“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 16: Family Ties, April 06, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1225)
(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved); [(1) story cover art, left]
[As is my custom, from time to time I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter): ): Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blount portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay; Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay; Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; her daughter Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay portrayed by Francesca Capaldi; and Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes.]
Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes: For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter. Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays, and some Saturdays. I hope that you enjoy this chapter.
“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 16: Family Ties
However pleasing his and Lady Elizabeth’s kisses are this afternoon, tomorrow’s luncheon can not come quick enough for Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York—in order for him to tell his sister Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York, and later their Ducal parents of York, that their brother and son Lord Alfred lives. Let alone, for his brother Lord Alfred’s wife Lady Constance and daughter Miss Tamsin to come to know him.
Well, Lord Duncan is possibly likely to get his wish—in part. For the Sussex Hall Dower House back gardens face toward the front façade of the magnificently massive Sussex Hall Estate manor house. And eschewing the third floor school room, Lady Constance is teaching her nine year old daughter Miss Tamsin her vocabulary lesson for today—while they are ensconced quite pleasantly in the second floor Ladies parlor that is situated near the front façade of the Sussex Hall manor house.
As the elegant and beautiful–yet poignantly sad–Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay [(2) below] plies her needle and thread upon her embroidery hoop of a small peacock in full display, she glances over to her lesson planner journal with today’s list of words for her daughter Miss Tamsin to become acquainted with their meaning, learn how to spell, and to use each new word properly in a sentence.
The exuberant nine year old Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge [(3) below], with her full bouncy red curl ringlets, is practicing her graceful walking with a small and thin book upon her head. Back and forth, she walks in front of the windows, only letting her gaze surreptitiously glance through the windows at the sunny out of doors where she longs to be. Were she to turn her head, the book would topple off of it—and likely knock over some preciously ceramic table decoration of their hosts, the Earl and Countess of Sussex.
Lady Constance: “Tammy Dear, Today, we will focus upon words that have to do with people engaging with each other in social situations.”
Miss Tamsin: “Ohh! Such as dancing?” She asks interestedly and glances at her mother. For though there is a dance of sorts regarding what the Knightsbridge family have told Miss Tamsin about her parentage—as her being a purported cousin ward to their family—Miss Tamsin believes firmly that Lady Constance is her true mother, for Miss Tamsin has had no one else be as exceedingly kind and loving to her as is Lady Constance. And she eavesdrops on her family’s conversations from time to time. So, Miss Tamsin has discerned the rightness of her parentage, at least with regard to Lady Constance being her mother.
Lady Constance: “Well dancing is an activity that people engage in with each other. But I am referring more to engaging in other kinds of meetings and conversations in social situations.” She admonishes gently. Her daughter Tamsin is bright, quick, and clever. Of course, the later two adjectives mean the same thing, but Lady Constance still employs them in her reflection upon her daughter’s talents and skills, for emphasis. “So your first word today is conversation.” Lady Constance smiles for always starting their lessons with easy questions, to give Tamsin confidence—be they lessons on language, literature, history, maths, or culture.
Miss Tamsin: Rolling her eyes while maintaining her poised posture with the book on her head, Miss Tamsin replies. “Oh Mama! La! That is too easy! Conversation, c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n.” She spells out the word correctly. “It means to talk with another person—with each person taking their turns speaking..”
Lady Constance: “Very good.” Lady Constance smiles in praise of her daughter as she plies her needle work. “Your next word means something similar to conversation. The word is intercourse.”
Miss Tamsin: Miss Tamsin has to think about this new word for a moment with her nose cutely scrunched up looking quizzically her her mother. “That is silly. To have two words that essentially mean the same thing—when one word will do.”
Lady Constance: “Our language has different words for different contexts of meanings. Puzzle the word out. Split it into two parts—inter and course.”
Miss Tamsin: “Alllriiight.” Miss Tamsin rolls her eyes and whines a bit. “Inter means between—whereas intra means among.”
Lady Constance: “Very good. Please use them in a sentence.”
Miss Tamsin: “Hmmm. The cities of Compton and Lowell share a common interest of trade between each other—engendering a robust inter-city cooperation.” Miss Tamsin’s eyes sparkle, for she knows that she has a very big vocabulary—a phrase that she was taught to say as a toddler with her arms wide for her family’s amusement.
Lady Constance: “Excellent! Now what about the other part of the word, course, in the context of it being paired with prefix inter?”
