The Writer's Block
May 19, 2013, 08:03:24 AM
The Writer's Block
Teatime with Austen
The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
Topic: The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan (Read 3254 times)
Happily ever after comes true
The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
January 22, 2012, 03:44:30 PM »
This is the first chapter from my next novel scheduled for release on April 1, 2013. For those who do not know, George Darcy is Mr. Darcy's uncle. He arrived in my second novel -
Loving Mr. Darcy
- and ended up staying as a permanent fixture. This novel travels back to 1789 and covers 34 years of his life. For more information on
The Passions of Dr. Darcy
and additional updates please visit my website:
I hope you enjoy this snippet. Let me know what you think!
Ten years ago, Alex died. On this day. At this precise moment.
James Darcy glanced at the ticking clock to be certain, and then looked at his brother sitting across from him. As he suspected, George was
looking at the clock. George didn’t need to. The month, day, hour, and minute when Alex drew his final breath were embedded into every cell of his twin’s body.
As fanciful as it sounded, James often wondered if that last exhale had crossed the tiny space between George’s blotched face and the ashen one of Alex, mingled with the air as George gasped with each sob, drawn into his lungs to then be distributed and implanted into each cell. Is that why, year after year, George knew the exact second he had lost his other half? Or was it merely another aspect of the strange connection Alex and George Darcy had shared in life?
James did not know. What he did know was that before the minute ticked away, George would say, “This is the moment Alex died.”
Every year he said it. On this day. At this precise moment.
Even when James or others in the family took him away or tried to distract with a frivolous activity, he said it. Two years ago, they decided to give up trying to make him forget. That was the year they had traveled to Brighton, dragging George away from his university studies to frolic in the surf. Frolic he had, until April 17, when somberness overtook the perpetually gay twenty-year-old. He said nothing and tried to carry on for the sake of the family until 2:34 in the afternoon, when he had abruptly dropped the bucket of sand, walked toward the water’s edge until the waves lapped over his feet, and stared out at the roiling sea for the full minute before turning back to his sympathetic siblings and father.
“This is the moment Alex died.”
They had offered what consolation they could, and in a short time the worst of the grief had passed. Their Brighton holiday recommenced and had proved to be a nice memory overall. Yet they had discussed the topic away from George’s hearing and agreed there was no point in pretending.
That was why James sat with his younger brother in a sunny parlor at Pemberley, a glass of wine in their hands, and remained silent until the familiar words were spoken. Ten long years but this was the last year, for an unknown time to come, when George would be with family on this day. James had no doubt that even if lost in an Indian jungle or trekking across the barren Thar Desert, George would know it was April 17 and 2:34 in the afternoon.
So he steeled himself for the words even while feigning nonchalance between sidelong glances and sips of his wine.
George sat with his thin body slumped in the chair, long limbs stretched onto the ottoman in front and bony elbows resting on the padded chair arms. The negligent pose was familiar to James, as was his brother’s choice of clothing. Today he wore an exquisitely tailored suit of brown woolen broadcloth with a green waistcoat—quite conservative and sedate until one noted the wide ribbon of bright yellow and green tartan used to tie his wavy brown hair into a pigtail, that same fabric draped about his neck and knotted into a puffy bulge at his throat. Pinned to his lapel was a Celtic cross of polished gold with inlaid emeralds. Why the Scottish motif in April was anyone’s guess and James did not ask. It was George’s flamboyant way and barely registered upon James’s mind.
No, being surprised was not an emotion James expected on this day. But then, George Darcy was a man who frequently shocked people.
“Do you think Alex would be proud of me?”
Yes, James was surprised. And it showed.
“I have been thinking on the topic lately,” George explained, his intense blue eyes steady on James’s startled face. “Actually I have pondered the subject for ages. The irony does not escape me and that is what I wrestle with.”
“That it was Alex’s death that prompted me to become a doctor. If he lived, I would not be sitting here with my formal education behind me, a licensure I treasure, skills already superior to most in England, and ready to embark on an expedition to single-handedly rid the East of disease.”
