Skep's Place


Chapter 32: Much Ado About Small Talk

Mr. and Mrs. Collins are out running errands, leaving Elizabeth by herself at the house. To her great surprise, Mr. Darcy drops by to say hi. Alone.

This is apparently equally surprising to Mr. Darcy, who seems quite flustered, saying that he didn't expect Charlotte to be out today. Still, being polite, he sits and has tea with Elizabeth.

It's all very awkward for a while. First, Elizabeth tries to find out if Mr. Bingley will ever come back to Netherfield, but Mr. Darcy admits it's likely he's gone for good.

With nothing else worth talking about on that front, Mr. Darcy switches gears and talks about the cottage, noting how nicely Charlotte's done the place up, and that Mr. Collins is quite lucky to have her as a wife. Elizabeth is like, well, I still think she's an idiot, but she seems happy enough so I guess it could be worse.

Then he says that she must be glad to still be so close to her family, and Elizabeth is appalled because she thinks this is a tremendous distance away. They have some back-and-forth banter on what constitutes "far" in a conversation that is surely ripe with nuance and subtext you could really read into, but this is not a book club so I won't be doing that.

Anyway Mr. Darcy ends up getting a little spicy at one of Elizabeth's comments, so he pretty much just changes the topic for a bit and then leaves. Charlotte, who just returned home as Mr. Darcy was heading out, spends the next few days trying to figure out what his deal is; she has the fleeting thought that he must like her, but then realizes that he does absolutely nothing to show it except maybe stare at her a little too much. He's probably just visiting so often because football season is over and he has nothing to do until baseball season starts up.

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