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Fourth excerpt from my new book! — 51 Comments

  1. I am sorry that Elizabeth believes Darcy to be a traitor and it spoils their meetings. I really hope they soon resolve this and begin to work together against the French (and I really hope she soon gets to feel whether his lips are firm or soft and warm 😊 👄 😊) Thanks for sharing this Abigail.

    • Well this is mandatory, no pain, no gain. P&P without a “Hunsford” is bland. The French just add to the spice. It is not the reaction of the Ton that is feared, but the exposure of the truth (both are active rebels). If the French find out, it would be deadly for them and there family, so they keep dancing around and droping hints.

      Duckie

      • No pain, no gain, indeed! I’m leaving most of the Ton out of this book, in part because it’s chaotic itself after the loss of aristocrats and the rise of tradesmen, but also because Darcy is too busy between the French and his, umm, other activities to attend any Ton events. As for their secrets, you have that right – when a secret is the difference between life and death for yourself and your family, it isn’t something you should be mentioning just because you meet a girl you like. 😉

        • I’m wondering if it should be spread about that Uncle Gardiner is a tradesman, and a figure of safety for the Bennets.

  2. Maria yesterday and you today – we’re spoiled for riches in great reading material! Thoughts – this story just keeps getting more intriguing! Oh so many things I want to see – How did Darcy end up in his position of keeping his lands but working secretly against the French? Looking forward to Darcy and Lizzy arguing as let’s face it those are some of the best parts of the original story. Lizzy finding out if Darcy’s lips are firm or soft and warm. Jane and Bingley working out despite the nefarious Captain Renard. Georgiana making a ‘miraculous’ recovery from her dumb state after Darcy and Lizzy combine forces to rid England of its invaders. Can’t wait for next week’s installment!

    • Thanks for commenting! As you say, there’s a lot going on, and I promise Georgiana will make a miraculous recovery from her current state. 🙂 As for Darcy’s lips – well, you’ll have to wait and see!

  3. Still so many questions!
    It’s a double sword seeing the bond/attraction grow between Darcy and Elizabeth .
    It’s sweet and feels so right but then you know it will tumble down like. A House of cards .
    Really enjoying your twist to history!

  4. I won’t wish for anything as I find authors have so much more of a creative imagination than I do. Loving this story but expecting someone, somehow, to betray the Bennets hiding of Jane and also the story of what happened to put Georgiana into a state of shock (PTSD)and just what Darcy is hiding about his estate and the French? You have hinted that he is not a spy for the English government and also that his father might have had a major role in getting the Princess out of the country. So…bring it on.

    Thanks for this chapter…I do love the angst and the draw that Darcy is exerting on Elizabeth’s emotions…even if undesired at this point.

  5. It wouldn’t be a P&P without angst between Lizzie and Darcy. I look forward to next week to what happens with Robinson and Darcy’s solution to the problem – Lizzie probly wont’ like it!!!!

  6. Today I especially liked the photo of the muff pistol – and the steps to load it! It sounds like a dangerous undertaking to use such a weapon. Fill with black powder and a ball, then screw back on the barrel – powder in the barrel threads? Yes, that sounds dangerous just loading it! How long would that take? Obviously not a grab and shoot weapon. It would require pre-planning… Now add bouncing around in a racing coach, priming the flash pan, then… A companion gift could be a stiletto for a desperate moment. Will Elizabeth get into a situation where she must fire the pistol??

    Another very well done book section!!

    • Thanks, Dave! I was rather astonished by the loading of the muff pistol. It was a precursor of the Derringer in the US, and apparently people did carry them loaded. I’m with you, though – it seems like quite a risk! Pistols seem to get pointed at people an awful lot in this book (and usually women threatening men!), but they don’t seem to be fired very often!

    • That were exactly my thoughts, too, when I read that part… How fast could she load it, if she met a French unexpectedly? Would she have to carry it with her in the pocket of her pelisse? Loaded? How likely is it to misfire inside her pocket? Oh my, the danger of preparing against danger…

      • I like the image of her carrying the pistol in her reticule. Here comes Captain Renard – she opens the reticule and rummages for the pistol… out comes handkerchiefs, bottles of something, a pencil, paper, address book, extra shot and powder. Oh drat! Where IS that pistol??