James smiled. George’s flippant arrogance never failed to amuse him. “That I don’t believe for a second.” Then he laughed at the indignant expression that flickered over his brother’s face and clarified, “Not the superior skills part or that you will undoubtedly succeed in eradicating disease from the Earth. Rather that the idea of you not becoming a doctor under any circumstance is ludicrous. Your fate was sealed at birth, my brother.”
“Yet it was never a thought until that quack allowed my brother to die.” George flared. “Happiest day of my life when old Wilson had his worthless carcass thrown in jail for botching Lady Messerman’s delivery and murdering a perfect infant. Don’t even think of frowning at me, James! Call it whatever you like. It was murder in my book, and not his first by a stretch.”
“Then it will please you to hear that he has been barred from practicing medicine.”
“He should have been escorted to the gallows if you ask me. What is to stop him from relocating to another unsuspecting community? Someday, mark my words, Brother, there will be standards of medicine to prevent hacks like Wilson from treating patients, and I use the word ‘treating’ loosely.”
“I pray you are correct, Dr. Darcy.” James took a sip of his wine and then leaned forward. “Listen, I will never argue about Wilson. He has a long list of tragedies behind him and we both know it pained Father to call upon him when Alex was injured. If Dr. Meager had not been away to London… Well, you were there,” he stated unnecessarily at the cloud of renewed grief that marred George’s handsome face. “The point is, even when Dr. Meager returned, he concurred that there was nothing that could have been done for Alex. And your studies”—he ignored George’s wince—“have proven the truth of that.”
“Yet, I read a study not too long ago about theories of evacuating accumulated blood or pus from the thorax to relieve the pressure on the lungs. Both de Chauliac and Boerhaave describe insertion of a tube to drain the fluid. Someday such treatment modalities shall be the norm.”
“Yes, and someday men will fly.”
“Perhaps someday they will!”
“Did you not hear the sarcasm in my voice?” James teased, happy to revert to the safety of their brotherly banter to ease the tension. “Even if men someday fly”—he rolled his eyes—“that won’t help you at the present, now will it? You still have to take a boat to India, like it or not.”
George shuddered, grief and irritation momentarily replaced by a grimace and sickly-green cast washing over his cheeks.
James bent to pour more wine into George’s glass and chuckled. “Future marvels of medicine or physics do not change the present, dear Brother. No one, with the possible exception of arrogant you, would have remotely considered sticking a tube into Alex’s chest. Now, to answer your initial question, yes, Alex would be proud of you. Very much so.”
“You state that with confidence.”
James sat back with a grin. “Ha! Confidence is your failing, not mine. However, in this case, I am indeed. Who was it that treated the endless parade of injured animals Alex and Estella brought into the manor? Damned bleeding hearts. The orangery resembled a veterinary hospital!”
“Until the fallow deer got loose and destroyed Mother’s orchids. Father tanned our hides over that one.”
“And then sent you all packing to the gamekeeper compound, driving Mr. Higgs crazy.” They paused to smile in recollection of childish antics. “It was always within you, George. Alex had the softer heart and never passed by a wounded creature no matter how small. But he brought them to you, knowing you could cure them. And you always did.”
“I couldn’t let him down,” George mumbled.
“But you cured them,” James emphasized, his serious eyes holding his brother’s gaze. “Your need to submerge your grief and emptiness after Alex’s death simply prompted you to do the inevitable sooner than you would have, George. Maybe you wouldn’t have been thirteen when you started tagging along with Dr. Meager or fifteen when you apprenticed with Lambton’s apothecary, what was his name?”
“Right, Jones. Saint he was to tolerate your million questions an hour. Mr. Higgs also.”
“Thanks to my insatiable curiosity, Pemberley now boasts a medical section covering two wide cases,” George interrupted indignantly, “and Mr. Jones and Mr. Higgs were thrilled to have me around, especially since I did not mind doing the dirty work.”
on the dirty work,” James again emphasized. “There is a difference. You were unrelenting—
unrelenting. Your ambition may have started as a way to forget, it may have been fed by a driving need to prevent others from suffering such a loss, that catalyst setting you on the path so young, but I know there is more to it. So do you, Brother.”