Deep in thought, Miss Tamsin removes the book from her head as she wanders over to the window to gaze out upon the front lawn that looks upon the back garden of the Sussex Hall Dower House. In particular, and though it is a distance away, she perceives two individuals locked in an embrace while standing on a small section of the Dower House back terrace that is separated by a tall hedge. She gazes with a more focused eye and recognizes the two individuals.
Miss Tamsin: “Intercourse, i-n-t-e-r-c-o-u-r-s-e. Hhhhh!” She sighs after spelling the word. “The two lovebirds are locked in an intercourse of kissing, whilst the world faded away for them.” Miss Tamsin presses her face to the window glass trying to see more, bemoaning that her cute little nose is not flatter.
Lady Constance: “Kkkhhh!” Lady Constance coughs at the highly romanticized usage of the word intercourse—even though her daughter used it in the proper context. “What? … Where did you see the word used before in that context?”
Miss Tamsin: “Oh, in one of those gothic novels. Did I not get it right, Mama? As with speaking, their mouths were engaged, but in kissing.” She continues to peer out the window to the Sussex Hall Dower House terrace.
Lady Constance: “Yes, Tamsin, Dear. It is just that … I make you aware of this word …” And none to soon, she thinks. “… so that you would not inadvertently use it in a romantic context—or at all, for that matter.”
Miss Tamsin: “Very well. But having words exist that cannot be used seems a complete waste of consonants and vowels.”
Lady Constance: Hiding a smile behind her embroidery hoop, Lady Constance gently cautions her daughter. “Be that as it may, let us strike the word intercourse from the polite list of words that you may use. Whatever made you think of your sentence example?”
Miss Tamsin: Turning back to her mother, she points to the window. “Uncle Lord Duncan and Lady Elizabeth Blount made me think of it. They are embracing, … and kissing, I think on the Dower House garden terrace—because at this distance, I can only tell that their faces are pressed together.”
Hastily jumping to her feet and lightly tossing her embroidery hoop upon the low table near her, Lady Constance joins her daughter at the window.
Lady Constance: “Come away from the window Tamsin, Dear.” Lady Constance gently guides, even as she leans forward to look out upon the romantic scene in the distance that her daughter just described, accurately it would seem. “Hmmm. Well, perhaps they will share happy news of their betrothal with us tomorrow.” She smiles, hoping her daughter has no more questions. It is a futile hope.
Miss Tamsin: “But mama, if all people who kiss each other become betrothed and marry; and married people do not kiss, in front of others; does that mean that married couples do not kiss anymore? Or, do they only kiss in private?”
Segueing into complicated social rules questions is common for Miss Tamsin—though not usually quite so spectacularly as is her question now.
Lady Constance: Taking a measured breath, Lady Constance replies slowly and she hopes vaguely. “Each married couple is different. Some are affectionate with each other—whether that is when in private and/or with close family, but not in public. Other couples, are not affectionate with each other—because in aristocratic society, marriages are often a forging of family alliances, rather than because of affection.”
Miss Tamsin: “Well that last part sounds very sad–to live without love.” The young girl wiser than her years pronounces as she shakes her head, sending her red ringlet curls to bouncing.
Lady Constance: “Yes, it can be. Yet, childhood betrothals to forge an alliance is not always devoid of love and affection.” She smiles wistfully of her love and secret husband Lord Alfred Lindsay, who has been gone from her life almost ten years.
Miss Tamsin: “You are speaking of my Papa? You loved each other?”
Lady Constance: “I am, and we do. He will come back to us one day, Tammy Dear. I know it in my heart.” And Lady Constance’s hand touches her heart shaped locket pinned to the center of her bodice neckline, wherein she keeps a strand of her beloved Lord Alfred’s hair.
It is a poignant wish of Lady Constance’s that all but her seemed to know over the years, was to be left unfulfilled.”
Miss Tamsin: Having made room for her Mama at the tall window, Miss Tamsin’s angle of view has changed and she see’s something unexpected. “Mama? Who is that gentleman walking toward us at Sussex Hall?”
Lady Constance: “Hmm?” She turns to her daughter and follows her pointing finger to the tall darkly dressed gentleman in the distance and striding his way to Sussex Hall.
Miss Tamsin: Rushing around her Mama and out of the parlor, she declares gleefully. “I will find out!” Miss Tamsin is excited to have a visitor, a new person to meet in her very narrow society.
