The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: New Fic: Leave It to Giles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:22 am 
Here's a new one for you. It is COMPLETE!! But I will be posting it in sections every few days. The more replies I get, the more quickly new sections will go up! Enjoy!!

Leave It to Giles
(With Apologies to P.G.)
by

DarkWiccan

Disclaimers: Willow and Tara and other characters borrowed from the television show “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” are the property of their creator, Joss Whedon, and his affiliates, Mutant Enemy, Fox, and UPN. Jeeves is the creation of P.G. Wodehouse and the property of Dover Publications and (I’m assuming) the Wodehouse Estate.

Spoilers: None

Rating: PG

Coupling: W/T – eventually. Give it time, folks.

Summary: The zany adventures of a silly upper-class British gentlewoman named Willow Rosenby and her remarkable servant Giles. Set in 1915.

Note: The terms “rum” and “rummy” generally refer to something unpleasant… and not a drink or card game. You will notice a large number of odd terms throughout. I have endeavored completely to establish an accurate picture of the time period and locale. If you have difficulty at first wading through all of the jargon, simply relax and go on reading, and the meanings of the terms should start to become clear the further in you get. Also, you may notice that almost everyone in this story is somehow related to almost everyone else. Whether it be by blood or marriage. Well, what can I say, except that is aristocracy for you.

_____________________________________________________________________________


Now, touching this business of old Giles – my man, you know – how do we stand? Lots of people think I’m far too dependent on him. Well, what I say is: Why not? The man’s a genius. From the collar upward he stands alone. I gave up trying to run my own affairs within a week of him coming to me. That was about a half dozen years ago directly after that rummy business with Daniel Osbourne, my Aunt Sheila, my cousin Alexander, or “Lumpy” as we call him, and Anya the showgirl.

The thing really began when I got back to London, after spending a week or so at Easeby, my Uncle Willoughby’s estate. I had not planned on returning to London so soon, but you see I had caught Dawn, my maid, sneaking my silk stockings, a thing no bird of spirit could stick at any price. It transpiring, moreover, that she had looted a lot of other things here and there about the place, I was reluctantly compelled to hand the blighter the mitten and go to London to ask the registry office to dig up another specimen for my approval. Unfortunately when I’d arrived they’d said they were chuff all out of lady’s maids. Rum, I had thought to myself. But then I, not being one too caught up in proprieties, said, “Well, send me a fellow, then”, and turned on my heel to go out the door leaving the poor clerk chappie remarkably pipped. It certainly must have taken him awhile to get over the stunner I’d left him with, as they didn’t send me Giles until the next day.

I shall always remember the morning he came. It so happened that the night before I had been present at a rather cheery supper, and I was feeling pretty rocky. On top of this I was trying to read a book Daniel Osbourne had given me. He had been one of the house party at Easeby, and two or three days before I had left we had gotten engaged. I was due back at the end of the week, and I knew he would expect me to have finished the book by then. You see, he was particularly keen on boosting me up to his own plane of intellect. He was a chap with a wonderful profile, but steeped to the gills in serious purpose. I can’t give you a better idea of the way things stood than by telling you that the book he’d given me to read was called “Types of Ethical Theory,” and that when I opened it at random I struck a page beginning: --

The postulate or common understanding involved in speech is certainly co-extensive, in the obligation it carries, with the social organism of which language is the instrument, and the ends of which is an effort to subserve.

All perfectly true, no doubt; but not the sort of thing to spring on a girl with a morning head.

I was doing my best to skim through this bright little volume when the bell rang. I crawled off the sofa and opened the door. A kind of darkish sort of respectable Johnnie stood without.

“I was sent by the agency, miss,” he said, “I was given to understand that you required a valet.”

I’d have preferred an undertaker; but I told him to stagger in, and he floated noiselessly through the doorway like a healing zephyr. That impressed me from the start. Dawn had flat feet and used to clump. This fellow didn’t seem to have any feet at all. He just streamed in. He had a grave, sympathetic face as if he too knew what it was to sup with the lads.

“Excuse me, miss,” he said gently.

Then he seemed to flicker and wasn’t there any longer. I heard him moving about the kitchen, and presently he came back with a glass on a tray.

“If you will drink this, miss,” he said, with a kind of bedside manner, rather like the royal doctor shooting the bracer into the sick prince. “It is a little preparation of my own invention. Gentlemen have told me they have found it extremely invigorating after a late evening.”

I would have clutched at anything that looked like a lifeline that morning. I swallowed the stuff. For a moment I felt as if somebody had touched off a bomb inside the old bean and was strolling my throat with a lighted torch, and then everything seemed suddenly to get all right. The sun shone through the window; birds twittered in the tree-tops; and, generally speaking, hope dawned once more.

“You’re engaged!” I said as soon as I could say anything.

I perceived clearly that this cove was one of the world’s wonders, the sort no home should be without.

“Thank you, miss. My name is Giles.”

“You can start in at once?”

“Immediately, miss.”

“Because I am due down at Easeby, in Shropshire, the day after tomorrow.”

“Very good, miss.” He looked passed me at the mantelpiece. “That is an excellent likeness of Lord Daniel Osbourne, miss. It has been two years since I saw his lordship. I was at one time in Lord Devonsmith’s employment. I tendered my resignation because I could not see eye to eye with his lordship’s desire to dine in dress trousers, a flannel shirt, and a shooting coat.”

He couldn’t tell me anything I didn’t know about the old boy’s eccentricity. This Lord Devonsmith was Daniel’s father. He was the same old buster who, a few years later, came down to breakfast one morning, lifted the cover of every dish and said, “Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Damn all eggs!” in an overwrought sort of voice and instantly legged it for France. This, mind you, being a bit of luck for the bosom of the family, for old Devonsmith had the worst temper in the county.

The old boy simply put the fear of death into me. If there was a flaw, so to speak, in being engaged to Daniel, with the exception of one rather grave concern I shan’t tarry on just yet, it was the fact that he rather took after his father, and one was never certain when he might erupt. He had a wonderful profile, though.

“Lord Daniel and I are engaged,” I said.

“Indeed, miss?”

You know, there was a kind of rummy something about his manner. Perfectly alright and all that, but not what you’d call chirpy. It somehow gave me the impression that he wasn’t keen on Daniel. Well, of course, it wasn’t my business. I supposed that when he had been valeting for old Devonsmith, Daniel must of trodden on his toes in some way. Daniel was a dear fellow, and, seen sideways, most awfully good-looking; but if he had a fault it was a tendency to be a bit imperious with the domestic staff.

At this point in the proceedings there was another ring at the front door. Giles shimmered out and returned with a telegram. I opened it. It ran:

Return Immediately. Extremely Urgent. Catch First Train. Daniel.

“Rum!” I said.

“Miss?”

“Oh, nothing.”

It shows how little I knew Giles in those days that I didn’t go a bit deeper into the matter with him. Nowadays I would never dream of reading a rummy communication without asking him what he thought of it. And it was devilish odd. What I mean is, Daniel knew that I was going back to Easeby the day after tomorrow anyway; so why the hurry call? Something must have happened of course; but I couldn’t see what on Earth it could be.

“Giles,” I said, “we shall be going down to Easeby this afternoon. Can you manage it?”

“Certainly, miss.”

“You can get your packing done and all that?”

“Without any difficulty, miss. Which ensemble will you wear for the journey?”

“This one.”

I had on a rather sprightly young check that morning, to which I was a good deal attached; I fancied it, in fact, more than a little. It was perhaps rather sudden until you got used to it, but, nevertheless, an extremely sound effort, which many girls at the club and elsewhere admired unrestrainedly.

“Very good, miss.”

Again, there was a kind of rummy something in his manner. It was the way he said it, don’t you know. He didn’t like the dress. I pulled myself together to assert myself. Something seemed to tell me that if I wasn’t jolly careful and nipped this lad in the bud, he would be starting to boss me. He had the aspect of a distinctly resolute blighter.