George did not respond immediately. Instead, he returned James’s hard stare, his mind flipping through the truths shared with James over the years. Vividly he remembered the day early in his clinical education in London, when after a grueling twelve hours at the hospital, he returned to the small, closet-sized space that served as his sleeping quarters and began stripping his blood-soaked clothes. Instead of moaning in agony and exhaustion, he had realized he was smiling. He had glanced into the mirror, noted the blood- and dirt-streaked gray skin and red-rimmed eyes incongruous with the smile, and had his first true epiphany.
He had forgotten Alex.
Not literally, of course, as Alex inhabited a portion of his soul and forever would. But he recognized that his insatiable thirst for knowledge in the healing arts had became more than a desire to cure for the sake of curing. It grew to encompass the joy of discovering new techniques and the satisfaction of solving a diagnostic riddle. Passion for medicine consumed his waking hours and filled his sleeping minutes, often taking the place of sleep or food if a complicated case presented itself. He studied diligently to advance his skills and willingly did anything for the goal of becoming a masterful physician.
All of it was as easy as breathing.
“What was it your instructors at Cambridge said?” James prompted. “That you had a ‘gift’ and were ‘naturally born to be a physician’ with an innate comprehension of the human body and disease that was ‘magical’ is what you told me.”
George nodded, his expression neither proud nor humble. “Those that weren’t jealous or afraid of me, that is. Do you know how many times I have deftly diagnosed a patient’s illness after the briefest of examinations, James?”
“As you did Gerald Vernor.”
George waved his hand dismissively. “Any fool could tell he had the croup, except for Wilson probably.”
“Perhaps. But only someone special could be one of the youngest men to obtain a doctorate of medicine at Cambridge University and also be admitted for licentiate by the Royal College of Physicians. Don’t forget that!”
“I haven’t,” George murmured blandly, “but you know it means nothing to me, James, except as a means to an end. Whether a blessing bestowed from Heaven above or the result of determined effort, I’ve done it all because of Alex.”
“Hogwash! If Alex had lived, you might have been a few years older than two and twenty before you got your degree and maybe, just maybe,” he held up his hand to halt George’s rebuttal, “you wouldn’t be so hasty to leave England and the memories that haunt you here at Pemberley, but I think you would have done that too. Look, I know this is a tough day for you. It always will be, I reckon. But really, this humbleness and self-doubt is beginning to worry me. Are you sure the strain has not addled your brains? Or does the anticipation of a sea voyage so unnerve you that your spirit is cracking? Say it isn’t so!”
George laughed and shook his head. “No. The brains are superior, as always. Not so sure about the spirit cracking, or at least splintering a sliver. Maybe I’ll ride a horse all the way to Bombay instead. You think one could swim the Channel?”
Before James could frame a witty reply, they were interrupted by the door opening. In an instant, both men stood to their feet to greet the man who entered, bowing respectfully. It was an automatic reaction that not even George Darcy, who was known for ignoring manners of propriety more often than not, would have dreamed of neglecting.
The elder James Darcy, Master of Pemberley in Derbyshire and Darcy House in London, was imposing in every way imaginable. Physically he stood well over six feet, with a broad chest that could conceivably contend with that of a gorilla. At seventy years of age, his hair was iron gray and his face creased with lines, yet he walked with the confidence and vigor of a man half his years. Power and authority surrounded him as an unmistakable aura, and if one doubted their initial impression, the first sentence spoken in his resonant rumble or focused look from his penetrating gaze clarified the matter. His eyes were a unique color that transformed from indigo to a greenish tint that did not exist on any charts to a brown resembling dark roasted coffee, yet it was the intensity of his stare that unnerved.
Women were drawn as if he were a magnet, yet since the death of Emily Darcy nearly five years ago, not a single one of the ladies who vied for the attention of the robust man with extreme wealth and prestige had gotten anywhere. Mr. Darcy ignored them and went about the business of managing Pemberley with the same drive and intelligence that had served him as master for over four decades.
