“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 17: Miss Tamsin makes the connection, April 21, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1229)
(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): Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes; Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay, daughter of Lady Constance Knightsbridge is portrayed by Francesca Capaldi; Lord Robert Knightsbridge and Marquess of Wyre is portrayed by Hugh Grant; Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York is portrayed by Emma Thompson; Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; and Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay.]
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. I hope that you enjoy this chapter.
“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 17: Miss Tamsin makes the connection
In walking back to the Sussex Hall Dower House this afternoon through the direct route of the thick woods—and not getting lost as a supposedly first time visitor to the estate—Vicar Frederick Whitby/Lord Alfred reflects upon his conversations with the spirited young girl Miss Tamsin, whom he realizes is his daughter. And he resolves to set aside his concerns about vacating his post as Vicar of St. Timothy’s in London, in order to assume the mantle of responsibility of Lord Alfred Lindsay, the Marquess of Malten and heir to the Duke of York.
Yet even more important for Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred than his ducal heritage, is the resuming and also gaining of family relationships. He has been so long alone and adrift that he now finds the prospect of becoming part of a family, again, is most appealing to him. And he will especially enjoy assuming the role of Papa to Miss Tamsin. Yet to do so, he must also reunite with his wife, Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay.
As an unmarried Vicar, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred is, of course, chaste. And he is uncertain what level of familiarity and intimacy his wife will expect of him. Their intimacy as husband and wife ten years ago was brief, or so he was told. So perhaps, upon his wife learning that he is truly alive, the lady may even have reservations herself about their marriage picking up where it left off just after he was told they were married. So he further resolves to be gentle and considerate toward his wife Lady Constance—for both of their sakes.
Meanwhile, Miss Tamsin races back to her Mama Lady Constance up at the Sussex Hall manor house to tell her about the interesting and funny gentleman she met upon the grounds. But first, she runs into her Uncle Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre strolling and speaking with Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay.
Miss Tamsin: “Uncle Lord Robert! Lady Gwendolyn!” The out of breath Miss Tamsin dips a hasty curtsy that makes her look more like she is inadvertently falling, rather than intentionally showing respect. Perhaps, she is doing a bit of both as she bobbles up and her Uncle Lord Robert’s hand upon her shoulder stabilizes her balance.
Lord Robert: “Tamsin Dear, slow down. You almost ran into Lady Gwen and myself.” His lips crook upward in an engaging smile.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Do not suppress your fun on my account Miss Tamsin. Running around as a child was my favorite pastime.” She smiles at the child and swishes her hand gracefully.
Miss Tamsin: “Lady Gwen?” Miss Tamsin looks at her quite startled—especially eyeing her coiifure. “Is your name Gwen short for something?”
Lord Robert: “As you know, poppet. This is Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York, our hostess.” He gently pulls upon one of Miss Tamsin’s red spiral curls and it springs back into place.
Miss Tamsin: “Nooooo. I know that.” She rolls her eyes at her Uncle Lord Robert. Then she walks around Lady Gwendolyn to get a better look at the back of her hair style’s up do. “I see that you have braids. But does your hair curl as well?”
Lady Gwendolyn: Amused, she replies. “When I was little and my hair was shorter like yours, it would curl. But now that I am older and my hair is much longer to my waist when down, it mostly waves, with curls at the ends.”
Lord Robert: “I would like to see that.” Lord Robert smoulders as he gazes at Lady Gwendolyn, picturing her with her hair falling about her shoulders, back, and waist.
Lady Gwendolyn: Turning to him quizzically, she asks. “What did you say?”
Lord Robert: “Nothing, nothing.” He winces a smile in Lady Gwendolyn’s direction. And Lord Robert thinks that he really must get his romantic reaction to Lady Gwendolyn under control.
Miss Tamsin: “And My Lady, did your brother call you Gwennie?”
Lady Gwendolyn: “Why yes.” She blinks, quite startled at the memory. “I was just a toddler when he christened me Gwennie, but his nickname stuck. Of course as I grew older, I was annoyed with the childlike appellation. But now? I would give anything to hear him call me Gwennie.” Her eyes grow misty with tears. “I am sorry, it is just that I miss my late brother Lord Alfred so.”
Miss Tamsin freezes and her eyes widen. Then her head swivels to the not so distant edge of the woodlands, trying to catch a glimpse of the gentleman she just met—her father—but she does not see him. Yet how can her Papa be alive? And the excitement overwhelms her and she looks up frantically at her Uncle Lord Robert.
Miss Tamsin: “Catch me.” And everything goes dark for Miss Tamsin.
Then Miss Tamsin faints into Lord Robert’s arms. He lifts up his niece into his arms for carrying her inside and Lady Gwendolyn tries to fan her face with her linen hankie as they race into Sussex Hall manor house. And Lady Constance having watched the scene from the second floor window, races out of the parlor and down the stairs to tend to her ill daughter.
Miss Tamsin is not entirely in a faint, because she mumbles with a whispery voice that none can hear and with her eyes still closed.
