Ms. Austen (Chapter 10, page 1 of 2)


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Chapter 10

London The 10th day August, 1816

With his aunt and cousin attending to the preparations, Tom had found himself with not much to do. He looked through the large picture window in his office. It was not a bad day, a bit sunny but with clouds looming above. Perhaps I'll take a walk. He thought it might clear his mind slightly. He hadn't been able to focus on much since he had sent the invitation to Jane. He had signed it personally, so that she would know of his intent and may be more likely to respond favorably.

While walking along, taking in all of the spectacular views of the city, Tom happened into a one Lady LeCour for whom he had known at least twenty years. While trying to duck out of the woman's sight, she had already made him. "Mr. Lefroy! What a fine day for a stroll, don't you agree? "she was beaming. "Ah, yes my lady fine day indeed." He continued to walk, so that she might hesitate to stop him. For he was aware of her true intentions. The woman had been after him for as long as he could remember, only staying away when he was married. And now with the passing of his wife, she had continued to try to win his affections most publicly. She spoke up. "And how is your daughter, Jane? Healing quite well after her mother's passing, I hope." "Yes, ma'am. She is doing very well, all things considered of course." He nodded. She continued to follow him. "I must thank you kindly for the invite to your ball, I trust it will be most exciting." Had he not invited her, she would make a big fuss all over town. "Yes, of course. I do look forward to your arrival. Now if you will excuse me my lady, I have got to be on my way. " He stated politely. "Certainly Mr. Lefroy. Farewell, sir." She abruptly turned about, and began to walk in the direction for which she had come. Oh that menacing woman, Tom thought. Aren't there any other men to her liking in London? Perhaps he should avoid walking altogether. Soon, his walk had taken him on the path to the pond his daughter loved so. Thinking that he might want to sit awhile, he stopped to stare at the normally still waters to find that there had been a fountain erected directly in the middle. How delightful. It sort of reminded him of the one that had been in Hampshire. Something just then flickered in his eyes. Although Tom was now quite aged, he still had kept all these years that mischievousness for which he had been known. He abruptly, without the slightest hesitation jumped in. Tom instantly felt a rush of joy, silly as it was. Something came over him just then, something for which he hadn't felt in a long, long while. It was the greatest sense of peace, and it were as if time had stopped altogether, standing still. After awhile, he could hear shouts from passersby, completely in awe of such a strange occurrence happening before them. "Get out of there, you loon! My word sir, have you gone mad? " "Yes!" Tom shouted above their voices. "I have gone mad indeed! And what a great and astounding pleasure it is!" With that, he exited the water as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary, and began to walk home dripping wet.

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