He was a man no one trifled with, whether they revered him or feared him or hated him. He was Darcy or Mr. Darcy or sir, even to his children and his wife. Only his sister, Beryl, the widowed Countess of Essenton who was soon to be the Marchioness of Warrow, called him otherwise. To her, he was Jamie, and his children had never been brave enough to ask if this was a childish endearment or meant to annoy him. Knowing their Aunt Beryl, probably the latter.
“George, I apologize for being late. Of all the days for my horse to throw a shoe. The ride from Vernor’s ended up a limping walk. How are you, my boy?”
“Well enough, sir. James is doing an admirable job of keeping me entertained.”
Mr. Darcy nodded and paused to pat his son on the shoulder. George did not expect to be enfolded into a warm embrace—that sort of demonstrativeness a rare occurrence even when they were children—but he sensed his father’s concern and recognized the grief buried within his stern eyes. Losing a son had branded the father’s soul as well.
“As I suspected he would.” Mr. Darcy looked at his oldest son and heir, lips lifting in a minuscule smile. “Nevertheless, I am sorry for being detained and could benefit from some of that wine, if you do not mind, James?”
“What news from Sanburl Hall?” James asked while pouring.
“The usual business for the most part. Young Master Gerald is recovering from the croup, as I have already reported to Anne. The boys shall be playing together in no time.”
“That is good news indeed. George’s medicine helped?”
“Well of course it did!” George responded before Mr. Darcy could. “Crushed ma huang and lobelia added to the heated mist in a tent over the boy are far more effective than cold mist alone. Or mercury, which has too many negative effects. Fortunately, it was a moderate case and a tracheotomy was not necessary. As you said, Father, he and William will be terrorizing the nursery ere the month is over.”
“I said they would be playing together,” Mr. Darcy corrected, while James choked on his wine over the thought of his friend’s baby having a hole drilled into his neck. “Fitzwilliam is a behaved boy, and Miss Reese will not allow the nursery to be disorderly.”
“That is because she is a Hun, lacking anything remotely soft and feminine. Why you let Lady Catherine recommend a nurse is beyond my comprehension. I shudder to imagine who she hired to care for her daughter.”
“Anne is beginning to think as you, George,” James interjected. “Miss Reese does her job, though, so we cannot complain at that.”
“A few more hours with young Gerald and that imp Richard Fitzwilliam will break Miss Reese’s iron rod. William is a gentle, mannerly boy as you say, Father, but terror follows in the wake of those other two!”
Mr. Darcy grunted. “Praise to God Master Gerald will be with us to raise some terror, no small thanks to you, Son.”
George’s brow lifted at the compliment and proud paternal smile, even as a warm glow spread across his chest. It had taken years for Mr. Darcy to approve of his chosen profession and it remained infrequent that he verbally acknowledged his skill and accomplishment. “Thank you, sir,” he replied simply.
“I know I do not say it often enough, George, but I am proud of you. I recognize your talent and passion. These are traits I admire and respect, as I possess them myself. James does too, I am pleased to proclaim. I know you have your heart set on leaving England, but I do pray you reconsider. Think of the good you could do here, with your people, as you did with Vernor’s boy!”
Never had his father expressed his emotions toward George’s leaving so vehemently and the borderline pleading was affecting him more than he would have imagined. Yet George would not hurt his father, the one person he respected above all others, by telling him that while Pemberley was the only place he truly felt at home, it was also the cause of his deepest agony. The memories of sweet-tempered Alex, who had been so much more than merely a brother, remained alive and vivid, as if his ghost stalked the halls, filling the rooms with the high-pitched laughter George remembered as one of the few attributes that differentiated the identical twins.
He needed to forget Alex, at least to a degree, and while pursuing his studies or up to his elbows in blood, he did forget. The downside of this, as evidenced by his question to James, was guilt and doubt, neither emotion one George struggled with too often. It was damned annoying! Hearing James’s words of encouragement helped more than he wanted to admit. Hearing his father practically beg him to stay home after praising his accomplishments incited an irritating stinging sensation in his eyes that he flat refused to succumb to.
So instead, he reverted to standard George-ism. He lifted his brows, feigned shock, and responded, with dismay pitched with stage-worthy precision, “What? Stay here and scandalize the good citizens of Derbyshire when I actually touch a patient? Can you imagine what old man Matlock would do if he found out I performed surgeries?” George gasped and shuddered dramatically. “Best I make a hasty retreat before you are disbarred from the Gentleman’s Guild of Obscenely Wealthy and Worthless Landowners, Father.”
James chuckled, and George flashed a cocky grin his direction.
“I own the clubhouse, so they can’t ban me.” The unsmiling Mr. Darcy responded in a bland tone so convincing that only one who knew him well would distinguish the teasing hint. “As for his lordship, I doubt he would protest too loudly or his daughter might bar him from visiting with his grandson—”
“And that would be a tragedy why?” James interjected. “That possibility is the best reason I have heard yet for you to stick around, George. Maybe while you are at it, you can rob a grave or something, so Catherine will refuse to ever visit Pemberley. I would owe you for that.”
“Alas, no matter how obnoxious Lady Catherine finds me, she keeps coming back. Family and all. I fear you are on your own with that one, James. No, as highly enjoyable as it is to irritate Catherine and Lord Matlock, and as much as I adore stirring up controversy and causing trouble, I don’t relish being clapped in chains or fined half my inheritance by reneging on my East India contract.”
“Indeed, the Guild might not take an arrest as lightly as performing surgery.” Mr. Darcy frowned and scratched his chin as if George’s fictitious Guild were a real problem. “Then I suppose there is no way around it. This dilemma means we are forced to move forward with plans for your farewell party—”
“A party? For me?”
Mr. Darcy smiled at his son’s enthusiastic interruption, delight illuminating George’s eyes and erasing the final vestiges of grief. “We planned it as a surprise but decided that it might be difficult to deceive you when carriages begin unloading on the drive. We have arranged an extravaganza, or I should say Anne and Mrs. Sutherland have. It isn’t every day a son of mine completes his studies with stupendous honors and then sets sail for a foreign land.”
“What Father is not telling you,” James added before emotion again assaulted his brother, “is that my wife has invited half the shire and practically everyone we have ever spoken to.
“Lady Catherine is coming?” George groaned at James’s wicked grin and nod. “Fabulous. And since she recently delivered a baby, I can’t in good conscience needle her too much. Please tell me Sir Louis is coming? Give me that measure of hope?”
“He is, and I already have Mr. Higgs tracking where the best of the coveys are nesting and the deer grazing. We shall keep you occupied, Brother, so that your need to annoy Catherine won’t overcome your reason. Cheer up! Malcolm is rounding up the blokes, so it promises to be rousing fun.”
The “rousing fun” comment earned a frown from Mr. Darcy, but his sons pretended not to notice. They were still naming the expected guests when the parlor door opened and all three men rose to greet the woman who entered.
“Am I allowed to enter the male sanctuary?”
“Of course, my dear,” James began, but George’s booming voice drowned his brother’s softer tenor.
“We are in the parlor, so you are safe and welcome, Anne. If we were in the billiard room, you would be forbidden unless capable of smoking an entire cigar without vomiting and hitting the spittoon at ten paces.”
“Alas, George, I cannot manage more than half a cigar and five paces is my spitting maximum, so it is fortunate you are in the parlor instead. Fitzwilliam awoke from his nap asking for his uncle. I do believe he somehow knows you are to leave us.”
Lady Anne Darcy approached the standing trio, her sweet smile not hiding the sadness in her eyes. George bent, kissed her on the cheek, and took the sleepy-faced toddler into his arms. He hugged the boy against his heart, the young heir to Pemberley estate contentedly nestling over the broad expanse with thumb in mouth.
“I was telling George of our little surprise. I do think he was about to cry.” James’s tease lightened the air and George sat back into the chair with a grunt.
“The tears were only at the news that Catherine is coming. Really, Anne, I thought you liked me?”
“You know as well as I do that your farewell would not be complete without the opportunity to annoy my sister one last time. I truly had your best interests at heart. You can thank me later.”
“You do have a point.” George’s grin was faintly evil. “Shall I thank you by elaborating on the dreadful consequences of cousins marrying, tossing in a wealth of medical jargon that she won’t understand just to prove the point?”
“Be kind to Lady Catherine, George,” Mr. Darcy said. “I shan’t disagree too vehemently that she possesses traits that are… annoying at times, but she is a mother now and traveling a considerable distance to wish you farewell.”
“Very well, Father. I shall resist my natural tendencies. Maybe motherhood has positively affected Catherine as I have seen with other women. Strange how babies, especially one’s own, have a way of twisting themselves into the hearts of those close to them.” He kissed William’s dark brown hair, the toddler pausing in his rapt inspection of his uncle’s colorful cravat and shiny lapel pin to glance upward and smile.
“In addition to bringing our son to visit his uncle, I also have a message for you, Mr. Darcy.” Anne flashed a secretive glance toward George before turning her attention to her father-in-law. “The particular item you ordered has arrived and is in your study awaiting your inspection.”
Mr. Darcy nodded once, rose, and left the room without a single word.
“Now that was odd!” George looked over at his brother and Anne who were wearing innocent expressions. His eyes narrowed. “What do you have up your sleeves?”
“Nothing at all. Now,” James hastened on before George could counter, “your departure coincides with the annual Pemberley Summer Festival for the tenants and staff. It will be a grand going away in your honor.”
“There will be a ball,” Anne added, “and every lady in the vicinity will be there for you to dance with.”
“My wife has it in her head that you are traveling to the farthest reaches of the Earth, where civilization, dancing, and beautiful women do not exist.”
Anne elbowed her husband in the ribs. “I am not that uneducated! Nevertheless, you will be five months on a ship with little in the way of luxury or entertainment, then in a compound primarily inhabited by soldiers, and knowing you, dear George, probably spending far more time in a hospital ward than enjoying whatever pleasant diversions there might be.”
“Some of what you say is true. But rest assured that when it comes to beautiful women, I shall always keep my eyes open.” He grinned. “I hear that the women of India are exceedingly attractive. Maybe I shall bring home a stunning Hindu wife and a passel of copper-skinned children when next I visit!”
James burst out laughing. “Oh my lord! Can you imagine Lord Matlock’s face if you did that, George? I am not even sure how our lover-of-humanity father would take that!”
“He would promptly head to the chapel and pray for their heathen souls—after he lectured me for several hours. No, on second thought, I’ll pass on the idea. I don’t wish to go looking for a reason for Father to lecture me.”
“Have I missed a chance to lecture you, George?”
Instantly, James and George rose to their feet, but George changed the direction of his response upon noting the two footmen trailing behind his father. They carried a trunk between them, the wood covered with tanned deerskin held in place with gleaming brass tacks. Scalloped brass strips and layers of dyed deerskin adorned the edges of the lid and base, the same design worked into the wide handles on each side that the footmen grasped. As they placed the heavy trunk onto the floor where Mr. Darcy indicated, George absently handed Fitzwilliam to his mother and drew near, noting then the sturdy iron lock and brass plate above upon which was etched
George Darcy, Physician
George was speechless—a state that had occurred less than five times in the total of his life—so he could only shake his head in awe while running his palm over the supple deerskin and cool metal.
“The trunk you have is adequate, I suppose,” Mr. Darcy explained, “but not big enough to carry your personal belongings and the tools of your trade.”
“Sir, I cannot… This is incredible! I truly do not know what to say! I am without… words.”
“Brilliant. Never thought that would happen.” James nudged his brother with his foot. “Go ahead and open it. Perhaps that will wrest all thought from your tiny brain and earn us an hour or two of blessed silence.”
“What? You mean there is something inside?” George looked at his smiling father, too shocked to jump on James for the playful insult.
“Indeed,” Mr. Darcy replied, reaching into his pocket and tossing the key, which George caught deftly. “If a son of mine is to practice medicine, then by God, he is going to do it with the best instruments available and ingredients necessary.”