Well, I wasn’t going to have any of that sort of thing, by Jove! I’d seen so many cases of fellows who had become perfect slaves to their valets. I remember poor old Andrew Lenkergill telling me – with absolute tears in his eyes, poor chap! – one night that he had been compelled to give up a favorite pair of brown shoes because Meekyn, his man, disapproved of them. You have to keep these fellows in their place, don’t you know. You have to work the good old iron-hand-in-the-velvet-glove wheeze. If you give them a what’s-it’s-name, they’ll take a thingummy.

“Don’t you like this dress, Giles?” I asked coldly.

“Oh yes, miss.”

“Well, what don’t you like about it?”

“It is a very nice dress, miss.”

“Well, what’s wrong with it? Out with it, dash it!”

“If I might make a suggestion, miss. A simple brown or blue with a hint of quiet twill—“

“What absolute rot!”

“Very good, miss.”

“Perfectly blithering, my old man!”

“As you say, miss.”

I felt as though I had stepped in the place where the last stair ought to have been, but wasn’t. I felt defiant, if you know what I mean, and there didn’t seem to be anything to defy.

“All right then,” I said.

“Yes, miss.”

And then he went away to collect his kit, while I started in again on “Types of Ethical Theory” and took a stab at a chapter headed, “Idiopsychological Ethics.”

*****

TBC.....

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."
Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Leave It to Giles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:34 am 
So does that mean that if I post two or three times you will update faster or just one post counted per reader? Great start and very very funny. I was laughing throughout. Loved this bit:
Quote:
Daniel was a dear fellow, and, seen sideways, most awfully good-looking
Of course I can't wait to see how Tara gets into it. Giles is priceless!

"It is better to waste one's youth than to do nothing with it at all- Georges Courteline

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." - Chare Booth Luce

My latest story: Survivor - Ash Island



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Leave It to Giles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:39 am 
Debra, my interpretation, until proven otherwise, is the number of replies is directly proportional to the speed at which updates will be posted. However there is a loophole, in that our dear author omitted to specify the type of reply. So you and I can be having a decent conversation and it will count as a reply, hence accelerating the update process.



DarkWiccan, that was awfully tongue-in-cheek of me, for which my apologies. Hope you don't take offence, seeing it's the first time I've left feedback on your fics (newly delurked and all that). Never having read Wodehouse, I was nevertheless able to follow with ease, even words that are no longer in common used. I kept substituting "rum" and "rummy" with modern day expressions like "shit" or "shitty" and it was extremely funny. Giles has certainly hit it off with Willow quickly, you've portrayed his gentle persuasion and immaculate manner so well.



So, what is so urgent that Willow has to catch the first train back to Shropshire? Which, by the way, does anyone go to Shropshire anymore :) ? And I wonder how the other BtVS characters will fit in, most of all, what about Tara?



A very, very understated sort of humor you have going here, fantastic beginning. Now, about that next update ... :P

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Leave It to Giles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:33 am 
Unfortunately my feedback won't be as eloquent or stylised as the others. I just want to say that I like it and it is damn funny. My particular favourite is the use of the word blighter, especially funny when referring to Giles, and I'm tempted to try and put rummy into my regular vocabulary. So there you have it, now on with the updates! Please? :pray



-wiccanbotanist

I like having low self-esteem, makes me feel special - Jane Lane (from Daria)

Sugas mea papilium (Suck my butterfly) - A Woman in Uniform by umgaynow

I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.



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 Post subject: Replies.. the first wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:56 pm 
What's this? 223 people have read this and only 3 have responded?







