A few scenes got cut from the final project, but they live on here, for your enjoyment.
Darcy’s townhouse staff proved their worth once again and rose to the occasion with aplomb. Though surprised at his arrival, in short order he sat in his study before a warm fire, a tray of hot food beside him. Above stairs, his room was ready with fresh linen and a hot bath should he call for it.
Ironic how all the comforts only reminded him of the discomforts of Rosings and how far he still had to go before anything might seem right again. He raked his hair and pulled off his cravat. Since he left the coaching inn, it seemed nothing had gone right. In truth, it could have been worse. He had not been set upon by highwaymen nor had his horse thrown a shoe or turned up lame. The weather had held and no bridges had washed out. But until he could be glad of the things that mattered to him, none of it signified.
Wickham was in none of his usual low haunts. Mrs. Younge’s boarding house bore no clue to his whereabouts. Gaming dens, pubs, none had news of him. Dash and damn it all! Where could he be?
It was not as though he or Miss Lydia had a ready supply of cash. The girl might have a few pounds, but hardly enough to satisfy Wickham for very long. His reputation was too well known. Few would be willing to extend him credit either. Where was that scoundrel!?
Darcy sprang from his seat and stalked to the window. A group of dusty young men ran past the window. Fitzwilliam had certain connections in town. Perhaps—no, not perhaps, it was time to call upon their aid. Too bad he could not have brought Fitzwilliam along to help, but someone had to stay and try to keep Aunt Catherine from ruining Rosings in a fit of pique.
Even that was not entirely true. Rosings was already well on the way to ruin. All that could be hoped for there was to stave off further damage. How many servants had disappeared already? How many more would she run off with her temper, especially now that Anne was back on her sickbed.
She had not taken the news of Miss Elizabeth’s clandestine departure well. Her display of temper certainly marked her as her mother’s daughter. As did the dramatic collapse that followed. Bennet might not be able to save her this time. It would be far easier to feel sorry for them if there had been a thread of decency between them.
He hammered the window sill with his fist. It was all too much—facing this alone was too much. Bloody hell, why had he not gone first to find Elizabeth on Gracechurch street?
Because, he pounded his forehead with his fist, he did not want to bring further grief to her with no remedy. Bad enough to fail to deliver her from Aunt Catherine, but to tell her of her sister, with no resolution?
Damn his pride. Now it was too late, far beyond a decent hour to call. But he would not leave it another hour later than he must. Tomorrow morning, he would be reunited with her and never leave her again.