Miss Tamsin: “My Papa … My Papa …”
Shrieking with terror from the upper gallery, Lady Constance nearly flies down the grand central staircase of Sussex Hall’s large entrance hall to reach her limp child in her brother Lord Robert’s arms.
Lady Constance: “My poor baby! Tammy! Tammy!”
Lord Robert: “Connie, Let us lay her down on a sette in this nearby parlor and have the maid bring water for drinking and in a bowl, with a cloth for us to swab her brow with.” Lady Gwendolyn relays that request to a nearby footman who leaves to attend to it.
After Lord Robert, Lady Constance and a nearby Lady Gwendolyn lay Miss Tamsin upon a comfortable settee and the water comes, Lady Constance unbuttons Miss Tamsin’s high collared dress and pats a dampened cool cloth about her face and neck.
Lady Constance: “What happened?” She asks of her brother while not taking her eyes off of her unconscious child.
Lord Robert: “I do not know.” He shakes his head, trying to recall every detail. “She had been running toward us and was a bit winded—like she usually is after running.”
Lady Gwendolyn: “Yes, but she didn’t faint until a few minutes later when we were talking about my family nickname, the one that my la … that is to say, that my brother Lord Alfred used.” Lady Gwendolyn corrects herself before referring to her brother as being deceased. Then she turns to Lady Constance. “He called me …” But she is interrupted.
Lady Constance: “Gwennie. Yes, I know. But you might not have realized that it was I who came up with that pet name for you. Alfred and I were charged with watching you one day when you were three or four years old. And you were having so much fun with us rolling a ball to you that you smiled so hard I thought that your cheeks might burst. And Freddie as I called him then started calling you Grinnie. But I said that Grinnie wasn’t a lady like name. So I proposed Gwennie. And it stuck.”
Miss Tamsin: “Gwennie!” The young girl sighs as her eyes flutter open. She turns to her Mama Lady Constance, who kisses her cheeks, forehead, and nose.
Lady Constance: “Oh Tammy Dearest! You have scared me so.”
Miss Tamsin: “Sorry, Mama. It was just a shock.”
Lady Constance: “What was a shock, Tammy?”
Miss Tamsin: “My Papa! He said that he had a younger sister with curls like mine whom he called Gwennie.”
Lord Robert exchanges quizzical looks with Lady Gwendolyn.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Your Papa?” And she wonders if Miss Tamsin is just going along with her family’s treating Lady Constance sensitively about her lost love and husband, the late Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten.
Miss Tamsin: Sitting up on the settee, Miss Tamsin nods her head up and down several times. “Apologies for me doubting you, Mama. But Papa Lord Alfred really is alive. I met him, in the garden, near the woods a little while ago. He cut up an apple for me to eat.”
None of the three adults—including Lady Constance—think that Miss Tamsin actually met her father in the gardens. And they none of them know what to say.
Then Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay—Lady Gwendolyn’s brother—is ushered into the parlor. He has ridden over to invite Lady Gwendolyn to dinner with the Sussex’s—and Vicar Whitby—to tell her about their brother. But seeing his sister Lady Gwendolyn, and siblings Lord Robert and Lady Constance Knightsbridge looking concerned and surrounding Miss Tamsin, he asks.
Lord Duncan: “Is something wrong? Is Miss Tamsin alright?” For he loves his niece as much as anyone.
Lady Constance: “Well, she just ran around too hard in her play and fainted.” For now the tables have turned, and Lady Constance does not want to upset Lord Duncan with talk about his late brother. Yes, she knows in her mind that her husband died in the war nearly ten years ago, but her heart would never accept it. Her husband Alfred had promised to return to her, and she has clung to that hope.
Miss Tamsin: “Not really, Mama. Do not be embarrassed, Mama. Uncle Lord Duncan knows.”
Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn straighten up—as does Lord Duncan. For Lady Gwendolyn had been earlier taken into their confidence.
Lord Duncan: “Knows? Just what am I purported to know?” He looks pointedly at Miss Tamsin, hoping to quell her loquaciousness.
Miss Tamsin: However, Miss Tamsin is a child, and she responds in her usual straight forward manner. “Pray, that Vicar Whitby is my Papa, Lord Alfred. But he does not remember us because of his injury in the war. But he told me enough information that I puzzled it out when I reached my Uncle Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn, Gwennie.”
Lord Duncan looks stricken at the child and Lord Robert, Lady Constance, and his sister Lady Gwendolyn—for he has not had the opportunity to apprise them of the miracle of Lord Alfred being alive, in the person of Vicar Whitby.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Duncan? Is what Tamsin is saying true? Our brother Alfred is alive?” Now Lady Gwendolyn’s face goes pale—and Lord Robert stands at the ready to catch her if she also faints. Lady Constance is interested in Lord Duncan’s answer as well.
Lord Duncan: “Yes.” He nods with great solemnity. Then, he shares a small yet heartfelt smile with each of them. For Lord Alfred is alive.
To be continued with Chapter 18
Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 17 image for April 21, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1229)
- “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.
“Expectations” (Book 2) Ch. 17 URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post for April 21, 2019:
Previous “Expectations” (Book 2) Chapter 16 story URL on my SAL blog Post #1225, April 06, 2019: