AlexanderRoublev. “The Irish Rovers. Good King Wenceslas.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Dec. 2011. Web. 25 Dec. 2016.
ABOUT THE SONG:
This was one of my favourite carols as a child. Why? Because it told a story about a kind king. I would listen to the carol, often singing along, as lovely images of a king and his page struggling through the snow would play in my mind.
I could feel the wind blowing and would shiver as the cold seeped through the pages clothing chilling his blood. I could see the peasant stooping and adding another twig to the pile in his arms. I would imagine his family huddled around the hearth at his home waiting for his return. I could see the page taking large strides to match those of his master as he followed behind the king sheltered from the wind and snow. I would smile at the thought of the surprise visit and gift from the king to the peasant. And I would be reminded that I was blessed.
I still think about these things when I hear this song, and it is still a reminder of just how blessed I am.
I have spent more time reading this week than writing. In the midst of the busyness of the season, combined with the release of A Very Mary Christmas and hosting a book launch giveaway on Austen Authors, finding time to write was challenging. Finding time to read was less challenging, so I reread parts of some books that I have read several times before. It’s a thing I do when I find a book that I particularly enjoy and am drawn back to. I reread these stories with a purpose — to discover the story or character development techniques the author has used to engage my interest. I like to think of it as studying at the feet of the masters.
However, it was not all reading this week. Below is a small portion of what I was able to write. I am still working on Willow Hall, Book 4. I am getting into the things are starting to come to that ultimate climax before the resolution portion of the story, so read at your own risk. It will be many weeks before this portion shows up in a Thursday post.
STORY EXCERPT Willow Hall Romance, Book 4:
Later that evening, Bingley tapped his fingers on the table next to the letter he had written. He was uncertain if this was the best course of action. Perhaps he should just take a trip to town to speak with Mr. ___. Letters were tricky items. There was no guarantee that the intended recipient would be the only recipient of the news in a missive. He scanned the words again.
“A breach of contract has occurred. Please detain the party who is in neglect and extract payment as needed. Packet may be shipped from Portsmouth.”
“That is a serious look you are wearing,” said Richard as he slipped into the library at Pemberley. “Letter of business or pleasure?”
“Business,” said Bingley with a sigh. “An agreement has been breached, and I am uncertain of the best method of rectifying the situation.”
Richard settled into a large leather chair and tossed one leg over the other. “What are you options?”
Bingley shrugged and folded the paper without sealing it. “Write to an associate and have him deal with the issue or go see it done myself.”
Richard pondered this information for a while. “Is it a serious breach?”
Bingley nodded. “Damaging,” he blew out a breath, “but the remedy is not without great risk, either.”
The comment caused Richard to raise a brow and look eagerly at Bingley. “Is this remedy something that would fall outside of the law.”
Unwilling to admit such a thing, Bingley tilted his head and gave a half shrug.
Richard smiled. “I had not thought you capable of such.” There was a note of pride in the colonel’s voice.
“You do not condemn me?”
“I would need to know the particulars before I could pronounce any sort of judgement,” Richard replied with a grin. “I am not a strict judge, if you are worried about that.”
Bingley blew out a breath and rose from his chair. “It is not that,” he said, moving to join Richard in the chairs before the unlit fireplace. “I wish to keep the number of people who know about any of this as small as possible.”
Richard’s eyes grew wide, and he let out a low whistle. “So it is a fair distance on the opposite side of the law?”
Again, not willing to admit it aloud, Bingley gave a half shrug.
“A pound of flesh?” Richard asked in a whisper. Bingley was almost certain he heard a hint of excitement in Richard’s voice.
“Something of that nature.” He sighed again. He longed to discuss this with someone who could advise him on the best course of action. If Wickham were to meet with an accident here in Derbyshire, Bingley knew that no one would ask questions, and if they did, Mr. Williams would confirm that it was merely an accident. Elsewhere, Bingley was uncertain if events would play out so cleanly. He shook his head. “Life and death are not mine to award.” He rubbed his chin with his right hand. “I should tend to it myself.”
“I wish you would tell me what it is.” Richard’s tone was disappointed. “If you are not indeed planning on killing someone, then I do not see the need to be quite so secretive.”
“What of transportation?” asked Bingley.
Bingley shook his head in response to the startled question. “Lady Catherine knew of Darcy marrying because of Mr. Collins.”
Richard wore a look of confusion. “Darcy mentioned that.”
“Collins learned of the wedding from Wickham.”
Richard’s eyes grew wide. “Darcy did not mention Wickham.”
Bingley smirked. “And why do you suppose that would be?”
Richard’s features grew hard. “Because I need very little reason to persuaded to do harm to that man. Darcy is far too patient.”
Bingley nodded. “I quite agree. I cannot understand how he has managed to suffer Caroline’s attentions all these years without telling her to leave off.” He paused for a moment. “Although he did not ask her to stay yesterday.”
Richard gave a low chuckle. “She has reached her end. There is always a limit to Darcy’s patience but reaching that limit does not mean he is willing to leave all reason behind. He will always take what he thinks is the most noble road.”
“Which means sacrificing himself and not the other person,” said Bingley.
Richard nodded emphatically. “Precisely. A cutting off of a friendship, the paying off of debts, the buying of property — all helpful and not without merit, but they do not eliminate the problem.”