As I flew through the air, following my hasty but voluntary departure from the Swift’s chaise I could not help but congratulate myself upon the brilliance of so dramatic, yet simple a scheme. Though I landed upon the ground in a manner so devoid of dignity that I was monstrous glad there was not a soul to witness it, and was, consequently covered in that foulest of substances, mud. The speed at which the carriage had been travelling meant that I had ample time to collect my Trousseau (which, of course I had taken with me) and conceal myself within the woods bordering the road afore the unforgivable Swift’s could have even commanded their horses to halt. When I did hear cries of; “Nay, Mr. Swift, she has fallen, fallen to her doom! we must turn the carriage and find the poor creature!” I was well away from the road and the Swift’s prying eyes. I continued on foot until I had crossed through the woods in their entirety and reached a road upon the other side. The road was, it ought be noted, of a far superior quality than the one along which the Swift’s had passed. Though this journey took only two and twenty minutes I found that I was no longer of an energetic humour and therefore threw myself decidedly upon the ground directly in the path of a most magnificent carriage, which travelled towards me at a most sedate and refined pace. The worthy coachman soon spotted me and with considerable surprise halted the chaise with a call of …
“Mistress, there be a young lady in some not inconsiderable distress upon the road. Pray, Madam, What ought I do?”
“Watson, you uncouth old fool, you shall have to speak more plain for you are so frightfully incoherent as to render yourself utterly incomprehensible.” Came the reply from within.
“Miss, there be an elegant young woman of noble birth strewn across the road here, what do you wish me to do?” Said the coachman, and I was pleased to note that he had recognised that I was a personage of refined nature.
“We must save her Watson, pray, aid me to aid her. You must hand her into the carriage.”
He did so with the utmost haste and I soon found myself in a luxurious and opulent carriage. Where the Swift’s chaise had spoken only of social climbing, this carriage was all wealth and comfort, a family truly sure of themselves; and I was glad of it, for what better rescuers could there be?
It took but a moment for me to recover from my misadventures thus far and realise that I was in the company of an enchanting young woman whose bright complexion shone like a Shakespearean moon. Indeed I was forced to converse with her with my eyes half closed in a squint.
“I offer you my gratitude for saving me thus, for I have been in great peril of late.” Said I to the young woman, whose name soon revealed itself to be Sukey.
“Pray, what sort of peril? You are far to beauteous to be in any mortal danger surely?” Said she.
As the coach moved on in a manner exactly calculated to convey the most excellent kindness of the young lady within., I told Sukey of my troubles thus far, detailing it with that descriptive flair that is so very particular to the gifted.
“Gracious me!” was her sole and eloquent reply “But Miss Francesca how can you be quite certain that the Nonsenses are as deceitful as you say and that you are, indeed an orphan?” Enquired the lovely girl.
“Well Miss Sukey,” Said I with authority, for I was quite confident of my deducing of this vital fact. “It is commonly known that orphans, or those who have fallen prey to temporary abandonment from noble parents are the centre of love and general admiration through all that know them. I have discovered from my frequent perusal of fictitious fact that these poor creatures are universally liked, nay, treasured. They draw sympathy from all around them, and I am, and have always been, the recipient of nought but adoration from all of my acquaintance. How then, if one is quite logical , could such love be inspired by anyone who has notbeen the victim of orphandom, whether tis acknowledged or not?” As I finished my speech, the fine and happy young woman gasped and declared passionately;
“Upon my honour, Miss Francesca, your reasoning is so sound that it must be correct. You are indeed an orphan! I beg you will allow me to aid you to be promptly reunited with your own mamma. My mother has one of the largest acquaintances in all of England, she is certain to know of someone who have been parted from so fine an infant. Return with me, pray and my mamma shall help us.” As soon as the excellent Sukey had spoken I knew that we were undeniably destined to be the very truest of friends from this day forth.
Sukey’s mamma was as good as Sukey’s word and afore long I had been welcomed by them as a most intimate acquaintance, and Mrs Foley (for that was the Family’s name) had settled upon my proper parentage..
