In my blog last month, I mentioned that I am having my website rebuilt. For the last month, I have been compiling material to be used on the site: blogs, bios, pictures. Oh, the pictures! Of course, I began searching through my photos to see what would work, and my first stop was the ones I took on my trip to the United Kingdom in 2018. Anyone who has followed my blogs knows my friend and I traveled from Scotland, through the Lake District to Wales, then the Peak District on our way back to Scotland. It was an exhausting and rewarding trip, staying only one night in each location after leaving Inverness. Studying the pictures brought it all back. While reliving our day in Glencoe, I was reminded of Elizabeth’s speech to Mrs. Gardiner.
“What are young men to rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours of transport we shall spend! And when we DO return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of anything. We WILL know where we have gone–we WILL recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations; nor when we attempt to describe any particular scene, will we begin quarreling about its relative situation. Let OUR first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.” – Pride and Prejudice Chapter 27
Within days, I was speaking to my traveling companion, as well as potential travelling companions, and declaring that future trips to the UK would be for shorter durations and see me staying in one locale. A four-to-five-day trip to the Isle of Skye, followed by another to Glencoe, then the Lake District, Southern Wales (as we did not get there last time), the Peak District, and perhaps Bath (another spot on my bucket list). Of course, this is a long list and multiple trips, so not very likely, but I can dream. (Perhaps it will be a seven-day trip divided between the Isle of Skye and Glencoe instead.)
As always, when I immerse myself in these pictures and thoughts, I begin to imagine some of our favorite characters in these locations. My first blog on Austen Authors, immediately following my return to the US, included one of these musings. Here is another brief scene for your enjoyment.
Elizabeth tilted her head back and looked up to the towering trees. Closing her eyes, she listened to them creaking as they swayed in the wind. A delighted smile spread across her countenance as she moved with them.
A soft chuckle broke through her communing with nature, and she opened her eyes to find her husband smiling down at her.
“Do you laugh at me, Mr. Darcy?”
“I dare not,” he said as he slipped his arms about her and drew her against him. “How did I become so lucky as to find a wife whose passions for nature match my own?”
Elizabeth tilted her head to the side as she considered her answer. “I believe it is I who am the lucky one. How many men would encourage their wives’ enjoyment of long walks?” She rose up on her toes and brushed a brief kiss over his lips. “Thank you, Fitzwilliam, for allowing me to accompany you to Scotland.”
“I had a choice?” he asked, chuckling again when she narrowed her eyes at him. “I could not fathom being separated from you for so long, and I knew you would love this area. There are more trails than even you could walk, my love. We shall surely have to return in the future to explore them all.”
Her eyes lit with excitement as she clasped her hands together. “May we? I was uncertain if business would bring you here again.”
“Oh, I believe we shall be travelling to this area many times in the years to come.” Darcy pursed his lips but was unable to suppress his grin. “It would not do for the mistress of Linmarch to be away too long.”
“Linmarch?” Elizabeth’s lips parted, but no words escaped. The thoughtful look upon her countenance revealed the quickness of her mind. A moment later, she drew a quick breath. “Widow MacLeod’s home?”
“She has received many offers for the property since her husband died, but she would not entertain them as ‘the Sassenachs held no love for the land,’” Darcy said with a Scottish accent reminiscent of the widow whose home they had let for the month.
“I do not understand you, Mr. Darcy.” Elizabeth leaned back, her eyes narrowing once more as she examined his countenance.
Darcy pulled her closer as his gaze caressed her features. “I know you are disappointed we will be leaving the end of this week. Mrs. MacLeod sees it as well. She has accepted my offer to purchase the home as it is becoming too much for her.”
“She said her daughter has requested she live with them on the other side of Loch Leven.” Elizabeth frowned. “I do not wish to take her home.”
Darcy lifted a hand to cup her cheek. “She was pleased to have found a woman who would love it as she does.”
Tears filled Elizabeth’s eyes as a teasing smile lifted her lips. “Why do I suspect this is a ploy to avoid the ton?”
“I am certain I do not understand you.” Darcy stepped back and wrapped her hand about his arm before leading his wife down the path towards the waiting carriage.
“If we are in Scotland, we cannot be in London.”
Darcy shrugged. “I had not thought of it, but it is another argument in favour of the investment,” he replied, drawing lilting laughter from his wife.
I hope you have enjoyed this sweet moment between ODC. Watch for my new website and Keep Reading!