Skep's Place


Chapter 33: Much Ado About COLD-HEARTED BETRAYAL

One of Elizabeth's favorite activities during her stay is strolling through one of the gardens on Lady Catherine's estate that doesn't get much foot traffic. However, she does end up running into Mr. Darcy there once; and after informing him that she's there quite a lot, actually—thinking that it will convince him to go somewhere else—she starts running into him more. And he starts saying some weird things—when he's not just being dour and awkward, anyway—like "maybe next time you visit here, you'll be staying in Lady Catherine's house." She figures, I dunno, maybe he thinks I'm going to get with his cousin or something.

Speaking of which, one day she's walking home while reading a letter from Jane, who is obviously not in good spirits, when she runs into Darcy's cousin, and they start having a chat one-on-one. Mostly, they talk about Mr. Darcy, and how he pretty much does as he pleases, and how he pretty much can do what he pleases because he's so rich. There's a sidebar where the cousin says "yeah I can't do that, since I'm the second son and I don't get all the money" and she replies "shut up, you still have money, you're fine" but he whines that it'll never be enough to maintain the lavish lifestyle he's used to unless he marries a rich lady.

The conversation transitions to Mr. Darcy's sister, which then transitions to the Bingley sisters who are always fawning over her, which naturally transitions again to Mr. Bingley himself. Darcy's cousin says, yeah, Bingley and Darcy are good friends. In fact, I'm led to believe that Mr. Bingley owes Mr. Darcy a great debt.

But when Elizabeth pushes him on this, he begins to backpedal, saying, well, I don't actually know it was Bingley, Darcy never gave a name. He was just real proud of himself for recently having saved a friend from a bad marriage, and who else has Darcy been hanging out with the past few months?

This revelation instantly riles Elizabeth, who asks what reason he possibly could have had for breaking them up; but Darcy's cousin doesn't know anything other than there having been objections to the lady in particular. But when he starts getting suspicious of Elizabeth's interest, she says, well, maybe it's not as bad as I think. Maybe Mr. Bingley just didn't love her enough to begin with.

The cousin replies, maybe, but if that was the case, Mr. Darcy wouldn't really be patting himself on the back so hard for his part in the breakup, would he?

Elizabeth goes home and sulks in her room alone for a while, trying to make sense of all this. Of course, the objection couldn't possibly be with sweet, lovely Jane; or with their father, who was a respectable gentleman after all; or with their mother, who... err... well, okay, maybe there could be some objection there. But surely Mr. Darcy could overlook Mrs. Bennet if that was the only issue.

Eventually she decides that half of the reason must have been that Mr. Darcy still wanted Mr. Bingley to marry his sister instead of Jane, and the other half was just because he thought he could get away with it.

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