“Upon my word Miss Francesca, I do believe I have settled upon your proper parentage, for there was a young woman that tragically misplaced her infant. I forget the exact circumstances surrounding such sadness, but to my knowledge they never found the missing child.”
“Oh!” Cried I with that overwhelming sense of familial reunion. “That is simply to coincidental a coincidence to be a coincidence! Would not you agree Miss Sukey?” I concluded feeling a desire to indulge in the grandest of fainting fits. However I battled these delicate sentiments as, while a faint a faint would have soothed such agitated sensibilities, it would also have undoubtedly delayed the happy reunification that I was now expecting.
“The Wintry Summerton’s house is merely three and thirty miles from here,” Said Mrs Foley “Near enough that we might walk. Indeed the air is so pleasant, the wind is little more than a gale and the rain is not of a fever inducing quality. I firmly believe, Sukey, that the exercise will brighten your complexions.” And with that declaration Mrs Foley led us from the house.
The journey took rather longer than the hearty Mrs Foley had anticipated,. Not only because Sukey spent above an hour in a state of the utmost outrage at her mamma’s suggestion that her complexion was not all it should be, but also because I had by now entered into a state of nervous hysteria at the very thought of laying eyes upon my real family (who were without question, the most elegant and genteel people and they would be so overjoyed at being once more in my presence that they would inform the King himself, who would, in turn, declare a day of national celebration in my honour!) Such delights had caused me to throw myself to the ground in an elegant nervous stupor with surprising regularity.
The Wintry-Summerton’s house was even larger than the unhappy Amberdell Hall and had, of late had several improvements made to it. I was in raptures over the grand lime walk that had been thrown out at the front of the house. We entered and were shown into a graceful parlour with more than a mere hint of the Italian. Presently, however Lady Wintry-Summerton entered the room with such marked natural grace that it was nigh on impossible to believe that she was not of Royal blood.
“Lady Wintry-Summerton,” Said Mrs Foley “Allow me to introduce to you …”
However I found such suspense could no longer be borne. “I find this suspense can no longer be borne!” I cried passionately. “Lady Wintry Summerton, I am your kin, Francesca Tapestry Nonsense, although I am certain I was christened something entirely different, for no young lady of elevated rank has ever been called Francesca!” I finished my outburst and witnessed the admirable Lady Wintry-Summerton blush a number of delicate hues, succumbing finally to the flush of recognition.
“My dear child.” began she amiably in such tones of delight that I knew at once that she must be of the closest relation, most likely my mother. “You are indeed correct that I had the misfortune of misplacing a child some six and ten years ago, and I did not stop searching from that day to this …” I did not permit her to finish her sentence however.
“Well Madam, you need search no longer!” I cried in gladness
“Nay, Miss Nonsense, pray, allow me to finish. I had searched until this very morning when my own dear child was returned to me. Allow me to present to you my daughter, Miss Augusta Wintry-Summerton.” As she finished her speech a girl who so very closely resembled a miniature Lady Wintry-Summerton that it was as though an ill made looking glass had been employed for a cunning deception, entered the parlour. Upon this newcomers face was an air of such smug self contentedness that I longed to strike her unluckily beauteous visage!
“Dear Augusta, was returned to me a mere three hours ago!” Concluded the lady.
Such a turn of events, such a wicked twist of fate was nigh on unbearable! I confess I found it to be too great a wound for my sensibilities! I was not envious of Augusta for having found her Mamma, nor was I grieving my own solitude; I was however sincerely vexed that the designing minx had arrived here and claimed this grand family for herself so very promptly. She had had the foresight not to delay her arrival here by even a day. The wicked vixen had won the game by three hours! Oh, if only that beastly, odious Mrs Foley had had the resolve to use the carriage this morning. Why had she been so very hearty a creature as to find walking so enjoyable a diversion. Oh that she had been of a sickly constitution. How after so long a quest could I have been robbed of my rightful connections by only three hours?! I could delay the overpowering desire to indulge my finer sentiments no longer; and with an air of decided superiority I threw myself to the ground in the most excellent faint!