“Elizabeth, I hope I am not intruding...” Lady Anne entered her daughter-in-law's study.
“Of course not, mother.” Elizabeth looked up from her work with a smile. She had married Mr. Darcy just three months ago and already established a genuine rapport with his mother. At first Lady Anne insisted on moving to the Dotage House to allow the new Mrs. Darcy complete control of Pemberley but Elizabeth assured her that would not be necessary. She wanted Lady Anne to gain a daughter instead of feeling like losing a son to his wife.
Elizabeth continued: “I am just looking at this wonderful sampler book sent here by a maid in Scotland. That is quite an extraordinarily...but now I am interrupting you, mother?” She was about to close the book and put it aside to pay full attention to her new mother when Lady Anne suddenly turned rigid by the table.
“Stop!” Lady Anne cried out.
Lady Anne lunged forward and grabbed the half-opened sampler book from Elizabeth and smoothed her hand over the square decorative cloth with the pattern of Sweet William and a monogram of the word D on it.
“How...did...you get this?” Lady Anne murmured. She then flipped through the pages forward and backward, looking at the samples of a mini chemise, bonnet and other beautiful items on each page.
Elizabeth walked around the table and came by Lady Anne's side, trying to take her hand. “Is anything the matter, mother? Are you unwell?”
“It is G...” Lady Anne raised her eyes, now full of tears, and murmured in a shaky voice. Before she could go on further, her eyes closed and she fainted.
“Henry!” Elizabeth cried out for the footman who stationed outside of the study. Luckily she was by Lady Anne's side and caught her fall. The footman came rushing in and took the full weight of Lady Anne.
“Quick, take Lady Anne upstairs to her room. I shall call for the doctor immediately.”
By the time Elizabeth came inside Lady Anne's bedchambers, her maid had settled her in bed, but Lady Anne was awake.
“I must go...” Lady Anne protested, trying to get up.
“Please, Madam, stay. You have fainted.” Her lady maid insisted.
Elizabeth sat on a chair by Lady Anne's bed and held her hand. “Please mother. You must rest. I have called for the doctor.”
“I am well. There is no need for the doctor. Where is the sampler book? I must see it...” Lady Anne burst out crying.
“Of course.” Elizabeth wrapped her arms around her sobbing mother and sent the lady maid to send for a footman to retrieve the book from her study.
By the time the footman arrived, Mr. Darcy had heard of the commotion and followed up the stairs.
“Mother, what is the matter? I heard the doctor is called for. Are you unwell?” He took his mother's other hand as he sat on the bed.
“Fitzwilliam...you must see this.” Lady Anne pushed Elizabeth away, brushed the tears from her face and took the sampler book from her lady maid and turned to the page of the square sampler with Sweet William.
“It is a wonderful piece of work...” He ran his fingers along the design, with a frown on his face. He raised his eyes towards his wife, unsure how he should respond to his mother.
“Did you not remember?” Lady Anne raised her voice. “You have a similar piece before!”
Elizabeth looked at her husband with a concerned face.
“Did I?” The frown on Darcy's face deepened.
“Where did you get the sampler book, Elizabeth?” Lady Anne said.
“It was sent here by a maid from Scotland.”
“What is her name?”
“Is that rather unusual?” Darcy asked his wife. “Why did this Miss Boxer send you a sampler?” He continued to stare at the square sampler. “I remember! This looks like the one Georg...”
“You do not need to stop using her name in front of me!” Lady Anne huffed and pulled the sampler book from her son. “It is exactly like the one I taught Georgiana to sew for you on your 18th birthday. Now Elizabeth, tell me how this maid came to be with this sampler, at once!”
“Georgiana, was that not your sister...” Elizabeth looked from her husband to her mother-in-law. They both looked back at her with an eager expression. She put aside her questions and told them. “This Miss Boxer enquired about a job here in Pemberley. She is an upstairs maid and said the young charge of her existing employer in Glasglow is going to marry in July and the house would not need her skills anymore. She wants to come south because of the warmer weather.”