George knelt before the trunk, surgeon’s hands steady despite his inward trembling excitement, and slid the large key smoothly into the lock. The click was audible, the latch swung up, and the lid lifted noiselessly on well-oiled hinges, as the three onlookers gathered closer to see inside. George fell back onto his heels, hands clutching the trunk’s rim for stability, and looked up at his father in stunned amazement. “Are these what I think they are?”
“If you think they are nicely bundled and boxed medical instruments and apothecary supplies then you would be correct,” Mr. Darcy answered. “Just do not tell me what they are for. I have no desire to imagine the uses of amputation kits and bleeding knives, let alone the leech jar, which, by the way, is from Staffordshire, where I was told the finest are made.”
“The physician’s saddle bag and apothecary case are from me and Anne.” James stooped to pull a foot-sized square box from inside and settle it onto the corner edge of the trunk. It was of leather-accented wood—horsehide rather than deerskin—and secured with iron rivets and a keyed latch. George came out of his stupor to open the box while James held it stable. The front panel fell flat when the lid was lifted to reveal several detachable trays across the top, one with an assortment of tiny metal devices for measuring, cutting, administering, and grabbing. The trays hid three rows of empty, stoppered glass bottles underneath, each nestled into velvet padded pockets, and six drawers across the bottom with sections in varying sizes in each one. “We decided you could fill them with whatever herbs or concoctions you prefer for drugs. I am sure that will make the Lambton apothecary happy.”
“Or we can send to London for anything Mr. Haughe does not have in stock,” Anne added. “We want you to have the freshest ingredients.”
“Right. Because you are heading to an uncivilized place that will certainly not have dancing or herbs.” James kissed his wife’s cheek to offset the tease. Anne took it in stride as she had since she was sixteen and first fell in love with James Darcy, entering a relationship with him and his brother George and sister Estella who were a trio of jokers.
“What do you think of Uncle George’s trunk, William?” she asked instead.
“Pretty,” was the boy’s official proclamation, everyone laughing.
“Not sure I would go for ‘pretty,’ but it is astounding.” George stood and turned first to James and Anne on his left to thank them with a hug and kiss. Then he turned to his father on the right. “Sir, words are inadequate. I am overwhelmed and can promise you, swearing upon my soul, that I will always strive to do my utmost and make you proud.”
Mr. Darcy nodded solemnly. “I know you will, Son. The East India Company is lucky to have you, and the ship you sail on from Portsmouth will have the best surgeon aboard.”
Then he did something so rare that James audibly sucked in his breath and George finally gave in to the stinging tears. He opened his arms and gathered George into a tight embrace, kissed his forehead, and said, “I have complete faith and confidence, George. You are a Darcy and can do nothing but.”
That is Chapter One in its entirety. I hope you enjoyed the tasty morsel! If you want a bit more, visit my website at this link -
Excerpts: The Passions of Dr. Darcy
Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 03:36:11 PM by Sharon Lathan
Re: Dr. George Darcy - A sampling of what is to come by Sharon Lathan
Reply #1 on:
January 22, 2012, 05:43:19 PM »
Love it. Makes me want to start on the saga again. I miss George. It will be cool to have his backstory. Thanks for sharing! I wish you Godspeed!
Re: Dr. George Darcy - A sampling of what is to come by Sharon Lathan
Reply #2 on:
January 23, 2012, 02:08:47 AM »
Sharon, I love this!
I've always wanted to know more about the legendary Dr George Darcy. He is a wonderful character and among my favourites. Can't wait for more snippets and - better still - the actual finished copy!
Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader
Re: Dr. George Darcy - A sampling of what is to come by Sharon Lathan
Reply #3 on:
January 24, 2012, 07:22:29 PM »
Can't wait to read more snippets and even more the finished book! Love Uncle George, he's one of my favorite characters. I especially can't wait to see how we get from readying to leave for India to what you revealed at the end of Miss Darcy Falls in Love
(won't post here in case some haven't read it) Thanks Sharon and keep up the wonderful work!
The Writer's Block
Teatime with Austen
The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
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