Lady Constance: “Tamsin, wait! Take your maid with you!” Her Mama calls out to her, but it is to no avail. And Tamsin goes to seek out the gentleman. And Lady Constance returns to the window to watch out for her daughter as the unknown gentleman sits upon a far boulder, to rest.
When Vicar Frederick Whitby (nee Lord Alfred Lindsay) had left the Earl and Countess of Sussex, Lord Duncan Lindsay, and Lady Elizabeth Blount in the Sussex Dower House parlor earlier in the afternoon, he had repaired to his guest bed chamber. Yet he finds himself so agitatedly restless with the new knowledge that he may have unexpectedly found his family in the Lindsays of York, that he heads outside to the fresh air surrounding the back garden, gives his head a clearing shake, and he just starts walking—not heeding nor caring of the direction he takes as he ruminates upon all that was discussed not even an hour ago.
Lord Duncan Lindsay seems so certain that they are brothers, and that he is Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten and heir to the Duke of York. Vicar Whitby is astounded, delighted, humbled, and terrified of what this news will mean for his life as the Vicar of St. Timothy’s in London. For if he resumes the identity of Lord Alfred, will not their expectations be of him tending to new ducal responsibilities and they will require him to give up his church religious calling?
It is an overwhelming thought to find his own family, only to lose his church parish family. He has been a vicar for almost nine years, it is his life—it has sustained him when he was alone in the world, without family nor friends as he made new friends and helped families when he served as a Junior Vicar in other towns, and in his Senior Vicar position in the parish of St. Timothy’s Church in London. How can he give up being the Vicar of St. Timothy’s, even if he understands the Lindsays of York’s need for it, their need for him?
He is still far from intruding upon the Sussex Hall manor house—given their expansive grounds–but he appreciates the grand scale and architectural beauty of Sussex House’s front façade in the distance. And not wanting to intrude upon the privacy of the Yorks and their friends as guests inhabiting Sussex Hall for the Summer, he sits upon a nearby boulder, after yanking an apple from the tree above it.
Vicar Whitby feels peckish with him having probably missed afternoon tea. So he unconsciously removes the silver sheathed dagger from his boot and deftly slices the apple into quarters. As he takes his first bite of the cool sweet apple, he hears a swiftly approaching crunch of grass near him. He opens his eyes, stands, and turns to the intruder—his dagger instinctively poised in his hand, ready to do battle, if need be.
But instead of someone wishing to do him harm, Vicar Whitby only finds a breathless red haired girl child of some means—judging by her light blue satin skirts—running toward him. The girl screams at seeing the dagger in his hand and the scowl upon his face.
Miss Tamsin: “Eeeeek! Don’t hurt me!” She slides to a stop, but pitches forward and falls to her knees.”
Having swiftly resettled his dagger in its silver sheath in his boot, Vicar Whitby goes to aid the girl.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “My child. I am so aggrieved to have startled you just now. I was enjoying an apple and your sudden presence startled me.” He explains gently, his empty palms up in supplication.
Miss Tamsin: Standing and brushing off her skirt while bemoaning the fresh grass stains on it, she speaks candidly, as always. “Well, your knife and mean looking face scared me. You might wish to take care in your greetings of others–that in such a pleasant spot as this, you are unlikely to be set upon by marauders and such. My family and I are visiting the Sussex Hall estate with our friends the Lindsays of York for the Summer, while their own castle is being repaired.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Oh!” He brightens. “Are you the Lady Constance Knightsbridge who has been mentioned to me?”
Miss Tamsin: Impressed that this gentleman knows something of her family—and with his fine attire and elegant address–she feels comfortable in responding to him. “No. That is my Mama. I am her ward, Miss Tamsin.” To outsiders of the family, Miss Tamsin always introduces herself as a ward, as she was told to do. “Who are you?” Still a little wary, Miss Tamsin narrows her eyes in suspicion. Though she reasons that there are Sussex Hall estate gardeners about who would hear her cry out—none came to her rescue just now.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Now that is the question that I am contemplating.”
Miss Tamsin: Finding the gentleman’s reserve and elegant bearing calming, she takes an instant like to him. “You are being silly!” She teases. “Everyone knows who they are—mostly, anyway.” She adds, thinking of herself—and who she is in relation to others being kept secret.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Forgive me, I am Vicar Frederick Whitby of the Parish of St. Timothy’s in London.” He bows to her with a flourish of his arm. And Miss Tamsin curtsies prettily.
Miss Tamsin: “It is not Sunday, you know. So what are you doing here in the country, so far away from your church?”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Hmm. I quite like your spirit, Miss Tamsin. You speak plainly, without artifice or the attempt to conceal.” He smiles kindly at the young girl.