“Does that mean her health is not good?” Darcy said. He seldom discussed the hiring of servants with his mother, nor now with his wife, as this was usually handled by Mrs. Reynolds's assistant.
“I raised similar questions when Mrs. Reynolds brought me the sampler.”
“Why did Mrs. Reynolds bring you the sampler?” Darcy said. “Is not hiring of servants Mrs. Watson's job?”
“Mrs. Reynolds was about to tell me when she was called away...”
“Send for Mrs. Reynolds now!” Lady Anne barked out the order without raising her eyes from the sampler book. Darcy and Elizabeth exchanged a glance of concerns. However, Darcy did his mother's bidding immediately.
Soon, the housekeeper arrived, together with the doctor.
“No, I do not need to see a doctor!” Lady Anne waved Doctor Michaels away, without even a proper greeting.
“Mother...” Darcy pleaded.
“I am sorry, Doctor Michaels, please wait downstairs,” Lady Anne instructed. “There is nothing the matter with me, but once I get to the bottom of this urgent business, you can come to check on me, to ease my worrying son and daughter's minds.”
Once the confused doctor left the bedchambers, Lady Anne pounced on Mrs. Reynolds. “You see the similarity, Margaret, did you not, about the sampler?”
Mrs. Reynolds nodded her head. “That was why I brought it to Mrs. Darcy's attention.”
“Tell us about it,” Darcy sighed. He was concerned about his mother. Since Georgiana disappearance from the carriage accident in Kent that took his father's life, Lady Anne had been a shell of her former self. Her spirit only recovered about a year ago, and after he married Elizabeth, Lady Anne gained strength daily. He did not want some unsavoury girl who heard about Georgiana's fate to raise his mother's hope and then crushed it later.
His courtship with the former Elizabeth Bennet was fraught with obstacles. At first, he looked upon an alliance with Elizabeth without favour because of her low connection and fortune. Most importantly, Darcy found the improper behaviour of her mother and younger sisters lacking. He left Hertfordshire determined not to do about his heart's desire. Lady Anne noticed his grim and gloomy countenance and nearly got the full story from him then.
By the time he met Elizabeth at Hunsford again, his mother had guessed that he was crossed in love with a woman. Lady Anne who came to visit her sister, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, together with her son noticed Darcy's many stares at Elizabeth. She reinforced Darcy's doubt by reminding him that the delightful woman who occupied his heart was lowly and unsuitable. While she did not want her son to marry Lady Catherine's sickly daughter, like any mother, she wanted the best for her son. And Miss Elizabeth Bennet, despite her witty manner, was deemed not suitable.
Darcy almost did not propose to Elizabeth at Hunsford, but his heart won out when he heard her unwell one evening and was unable to join the dinner at Rosings. His proposal was arrogant and insulting, according to Elizabeth, who refused him most vehemently.
Lady Anne noticed his son's angry and then melancholy countenance after their return from Kent. She finally got the full story out from Darcy and had to admit to herself that Miss Bennet was a singular lady. Lady Anne admired Elizabeth's courage to refuse his son's proposal because the young woman found him lacking in his character and manner. While she thought Miss Bennet had totally misunderstood her loving son, she could not but agreed that Darcy appeared haughty and unapproachable to strangers. The sudden death of his father, the heavy responsibility and the subsequent argument with Lord Matlock, her brother, about management of Pemberley made Darcy a stern and unsmiling young man. Lady Anne was sick of her own poor health which hindered her care of her only son. She was also concerned with his deteriorating spirit since the rejection by Miss Bennet. She invited the Bingleys to Pemberley for the summer, determined to get Charles Bingley to see to returning Hertfordshire and requesting her son back. But before the Bingleys arrival, she came upon Elizabeth near Inn of Lambton, travelling with her aunt and uncle. Lady Anne immediately invited the party to visit Pemberley. She could see the unease of Miss Bennet, but Lady Anne charmed her relatives to make them difficult to refuse the invitation.
From the surprised and ecstatic expression on Darcy's face, Lady Anne resigned herself to welcome Miss Bennet as her daughter-in-law and dreaded to connect to the slightly improper Mrs. Bennet. She was willing to bear all the censure of the world if it meant her Fitzwilliam could smile again.
She did not foresee the abuse that came from her own sister. Lady Catherine descended onto Pemberley to scold her for raising a disobedient son, as if she was the best mother in the world. That raised Lady Anne's ire. They exchanged harsh words, with her telling Lady Catherine that she was sick of the overbearing sister for wanting to foster her ill daughter to Fitzwilliam. The break with her sister made Lady Anne more determined to assist Elizabeth and her family welcomed by the society in London.
Together with Mrs. Gardiner's help, which she became very friendly with during their trip to Pemberley, Lady Anne took on reminding and teaching Mrs. Bennet and her younger daughters proper behaviours the months before the wedding. Lady Anne was happy and relieved that the Bennet ladies behaved somewhat better during the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bingley. And her brother Lord Matlock and his family, who had reconciled with Darcy in recent years, attended the ceremony and reception despite protest from Lady Catherine.
Lady Anne had regained her strength gradually. Once the new Mrs. Darcy arrived, the house was full of smiles, witty conversation, caring moments and delightful entertainment. Lady Anne had dealt less on the accident that took her husband and daughter away seven years ago, until today, when she saw this sampler.
“I came across Mrs. Watson looking at this sampler book from an upstairs maid in Scotland about a month ago.” Mrs. Reynolds explained.
“A month ago?” Lady Anne's voice pitched. “Did you neglected to look at it until now, Elizabeth?” Her voice was full of indignation.
Darcy was about to intervene about his mother's harsh words, but Elizabeth shook her head. She understood Lady Anne was not herself and would not take offence.
Mrs. Reynolds explained: “I only brought this to Mrs. Darcy's attention today, after I made some enquiry, as I saw that the stitching of that square piece of cloth was exactly like the one you taught Miss Darcy.”
Darcy and Elizabeth were surprised by the latest intelligence. They stared at the sampler book, which was tightly held by Lady Anne.
“You should have come to me earlier, and directly!” Lady Anne said with a look of disapproval at the housekeeper.
“My health has recovered, and I hate that all of you treat me like an invalid!”
“I am sure Mrs. Reynolds does not want you to have a relapse, until she is certain of the matter.” Elizabeth interrupted. “Now Mrs. Reynolds, do you know more about this Miss Boxer?”
“According to Mrs. Reid, Miss Boxer's employer, Lady Morrison's housekeeper, Miss Boxer is 16 years old. She came to the Morrison household from an Irish orphanage when she was 14 years old. She worked her way from scullery maid to upstairs maid very quickly because of her excellent sewing skills and hard-working attitude.”
“What of her background before joining Lady Morrison's household?” Darcy asked.
“That is the strange part. Mrs. Reid said she received the sampler from the orphanage. It seems Miss Boxer was brought to the orphanage when she was around nine years old by a sailor who discovered her injured and stashed inside one of the cargo boxes in his ship from England.”
Lady Anne gasped on hearing such horrible detail.
“It seems she wanted to find employment back in England, believing herself to be from here. The orphanage was quite liberal about this and agreed to send her work to some of their contacts here. Lady Morrison supported the orphanage before, and thus Miss Boxer's sampler book found her way there. Mrs. Reid was impressed by Miss Boxer's skill and took pity on her story and hired her.”
“Bless Mrs. Reid!” Elizabeth said. “And now Miss Boxer wants to work here? Did she think she is from Derbyshire?”
“Mrs. Reid explained that Miss Boxer has made several sampler books and requested her to send to someone she knew in the south and maybe London if possible. Miss Boxer seems to remember she lived in London before. Mrs. Reid said in the letter that Miss Boxer is a quiet and pleasant girl but with a very determined character. The young girl seems to hope to find her family so desperately that Mrs. Reid agreed to help her. I have known Mrs. Reid through her brother, Mr. Harris, the owner of Inn of Lambton.”