        Maybe instead of carrying a reticule, she should start a new trend and carry a back pack… 😉

  7. The inevitable argument … Oh no! Well, at least I hope some good will come out of it. Still so many unspoken words. Waiting. Jen Red

  8. Veey, very intriguing. Giving Lizzy a pistol to protect herself. He is very much enamored of her and she is becoming so of him. It sounds like there are more misunderstandings to come and possible lies or inuendoes from the French and that sparks will fly between ODC

    • There are still misunderstandings to come and new layers to be revealed, but one of the pleasures of writing this particular scenario is that it doesn’t always have to be misunderstandings – not when the French are there to throw their monkey wrenches into the works!

  9. Yes, I can see the ‘powder’ hitting the proverbial fan! Explosion indeed being set up! Elizabeth is fighting her attraction and Darcy is playing a dangerous game that we are not aware of! Will the hurricane be Wickham and/or Renard! Love the muff pistol but like Mr McKee says, so many steps to load and dangerous if pre-loaded! Darcy is so correct about Mr. Bennet and though Elizabeth knows her father, she doesn’t equate it to the same type of situation Darcy is in! Thank you for another wonderful chapter!

    • Darcy is not just playing a dangerous game – he’s juggling them! But he does have better insight into Mr. Bennet’s choices that Elizabeth does. Sadly, I suspect Mr. Bennet’s indolence and dislike of conflict actually could lead to a situation like this.

  10. A wonderful chapter, Abigail! Elizabeth’s feelings for Darcy are certainly growing, as are his for her. I hope that their misunderstanding–or rather, her misunderstanding of his being a “traitor”–can be cleared up soon, but as we’re only in the fourth chapter, I’m sure that many more misunderstandings and conflicts will arise before the air is cleared between them.

    The pistol is a lovely and very expensive gift…besides being dangerous and illegal! But it is also a thoughtful, wise, and loving gift of protection. And it shows Darcy’s trust in her ability and willingness to use it if no other options are available to defend herself and her loved ones. I have a feeling that Elizabeth will be forced to use the pistol in her own or in Jane’s defense (or perhaps in Darcy’s defense–that would be quite the twist!), and then trouble for Elizabeth will really start, especially if she is incarcerated and perhaps sentenced to death…. (Sorry, my imagination is running away with me, LOL!)

    Thank you for sharing the first portion of this oh-so-different variation with us; it’s truly a privilege to have a first glimpse of your next book, Abigail!!

    Wishing you a joyous Third Day of Christmastide,
    Susanne 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting, Susanne! There’s quite a lot of secrets yet to be revealed, and soon enough one misunderstanding will lead to another, and then there’s the French complicating everything! One challenge for Elizabeth is that she isn’t as careful about hiding her views as Darcy is, and that is asking for trouble…

  11. As everyone has said, a wonderful chapter. I was so sorry when I came to the end. Is Lady Catherine the reason for Darcy’s predicament?

  12. Wonderful reading! Elizabeth and Darcy sure have to work out this dilemma. Thinking he’s a traitor doesn’t help his situation at all. An illegal gun – small but mighty! But it would take time to load this little gem. Elizabeth better start packing for Scotland. I see problems with Captain Renard on the horizon. A knife would be silent at least, but she would have to be too close. Feel like there’s going to be an “angst storm” soon. This I such a great book. Can’t wait for publication of this story. Great job!

    • Thanks! Elizabeth really ought to be coming up with better escape plans for Scotland – this “I’ll go with nothing more than the clothes on my back” is a pretty impractical plan. Definitely some angst coming soon!

  13. I’m engrossed in the story, eagerly awaiting the next chapter. I’m intrigued, I can’t picture yet a “happy ever after” that leaves the French occupation intact. However I can’t guess how Darcy and Lizzy defeat the French. Can’t wait to find out.

  14. Loving the story. After reading the others comments, Darcy references having many such weapons. Yet Elizabeth did not pick up on that in her wish to gaze upon Darcy.

    Why have so many weapons? I see much angst in the future along with rebellion and gunfire!

    Yep Elizabeth is definitely in trouble. It is unfortunate that she cannot see or ask him about the “cover” story.