Miss Tamsin: “I knowww!” She sighs heavily. “Mama Lady Constance likes that I am clever, but she is trying to guide me into behaving a bit more ladylike—only men speak their minds without censure, you see.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “You are clever. And I find you most lady like. And as to men speaking their minds without censure—many men should learn to hold their tongue, in my opinion.” He grimaces with a small smile, enjoying his conversing with this young girl who is a stranger to him—while him not knowing of the very deep family connection that they hold.
Miss Tamsin: “Ha ha ha! You are funny! My Uncle Lord Duncan encourages me to speak my mind when we are not with my Mama and her family. They are more reserved.” She nods her head knowingly at him.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah, I see. Fastidiously attuned to decorum and politeness, are they?” He grins knowingly.
Miss Tamsin: “I think so.” She looks at him quizzically. “I have not learned the word fastidiously yet. What does it mean?” And then eyeing the now forgotten apple quarters on the ground and covered with ants, she asks. “May we eat an apple while you tell me?”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Of course.” He deftly retrieves his dagger from its silver sheath in his boot, and selects another ripe red apple from the tree above, then begins to slice it for them. He gives her one quarter of the apple to nibble on and responds to her word question. “Fastidiously means to attend to some task with meticulous detail—such as cleaning ones dagger before resheathing it.” He takes out his linen handkerchief and thoroughly wipes the blade before putting it back in its sheath.
Miss Tamsin: “Ooh! I am trying to think of something that I do fas-tid-iously.” She says the word slowly, elongating each syllable.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Perhaps your delightful ringlets were fastidiously styled by your maid.” He helps her out.
Miss Tamsin: “Oh no! My hair always curls on its own.” She pouts.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Why so glum, Miss Tamsin? Most ladies pine for natural curls.”
Miss Tamsin: “But as I am still a child, I would also like to be able to braid my hair sometimes.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah! I understand. My little sister Gwennie had natural curls such as yours as a little girl.” He startles from stating what is obviously a memory, yet he does not know from whence it comes.
Miss Tamsin: “And when I am older, I want to have hair that braids and curls woven together into beautiful arrangements, like many fine ladies have.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “That is always the way of things, wanting what we do not have.”
Miss Tamsin: “Did your curly haired younger sister grow up to be able to have braids, too?” She asks earnestly.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: Searching his mind, but nothing more comes to him, he sadly shakes his head. “I do not know.”
Miss Tamsin: “How can you not know whether your younger sister now has braids? Are you the kind of brother who does not notice his sister’s circumstances—demonstrating a lack of caring on your part?” She challenges him with her beady eyes.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: He blinks several times to assuage his discomfiture and to gather his composure. “I do not think so. I do not remember. But I would like to think that I would be a brother who would know that and other details about his sister.” She stares at him relentlessly, as if he were an exhibit in a museum that she was trying to puzzle out. “I must sound nonsensical to you.”
Miss Tamsin: “Not to be impolite, but you do, rather.” She shrugs her shoulders.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ha!” He admires the young girl’s brashly honest wit. “Well, it has been a rather nonsensical day for me. You see I have no memory of my life older than about ten years ago when I was injured in the war and almost died. Some Italian monks healed me. And then in finding solace about my memory loss in the church, I studied to become a vicar—which I have been for almost nine years now, the last two years as the Vicar of St. Timothy’s Parish in London.” He shakes his head, then mutters under his breath. “I do not know why I am unburdening my story to a child.”
Miss Tamsin: “Do not trouble yourself. People tell me that I am a good listener. Maybe I should become a Vicaress when I am old like you.” The Vicar’s eye brows rise. “What? Are you offended that I called you old? Or may ladies not become Vicaresses?”
Neither question bodes well for a safe response on his part. He wonders who would think that a man of his age and experience would be so humbled by a child of nine years?
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I am … old, well, older than you. And as to your aspirations to become a … Vicaress? That is … laudable. And I would not wish to diminish your goal of serving others via the church. Though there are many ways to be of aid to others.”
Miss Tamsin: “I knowwwww.” She sighs dramatically—as only a child can. “Ladies may not work. We marry and have children and support charitable causes.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Miss Tamsin, I would urge you to have a chat with your Mother about these issues, to gain her perspective upon the matter of ladies and their futures.”
