Friday, February 21, 2014
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 64
A Lady Nonetheless
"Auntie," Lennie smiled as she poked her head into the Vermillion Suite. "May I come in?"
"Oh, please do, Lennie." Morgana brightened.
Lennie entered, twirling a bit to show off her gown. "How do I look?"
Morgana gasped. "Stunning. Oh, my dear, just...just stunning. I...oh...you're a delight in your springtime green. Such a fine color on you. You're so very pretty. And those jewels..."
"The jewels and the gown are all owed to my very generous brother." Lennie chuckled.
"Nevertheless, it is you who give them life." Morgana smiled.
"So, I don't look like a woman who has just encountered the shade of her dead mother?" Lennie sighed.
"N...no...not at all." Morgana shook her head.
"Matthew's just in his rooms." Lennie sat on the bed next to her aunt. "You know, Auntie, I find that I'm rather excited to have him here."
"Of course you are. You are to be wed." Morgana nodded.
"I'm fond of Matthew. Truly. Yet, I do not tend to become excited by his visits. Not typically. Perhaps after the horrors of this morning, the idea of anything more pleasant is appealing."
"You do your young man an injustice." Morgana shook her head.
"That's just it, Auntie. He's not a particularly young man." Lennie replied. "Not that I am aglow with the dew of youth either. However, he is...well, he's a good deal older. Perhaps that's why my feelings for him are, at times, avuncular."
"Give it time, my dear." Morgana replied. She smiled. "Oh, you do look so pretty. How I wish you were my very own daughter."
Lennie looked fondly at her aunt. "In a way, I am." She leaned in. "This is why I very much want you to meet Matthew." She paused to raise her hand. "Now, before you say that you cannot, Punch and Robert have already told Matthew about you..."
"Oh dear, whatever did he say?" Morgana blushed.
"At first, he was slightly taken aback. I will be honest with you."
"Of course." Morgana nodded.
"However," Lennie continued. "The Earl of Cleaversworth, while not the most scintillating of men, is kind-hearted. His world...until meeting our rather..."
"Yes," Lennie laughed, "until meeting our rather peculiar family, Matthew's world has been rather narrow. Still, he's willing to accept and learn new things to which, perhaps, before he would have closed his eyes."
"That's because he loves you." Morgana responded.
"No, I think that owes more to my brother's influence."
"As charming as our Punch is, it is not his influence which sways your fiance. Still, I cannot meet him." Morgana replied.
"Auntie," Lennie began.
"My...my dear." Morgana shook her head. "On this I must remain firm."
"I'm not asking you to leave your room. You may stay in your bed. I shall bring him to you. Once your wardrobe is prepared, then, you can go out more. And, when we have solved the issue of shoes for you..."
"Auntie Morgana, I have no mother. You've said just now that you wished I was your own daughter. Please."
"Darling girl, I am a monster." Morgana began to cry.
"The woman who bore me was a monster." Lennie answered firmly. "You are a kind-hearted woman whose hands and leg happen to differ from everyone elses'. In the hours I've known you...you've been more of a mother to me than anyone who ever called herself 'mother' to me. Auntie...perhaps I'm being selfish, but..."
"No," Morgana replied. "It is I. I am being selfish." She sat up as regally as she could. "Yes, my dear...d...d...do bring your Matthew to meet me whenever you like. I am honored t...to do so."
"Thank you, Auntie." Lennie wiped her eyes.
Morgana nodded. "No, my...my dear. Thank you."
"I shall go down to the drawing room. That's where we're to meet. After awhile, I'll bring him up to meet you." Lennie rose and hurried to the door. "I'm terribly thrilled."
"I'm glad." Morgana answered.
"I will see you shortly." Lennie waved as she left.
Morgana sank into her pillows and looked around her rooms, hoping to spot something which would calm her increasing nervousness.
"Pity they didn't leave the Jar of Heads for me." She muttered. "No, no." She said to yourself. "You're not in a Curiosities Show anymore. You mustn't think such things anymore. You're a proper lady. A lady with pincers, but a lady nonetheless."
Did you miss Chapters 1-63 of A Recipe for Punch? If so, you can read them here. Come back Monday for Chapter 65.