“Fitzwilliam, it is my Geogie, can you not see? Her age fits and her needlework is exactly as before, although much better than I taught her at the age of nine. You must send for her, immediately! My baby, Georgiana, stashed inside a cargo box. And lived in an orphanage and worked as a maid, all these years! Poor, poor Georgiana!” Lady Anne started murmuring hysterically and sobbing. Not too soon, she fainted again. Darcy embraced his mother tight, comforted her and signalled to call for the doctor.
The doctor gave Lady Anne a sleeping-draught to let her rest. Darcy and Elizabeth retreated to his study. “Could this really be your sister?” Elizabeth wrapped her hands around Darcy's waist. He looked anxious, sad and agitated. He was drawing in deep breathes, and staring out of the windows, at some unknown places.
“I am not sure.” He had asked Mrs. Reynolds to send Mrs. Reid an express, saying that the new Mrs. Darcy was going to come past the area in about three days' time and would like to meet this upstairs maid first before hiring her. He did not care if Mrs. Reid felt it strange that Mrs. Darcy took on such an active role in interviewing a lowly upstairs maid. He could not bear for his mother to wait for a month for the confirmation when Miss Boxer could come to work in Pemberley.
“Since Georgiana's body was never found at the scene of the carriage accident, every time we heard a tiny hint of the sighting of her, Mother would go into a frenzy. Her health deteriorated as days past into weeks and then months and years. She only became stronger last year and since our marriage. I hate to see her relapse due to this latest incident. I hope I am not imposing on you to get you to go to Scotland with me to interview this maid at a moment's notice.”
“Nonsense!” Elizabeth caressed his face. “I am happy to do whatever that will ensure your mother is well.”
He tilted her chin and pressed his lips to her mouth. “I feel so blessed, to have you in my life. I love you so ardently, sweetest Elizabeth.” He murmured, punctuated his words with frantic kisses. “You are so caring and compassionate. I love you!” His emotions ran high, and he was fast losing his control.
He pulled her to straddle him on the chair. Releasing roughly the buttons of her dress, he buried his face in her bosom, drinking in the sweet nectar from her nipples. Her sensual moans made him forget about the worries and that it was still bright daylight. He grabbed her pert buttocks and undid the fly of his breeches with shaky hands.
His needs for her was so urgent and violent that he almost tore his own garment. Once he thrust deep inside of Elizabeth's hot essence, he released a loud sigh. In the past few months, they enjoyed their union in their bedchambers in many ways. But never had they taken their pleasure in such abandonment. Elizabeth moved her body up and down, in a rhythm assisted by her husband's hands. Her creamy mounds shook with vigour, stimulating Darcy's senses further. As a brand new rider, there was nothing tentative in her moves. She seemed to obtain his fever and urgency and rode him hard and wild.
“Elizabeth...Yes...Yes...” He moaned the words out slowly, while tasting her nipples. The areolae were full, ripen, like a mature red wine that tasted delicious. Like a hungry babe, Darcy could not stop his feast, as his hard manhood was squeezed and stroked by her boiling hot sex. He wanted to hold on longer, for her pleasure, but he could not. Elizabeth's flustered face, dreamy eyes, and the lush body displayed in bright sunlight, against the background of his dark oak desk. The alluring picture made his body exploded. With two powerful thrusts upwards, he reached his peak. Her loud “yes” echoed with his scream. Their world burst into a million stars.
Darcy and Elizabeth stayed silent and limp but joined together for several minutes. He then raised her to sit on his desk, tidied up themselves. All the while, he continued to press soft kisses on her cheeks and neck.
The new Mrs. Darcy was seen with a dreamy expression on her face the entire day, unable to supervise the packing of the trunk diligently for the trip to Scotland. Her husband was equally distracted, earning a lot of speculation about the sudden trip to the North.
At first, Lady Anne insisted on accompanying the younger couple to Scotland. Darcy was adamant that she did not risk her health. In his heart, he was worried that it was only a wild goose chase. Mother and son locked in a fierce argument for a while. It took Elizabeth almost half an hour to reason with them and diverted Lady Anne's attention to preparing a comfortable bedchamber to welcome Miss Boxer, if she proved to be the long-lost Miss Darcy.
Lady Anne reminded her son what to look for in identifying Georgiana, even packing a small likeness of the young girl to take to the journey. She demanded Darcy to observe with extra care about the maid, as Lady Anne was sure that Georgiana could be very different from the portrait painted not long before her disappearance seven years ago.
Finally, the young couple was on their way. They travelled as fast as the road allowed. Luckily the June weather was warm and dry. They arrived at the inn near the Morrison Castle and requested for a meeting with Miss Boxer once she was released from her duty.
Darcy paced around in the private parlour of the inn for half an hour. As the tall Miss Boxer entered, his mouth gaped open, not able to utter a word of polite greeting. For even with the maid's cap covering her curly blond hair and the serviceable uniform hiding her form, Miss Boxer looked very much like Darcy's mother when she was younger. He could not find a trace of the old Georgiana, his little sister of nine years of age, as he always remembered her.
Miss Boxer fidgeted under the intense gaze of Darcy. She did not seem to recognise him. Elizabeth looked at their silence and decided to smooth over the awkward situation.
“Miss Boxer, my housekeep drew my attention to your interest to become an upstairs maid at our estate Pemberley,” Elizabeth emphasised on the name of the estate. But Miss Boxer did not seem to have heard of it before.
“Yes, madam.” She replied in a quiet voice.
“My husband and I are in the area. As I only became the Mistress of Pemberley a few months ago, I think it is prudent of me to interview you first.”
“Yes, madam.” The maid continued to stare at Darcy but replied to Elizabeth politely.
“Can you tell me about yourself?”
“I came from the Orphanage of Good Heart in Dublin and started working in Morrison Castle two years ago as a scullery maid. I was promoted to lower maid half a year later, and then upstairs maid another six months afterwards.”
“That is impressive. You must be very hard working, for you to be promoted so quickly.”
“The housekeeper complimented on my diligence and especially my sewing skill.”
“Yes, I have seen your sampler book. Did you put them together all by yourself?”
“Our kind teacher at Good Heart taught us first. I also came across other similar sampler books and learned from there.”
Elizabeth nodded with approval. “The teacher taught you how to sew too?”
“I know how to sew before I arrived at Good Heart.”
“Did you not grow up there, at the orphanage?”
“According to Sister Vanessa, the nun in charge of Good Heart, I was injured and discovered onboard a ship from England when I was about nine years old. The kind Sailor Paddy took me to Good Heart. He grew up there himself.”
“What did you remember about your parents and family?” Darcy jumped in, rather harshly, and Anna trembled and lowered her eyes.
Elizabeth said in a softer voice. “Poor thing. Did you remember much of your family?”
“I am afraid not.”
“Not even some tiny memory?”
Anna shook her head but then added with a timid voice. “Except for a lady's hands, teaching me how to sew the word D correctly. The lady has a very caring soft voice. Perhaps that is why I enjoy sewing very much. It makes me remember her, the past.” Darcy's eyes burned into Anna, his mind tried to match her voice to his baby sister. But he could not find any similarity.
“How about the accident?” Elizabeth urged. “Did you remember how you came to be onboard the ship?”
Anna shook her head again. “Except I remember a man's voice and then there was some loud screeching sound, like a carriage driving too fast on the road and then another woman's voice. Or perhaps it was a man. Sorry, Mrs. Darcy. It was all confused in my head. Sister Vanessa told me my head was hurt when I was discovered by Sailor Paddy.”
“You speak in an excellent manner, Anna,” Elizabeth continued, noticing Anna having a gentlewoman's accent. “Do you know how to read and write?”
“Yes, I do, madam.”
“Is that before or after you arrived at the Orphanage?”
“Before,” Anna turned towards Elizabeth. She found the mistress very kind. She was not so sure about the master. His face looked grim and fierce. Anna told herself that if she got employed by these new employers from the south, she would stay away from the master as far as possible.
“What books did you know of from before the Orphanage?”
Anna frowned. She did not understand the reason for all these questions. Mrs. Reid who hired her never asked her about this. Sister Vanessa and other girls in the Orphanage either. She thought hard.
“I remember reading Shakespeare...in a big...library and I loved looking at...maps, under a big desk, of red oak...” Anna felt a throbbing coming onto her head. She hoped she would not faint in the middle of this remarkable interview. She wanted to get this job and go down south. She knew her family must be from the warmer weather. She remembered running along a stream, giggling happily at all the fish, brushing along the wildflowers on a meadow. She was only wearing a very thin dress. It was so hot she had wanted to take it off and jump into the stream.
“Georgiana!” Darcy cried out and sat down heavily.
Anna raised her head and stared at Darcy. “What did you just say, sir?”
“Did you remember, Georgiana?”
“Did I remember Miss Georgiana...” The pounding on her head became so intense she raised her hands to cradle her head. “Sorry, I do not know of any Miss Georgiana.”
“No, you are Georgiana,” Darcy said. “You used to hide under Father's oak desk, looking at all the big maps.”
On seeing the wide eyes of the young girl, Elizabeth explained softly, “Anna, we believe you are Miss Georgiana Darcy, my husband's sister who disappeared from a carriage accident nine years ago that killed his father.”
“Father...” Anna put her hand to muffle her own scream. Tears flew down her face. “Father, I remember father. He was...thrown out of the carriage.” She gasped and panted. Her legs buckled. Darcy jumped to be by her side in a flash. He guided Anna to sit on a chair while Elizabeth poured her a glass of wine.
“Drink this,” she said softly.
Anna obeyed and coughed on sipping the wine too quickly. “Am I really your sister, sir?”
“Did you not remember me?” Darcy's voice softened, full of agony. “I am Fitzwilliam.”
Anna shook. “I am sorry. This is the first time I remember the accident.”
“Tell us more about the accident, if you are not feeling unwell.” Elizabeth probed.
“I think there was...gunshot.” Georgiana closed her eyes for a moment and said shakily.
Elizabeth gasped and glanced at her husband.
Darcy's lips pressed together. He said: “We did not know that it was a robbery. The carriage overturned in the valley. The driver was crushed under it. My father's body was found higher up on the slope, and your body was never found. There was no sign of anyone being shot.”
“Would you like to lie down and rest before we continue this conversation tomorrow?” Elizabeth squeezed Georgiana's hand. “I will send word to Morrison Castle to explain about your absence.”
Georgiana shook her head. “I remember....”
“about?” Elizabeth said.
“I heard voices...after the accident. Two men. They argued.”
“They said...,” Georgiana frowned. “They said...it was not the lad.”
“You meant, they expected you to be a boy?” Elizabeth frowned and hesitated for a second. Then she turned around swiftly to stare at her husband. “Fitzwilliam, were you supposed to be travelling with...?”
“I was supposed to travel...,” Darcy jumped in before Elizabeth could finish the sentence.
They stopped mid-sentence, absorbing the importance of this piece of information.
Darcy drew in a deep breath. “Yes, we have just completed the annual tour of Rosings. As usual, we rode on two carriages. Mother cannot abide a carriage moving too fast. Her health was weakened after the birth of Georgiana. But father hated to travel slowly. So we had been travelling in two carriages whenever we went out as a family. I always travelled with father as he liked to talk to me about estate matter, even though I was still young. Usually, mother liked to travel with Georgiana. But on that fateful date, Georgiana insisted that she was...well grown up. She wanted to listen to Father talk about estate too.” His voice trailed off. All three of them understood the implication. If Fitzwilliam was with his father that day, he could have been killed in the accident or by the two men. The carriage accident was not an accident at all.
“How did you come to be in the ship then?” Elizabeth continued.
“I did not know,” Georgiana concentrated on thinking about the past. A moment later, she continued, “The last words I could remember about the accident was 'it was just a little girl, mad..dog won't mind us what to do with her. After that, my clear memory was of Sailor Paddy finding me in a box in the ship. As I could not recall my name, except Anna, he called me Miss Boxer.”
Elizabeth felt for the poor girl, not to remember her family and her name. And what if she had died inside the box. Her anger rose at the evil man who killed old Mr. Darcy and put Georgiana through such fate. She frowned as she remembered Georgiana's words. “Mad dog?”
“Dog...dock?” Georgiana said uncertainly.
Darcy cried out: “Matlock!”
“Your uncle?” Elizabeth exclaimed. “Our uncle!” Georgiana joined in.
“Why would he want to hurt your father and you...” Elizabeth's question trailed off. Of course, she understood. With the Darcy's men dead, and no other close relative from the Darcy branch, Pemberley and all the Darcy money would be under Lady Anne and Miss Darcy's control. They would look to Lord Matlock for guidance and advice.
After such chilling discovery, Elizabeth requested Georgiana to go to the bedchambers with her. Lady Anne told Elizabeth that there was a birthmark on her daughter's back. Elizabeth would check on it to confirm the identity of the maid. Darcy felt certain that Miss Anna Boxer was, in fact, his long lost sister. He had not long to wait. Elizabeth and Georgiana came back to the parlour after a few minutes. Darcy embraced Georgiana tightly, murmuring his happiness in recovering her.
Darcy sent an express to his mother confirming the good news, but did not disclose the possible involvement of Lord Matlock to the demise of his father. The three Darcys stayed in Scotland for a few more days, explaining and thanking Lady Morrison's household for taking such good care of Georgiana.
The day Miss Georgiana Darcy returned to the bosom of Lady Anne was an emotional and happy event. Mother and daughter could not believe the likeness. They looked like two sisters, one more mature and one very young. Miss Darcy never regained her memory of her first years as a Darcy, but she rebuilt a loving relationship with her mother, brother, and new sister-in-law.
While Darcy never managed to find evidence of Lord Matlock's murdering his father, he had severed his association with his uncle and cousins gradually. Lady Anne at first was baffled by her son's action. But after seeing Georgiana's fear in the presence of Lord Matlock a few times, she put two and two together and worked out the reason.
Lady Anne did not dare to confront her brother. However, she was brave enough to stand firm with her son in distancing themselves from Lord Matlock. When Lord Matlock's heir came to ask for Georgiana's hand in marriage a year later after her recovery, Darcy refused decidedly on the excuse of wanting Georgiana to find a love match. Viscount Harry then insisted on having a chance to court Georgiana. Darcy turned him away, saying that she was still too young and had not recovered from the ordeal of her disappearance.
Darcy explained to Lady Anne that the Matlocks were deep in debt. He would never force Georgiana to marry against her wishes, especially as a bailout for the Matlock's mounting gambling debt. A month afterwards, Viscount Harry became impatient with waiting for Darcy to change his mind and he engineered a compromise of Anne de Bourgh. The two cousins married immediately, despite the displeasure expressed by Lady Catherine. It took less than three years for the Matlocks to waste away the de Bourgh fortune and the earning from Rosings. Lady Anne was sad to see her sister and niece died so soon and in such reduced circumstances. Viscount Harry continued to seek out unsuspecting heiress or daughters of wealthy tradesmen. Rumours in London was that the uptight Darcys looked down on the loose morality of the Matlocks. The relationship cooled from polite acknowledgement to animosity in the years later.
The Darcys would always travelled with heavily armed guards, especially after Elizabeth gave birth to the heir of Pemberley some eight months after their trip to Scotland. Lady Anne was ecstatic of being a grandmother. She dotted on the six grandchildren from Elizabeth and later three from Georgiana.
Darcy also discovered the whereabouts of shipmate Paddy and rewarded his kind act to Georgiana by purchasing a lieutenant commission for him. Lieutenant Paddy later worked his way up to become a captain and retired from the Navy after years of distinguished career. He also kept in touch with the Darcys and his growing family benefitted from such association throughout the years.
The Darcys became an active patronage of various orphanages in Ireland, in addition to their original charity to those in England. The Darcys especially paid Sister Vanessa and the Orphanage of Good Heart a visit a few years later and continued to support its excellent work.
Georgiana donated the sampler book with the stitching of Sweet William as a permanent display at Good Heart, to encourage the orphans to be diligent in their learning about useful skills. Both Georgiana and Elizabeth worked hard to find respectable employment for the young girls from various orphanages the Darcys sponsored.