Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Here is another excerpt from Lady Catherine Impedes. I chose it with care, for I dearly wished to entice you with it. 😉 I have not had time to proofread, so please forgive me for the multitude of errors I’m sure are there!
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William Collins stood in the middle of his bedchamber at Longbourn, staring at a letter in his hand. He had been shocked to receive it, not only because it came by one of Lady Catherine’s personal messengers, but also because of the sender. Miss de Bourgh had written to him, and though he had read the missive through twice, he did not know what to make of it.
Shaking off his initial sense of surprise, Collins read the note once more, slowly and carefully this time instead of in the rushed manner he had previously. Remove Mrs. Darcy from my cousin’s life permanently…matters not the method…generously compensated. Collins’ eyes grew wide as Miss de Bourgh’s meaning became more clear. He looked up from the letter, not really seeing his surroundings. His eyes darted back and forth as his mind absorbed the import of her words.
William Collins was the only child of a miserly, illiterate, and bad-tempered father and a weak and insipid mother. His father’s dominance had formed Collins into a young man with a humble appearance and low opinion of himself but with a streak of meanness buried within. His mother, though she had tried to influence her son, had not had the pluck to stand up to her husband, and so her efforts had ranged from ineffectual to outright overruled. The elder Collins, knowing that he was the heir-apparent to Longbourn and that his son was to succeed him should he die, decided that the boy should be educated and sent him off to university to study theology and become a clergyman.
Collins the younger had performed fairly well at school, though he had not made any useful acquaintance there. It was sheer luck that had brought him into contact with his benefactress. His early success and, once his father passed away, his knowledge of his future as a landowner, had combined to make him proud and condescending, yet he still retained a humble mien. The combination resulted in a gentleman who both flattered those above him and at the same time inflated his own self-importance. Well-buried under the oddity of his behavior were a deep well of anger and the urge to cause pain to those who were, in his mind, his inferiors. He kept those desires under tight regulation much of the time, though there were instances all throughout his life where Collins had given in to them.
Miss de Bourgh’s words were as a match to a pile of kindling in Collins’ heart. If she desires for Cousin Elizabeth to disappear, then disappear she shall. He became giddy as he thought of ways to make it happen.
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