Miss Tamsin: “Coward.” She charges. “Do you not have the conviction of your opinions to challenge what I perceive you to believe is an unnecessary suppression of women’s rights?”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: Startled, he asks. “How old are you, again?” He tugs at his cravat. She is correct that he does not want to seem to be in conflict with her family’s guidance to her upon the matter of her future. But then again, neither does he wish to stifle this remarkable young lady’s thoughts and hopes.
Miss Tamsin: “Nine years or so. I am told by my family that I am quite mature for my years.” She preens with her piquant little nose in the air. Then she not so maturely tosses the core of the apple quarter she had eaten, into the adjacent forest thicket.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Indeed.” He also tosses his apple quarter cores away. “Well our apple is eaten, and you are sure to be missed by your family at afternoon tea. So I will say farewell to you, Miss Tamsin.” He bows to her.
Miss Tamsin: “Just like that, you are leaving?” Then she mutters under her breath to herself. “Why do some men always leave?”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “What was that?” He asks curiously, concerned for this young girl’s state of being.
Miss Tamsin: “It’s nothing, just something I overheard my Uncle Lord Robert say once to my Mama Lady Constance—that some men leave to find glory in war or in their other pursuits, without realizing that their true glory is found in their family.” Then she regrets the disclosure to him of private family confidences. “But please do not tell my Mama Lady Constance what I said. It would upset her. She misses my Papa so. He went to war—and he died. But she never accepted it, and she believes that he will come back to her one day—come back to us. We in the family have not the heart to disabuse her of her heart’s fondest wish, to be reunited with her husband and my Papa, Lord Alfred Lindsay of York.”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: His eyes go wide and he stills at the cataclysmic shift of this moment–in him meeting and having congenially conversed with his own daughter. Yet, to reveal himself now might do her a harm. So he responds gently, with tears in his eyes, by saying. “I would think that any Papa would be delighted to have you for his daughter. And your Papa will love and cherish you all of your days. And he will love and honor your Mama, Lady Constance.”
Miss Tamsin: “Do you think so? I will have a real family, with my Papa restored to us someday?”
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I do.” He nods once. In his condolence calls upon his parishioners over the years, Vicar Whitby has sincerely whispered many a platitude to give that person hope, though he realized that all hope was lost. Yet in this instance, with the power to make this young girl’s hope come true and be her Papa, he feels a greater sense of peace than he ever has before felt.
Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred bows again to Miss Tamsin as they take their farewells of each other and depart in opposite directions—he to the Sussex Hall Dower House and she to the Sussex Hall estate manor house. He has gained much perspective about his situation of being the long lost York heir since talking with the young girl, his daughter. And he realizes now that he is more than just the York Ducal heir. He is a husband and father, brother, and friend. And he can no longer be selfish and worrying about him losing his life as a Vicar when he resumes his life as Lord Alfred Lindsay of York Marquess of Malten.
The Vicar Whitby as Lord Alfred Lindsay of York knows that he has his family to consider and to put first in his heart. And he will put them first—however difficult his upcoming family reunion might be. He wishes that he could remember his family, and especially, his wife Lady Constance. Yet he wonders if his slim memory of a curly haired younger sister named Gwennie is just the start of his memories returning to him? And even if the memories do not come back, he will seize hold of having the opportunity to make new memories with his family and friends.
And Lady Constance, still watching out the second floor window of Sussex Hall, heaves a delicate sigh as she sees her daughter Tamsin finally turn and walk back to the Sussex Hall manor house. And she knows that she will have to admonish her daughter to be more careful of strangers. Yet, Lady Constance’s own curiosity is peaked about the gentleman her daughter spoke with. And she looks forward to her daughter’s tale of him.
To be continued with Chapter 17
“Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 16 images for April 06, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1225)
- “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font is Vivaldi.
2. Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay looking poignantly sad, is Margaret Clunie as Duchess Harriet Sutherland in the PBS series Victoria, season 3; image found at https://www.heyuguys.com/exclusive-margaret-clunie-victoria-christmas-special-return-season-3/
3. Miss Tamsin with red ringlet curls is American child actress Francesca Capaldi; image found at https://marriedbiography.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/francesca-capaldi-.jpg
4. Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred walking the grounds of Sussex Hall estates is a cap from the You Tube video “Best of Prince Ernest (David Oakes) – TV Series Victoria (2016)” found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loFnI29abaw%5D
“Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 16 URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post for April 06, 2019:
Previous “Expectations” (Book 2) Chapter 15 story URL on my SAL blog post (#1224), on March 31, 2019: