Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Here’s another excerpt of my new Regency story. Mrs. Bennet is about to get a bit of a shock. 😉
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It was later that afternoon before Mrs. Bennet could be convinced to hear anything regarding the will, and then only because Mr. Gardiner insisted. Since Lizzy had been the one to sit in on the reading of the document, it was decided that she would explain it to her mother and sisters. She gathered them all together in the drawing room and patiently explained the situation with Mr. Collins, the dower house, and their income.
“The dower house! Why, it is not fit for humans to live in!” Mrs. Bennet was not pleased. It was bad enough to be forced from Longbourn; living with one of her siblings would have been tight, but manageable. The dower house, however, was only half the size of the manor house.
“Nonsense, Fanny!” Gardiner was not shy about rebuking his sister in front of her guests. “That dower house is gorgeous! It is true that the number of bedrooms is less, but that will not matter. There is plenty of room for entertaining small numbers of guests, though they may not be able to spend the night without the girls doubling up. You will be mourning for a year, anyway, so you cannot entertain.”
“Oh, Brother!” Mrs. Bennet’s wail drew the staff in from the kitchen, but seeing there was nothing wrong, they immediately returned.
“Enough! You are moving to the dower house. Now be quiet; there is more you must hear.” Gardiner gestured to Elizabeth to continue, and she explained that the heir was told he must wait thirty days to take possession, they were not certain he would do so, Sir William had been apprised of the situation and promised his assistance, and oh, yes, she was getting married, the ceremony would be in a fortnight, there would be no wedding breakfast, and she would not be making any clothing purchases due to their mourning. Having finally gotten all of the details out, without offering to reply to questions, her mother and sisters were left not knowing what to comment on first.
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