Skep's Place


Chapter 39: Much Ado About Cold Cuts

As they're finally returning home, Jane and Elizabeth stop at the local inn for lunch, where their sisters Kitty and Lydia are waiting to surprise them with a plate of the inn's sandwiches. Lydia tells them, we wanted to treat you for your return! But I'll need you to cover the bill since earlier I spent all my money on a bonnet that I don't like and didn't need, simply because I could.

(Later on when she tells Mary about it, she insists lunch was her treat and conveniently leaves out the part about who actually paid the bill.)

Lydia Bennet

But it turns out that looking pretty isn't going to matter much soon anyway, since all the soldiers that have been staying in town are being moved out toward Brighton in two weeks (much to Elizabeth's glee). But Lydia wants to petition Mr. Bennet to take their summer holiday there this year (much to Elizabeth's chagrin). And she also reports that the girl who inherited all the money had to move away, so Wickham won't be able to marry her now.

Then they get in the carriage to go home, where Lydia tells Jane and Elizabeth to fill her in on all the good gossip, like did they flirt with any boys? Because they need to hurry up and get married already, especially Jane since she is already 23, and Lydia would be horribly ashamed if she was unmarried at 23, and actually, wouldn't it be fun if Lydia out-married all of her sisters even though she's the youngest?

And so, life at home resumes as though nothing happened, although the news of the soldiers'—and Wickham's—imminent departure is enough to make Elizabeth hopeful that Lydia will stop being quite so damn intolerable soon.

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