!

This week’s 418 words are not in consecutive order from the rest. I’m not sure where in the story they will be … that will be determined in the editing process. But, I really like this section and wanted to share some of it with you. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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Though she tried to conceal it, Jane was more upset than she had ever been. At Elizabeth’s urging, she sat, accepting a cup of tea though refusing a cake. Grateful for the few minutes’ reprieve afforded by her sister’s attention to the teapot, Jane clasped her hands in her lap and attempted to calm her rampaging thoughts. When finally, a restorative cup of tea was placed in her hands and she had partaken of it, she began to relate the reasons for her agitation.

“There has been a terrible row,” she began. “Lydia began to speak, in Mama’s presence, about seeing you in Meryton two days ago, and how you are soon to leave for Derbyshire, and expressing a desire for you to take her with you. Though I tried to hush her, she would not be silenced.”

Elizabeth exchanged a look of alarm with Georgiana, who had been apprised of the situation with Mrs. Bennet early in her residence at Netherfield. The ladies turned their attention back to Jane, who had not paused in her narrative except for another sip of tea, to give her courage.

“Mama remained quiet for the first part of the exchange; unusually so. It was only when Lydia exclaimed that she cared not what problems there were between her mother and sister, she would not stop talking about you, Lizzy, and that Mama could hug herself if she objected.”

“Oh!” Elizabeth leaned back a little, eyes widening, imagining her mother’s reaction to that.

“Mama has been rather quiet since I gave her that set-down at the Assembly. She has still refused to hear anything of you or to allow us to discuss you, but she has expressed her displeasure calmly. Today, however…” Another sip. Jane wondered idly if she could, perhaps, request something stronger be added to it, for even in the retelling, the story was traumatic to such a peace-loving lady as she. She sighed. “Today, Mama became decidedly angry. It was a surprise that she did so at Lydia, who you know is much indulged by her mother. You know our youngest sister; she is not one to demurely turn away. Instead, she became quite as angry as Mama, declaring that she would not pretend that her sister did not exist and that Mama would have to learn to live with hearing your name. She brought up my set-down at the ball.” Jane blushed at the memory.

Elizabeth prompted her sister to continue the tale, asking, “What did Mama do?”

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