For two days, Mr. Bennet carried that rock in his pocket, running his fingers over it as he thought, weighing it from hand to hand as he considered all that had happened. Finally, on the third day after Colonel Fitzwilliam had called, he could no longer deny that he had been wrong, and after another two hours of attempting to avoid doing what he knew he must, he called for the carriage and made his way to Darcy House.
He shifted from foot to foot as he waited in the entry for the butler to inquire after whether his master was home to callers or not. Thankfully, or perhaps not, Mr. Bennet could not decide, Mr. Darcy was at home for such a call. With his heart beating wildly in his chest and echoing in his ears, he drew a deep breath and entered Mr. Darcy’s study after being announced. He paused for a moment to take in the well-ordered shelves and the cozy arrangement of chairs near the hearth before moving to stand before Darcy’s desk.
“Please, have a seat,” Darcy motioned to the chair not occupied by Richard, and Mr. Bennet sat — but only just. He did not fill the chair completely nor did he relax his posture in any way. Clearly, the man was a ball of nerves. Darcy tipped his head and propped his chin on steepled fingers as he waited for Mr. Bennet to speak.
Mr. Bennet carefully placed the rock that had kept him company for two days on the desk. He turned and gave Colonel Fitzwilliam a small smile. “I find I have no need for this, Colonel.” And then he turned toward Darcy. “And I pray that you will not either.”
Darcy’s brows furrowed as he reached for the rock and looked at his cousin, who gave a small nod of his head. So this was the rock about which Richard had told him — the one that he had left with Mr. Bennet at his last meeting with the gentleman.
“I do not know why I should need a rock,” he said, turning the stone over in his hands. Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: With the Colonel’s Help, Part 20