  15. Oh, this story is so intriguing, I already love it 😀

    And thanks for the little paragraph about Mary and Mrs. Bennet – the civil code as a means to get rid of the entail – that’s genious and so much in character for Mrs. Bennet to favor the French if they safe her from the hedgerows…btw. would that make Jane the heiress? Ome more Reason for Renard to pursue her…

    But what would Lizzy do in Scotland? Does she have family there? Or where would she go?

    And does the downfall of the aristrocracy and the rise of the tradesmen mean, that Mr. Gardiner’s business is thriving now? And Bingley’s also? Will they be as important in society as Darcy was before? …what an irony, if Lizzy could snub Lady Catherine now, for her connections (what she would of course never do, it wouldn’t be Lizzy’s style…at least if she hasn’t been made too furious)

    And, well, who else is missing Richard Fitzwilliam so far? A war, an enemy and a (former?) Colonel in his majesty’s army..I do hope, they haven’t done him harm…

    So many questions….I’m looking forward to next tuesday, thank you Abigail!

    • MMmmm…., “the missing” Col. Fitzwilliam, his father&mother, his older brother, Lady Cat and Anne, I think that Darcy is hiding them in the wilds of Derbyshire and maybe has set up an escape line to freedom for people that are wanted by the French.

    • You’ll hear more about Scotland later. There’s a group of English exiles there. But the truth is that Lizzy hasn’t thought out the ramifications of a woman going to Scotland alone.

      Tradesmen are more powerful in society now simply because the aristocrats have been taken out of the equation. There’s nothing stopping Bingley’s sisters from going to the most fashionable balls now.

      As for Richard Fitzwilliam, he is alive and you’ll be seeing him later in the book. I won’t say the French haven’t done him any harm, because a soldier who is the son of an aristocrat is going to be a target, but it isn’t stopping him from doing what he wants. 😉

  16. Hasn’t Darcy mentioned a lot of what has happened in his life? I am getting very irritated with Lizzy still yammering over her fake traitor excuse. Stop it! (Much needed slap on the cheek to restore rationality.) I know it is good to have some misunderstandings between them; however, this is not really working well.

    • I agree on the traitor bit. If Lizzy truly thought he was in league with the French, she would not have let D or B become aware of Jane’s situation. Maybe she is using the traitor idea to keep a rein on her inner feelings – because of the occupation, not expecting anything to ever develop between them. Is she thinking that he trying to trick her for some nefarious reason? Trust would be hard to come by when he will not admit what deal he had to make to keep his land.

      • As I mentioned in my response to Julia, it’s not as simple as being him in league with the French or not. She doesn’t think Darcy was delighted by the French invasion, just that he took the easy way out to protect his situation. She knows he isn’t spying for the French or trying to root out rebels, but he is following the orders of the generals in London in terms of how he manages his estate and how he sets an example for cooperation with the regime. Those orders don’t apply to helping common French officers find and abuse helpless women, but Darcy did think he made a mistake in standing up to Captain Renard at the dance. If Darcy got word from London that he was to visit the neighbors and convince them to go along with French conditions, he would do it, and Elizabeth doesn’t like that one bit. He has told her he hobnobs with French officers in London. She’s too black and white to go along with that – at least until she has a bigger stake in the matter. 😉

    • I’m sorry you don’t think it works. Here’s my reasoning. Pretty much everyone who became a ‘traitor’ during the occupations didn’t actually want the French there, and I imagine many of them did what they could to protect people when it didn’t endanger themselves. There’s nothing inconsistent between Darcy being a traitor and keeping Jane’s secret. However, the main reason for selling out was to maintain personal wealth and property. You and I know Darcy well enough to know he wouldn’t do it for that reason. Elizabeth doesn’t know him as well as we do, and to me it’s reasonable for her to assume keeping his fortune and Pemberley played into his decision, even if it wasn’t all of it.

  17. I love it, Abigail! I don’t think it’s “not working” at all, I completely understand your reasoning. And I can’t wait to see the big confrontation next week. 🙂

    I do have one note – when Darcy is showing Elizabeth how to load the pistol, he says, “A touch more black powder here and you are ready to go.” I think the phrasing “ready to go” sounds too modern, like it doesn’t fit the times. I know that all of those words have retained their meanings since the Regency era, so it’s entirely possible that someone in that time period may have said exactly that…it’s just something about the expression and how quick and simplistic and cavalier it is. Maybe if he said something like, “A touch more black powder here and you may fire at will.” Obviously it’s your call!

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