Well, here are my responses to my lovely, lovely trio:



Debra -- Well, it's not so much quantity of response... as quality... but I really do want to know what people think! I've never written a story in this style before and I'm eager to know how it is rec'd... so far the ratio of reads to replies has left me rather disheartened. But hopefully things will pick up soon. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. Yes, I wanted to make it clear with "Daniel" that Willow isn't entirely sure of him by making it so that she rarely looks him in the eye, but instead prefers the sidelong glance. It's obvious she already has some reservations about marrying him... and we will see in the next section just how very different this "Daniel Osbourne" is from show canon. And believe me... he is VERY different. Until next update!! Cheers!!



hidden watson -- it's you!! Oh, I so enjoy your stories!! I'm so happy to see that I have snared you!! :D No worries, I found your tongue-in-cheek plan to be very funny. Although, your modern substitution of the antique terms of rum and rummy may be bit too harsh... but if it made you guffaw... bully for them! I would have suggested the softer colloquialism of "crap" or "crappy"... but to each their own. So far as Wodehouse goes... he's great fun! My favorite incarnation of his characters is the BBC's series "Jeeves and Wooster" starring Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster. It's a great series (and available on DVD or Video) I highly recommend it! Meanwhile, all of your questions will be answered in the next portion of the story... now if only a few more people would let me know what they think....



wiccanbotanist -- No eloquency required!! Just your honest opinion!! I'm glad you like my vocab usage in this story... I have to admit I nearly gave myself an aneurysm recalling and implementing all the archaic slang terms I used in this story. Personally, I think rummy should be incorporated into everyone's vocabulary. I have grown very tired of the overuse of vulgar verbage... we need to return to tongue-in-cheek euphemisms. Far more civilized, and certainly alot more cute. Plus it reserves the really vulgar words and makes them more impactful... which I think is supposed to be the point, anyway.



Anyhoo... I'll post the next bit soon... though I would like to see a few more replies first.



Cheers

DW

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."

Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light



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 Post subject: Re: Replies.. the first wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:59 pm 
:bounce :applause :bounce



DW, I was SOO excited when I came on today and found you had posted another story! I love this already, I am always impressed by how naturally your words flow. Most importantly this really made me smile :) very cute.. and very funny! I've always had a particular fondness for Giles. I can't wait to see where Willow will meet Tara and what will happen after that!





:pray ing for an update, Jackie

---

It's astonishing how much energy some people waste worrying that someone else might be enjoying life in ways that they dont approve of- Kevin Michael Vail



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 Post subject: Re: Replies.. the first wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:22 pm 
Yay!



It's really nice to see a different type of story on the board.

I love the way the jargon really acts as part of the character and helps to create a setting with real depth.



It's funny how even with the new words being introduced to most of us, Giles seems very much Giles. Very much in the proper butler form, but it seems like it would be an easy and believable role for him to slip into.



Willow is so cute , getting rid of Dawn for stealing!

Bad Dawn .. BAD!:punish





I was in total agreement with Willow here:

Quote:
The postulate or common understanding involved in speech is certainly co-extensive, in the obligation it carries, with the social organism of which language is the instrument, and the ends of which is an effort to subserve.






Definitely not the type of thing to spring on a girl first thing in the morning. Or any time of the morning. Or day. Maybe night.. if I'm having trouble sleeping.



Willow seems to have had quite the night out and has quite the hangover going, what was Daniel thinking?





As someone who has seen the bad end of a realllllly long night of drinking I loved this:



Quote:
I would have clutched at anything that looked like a lifeline that morning. I swallowed the stuff. For a moment I felt as if somebody had touched off a bomb inside the old bean and was strolling my throat with a lighted torch, and then everything seemed suddenly to get all right. The sun shone through the window; birds twittered in the tree-tops; and, generally speaking, hope dawned once more.






Oh where, oh where can I find a drink like that? I have tried many hangover cures in my unfortunate experiences with vodka....none of which brought relief or birds twittering.. I feel cheated!





So they are off on an urgent mission......hmm I wonder what the trouble could be:|

If Daniel is behind it it can't be good!

Looking forward to the next part, really can't wait:D

Great job:clap



I learned how to tie a tie, without any live, personal demonstrations. The most mind boggling thing the average American guy has to do, I did successfully by myself within fifteen minutes. And so, I shall orient the tip of my nose toward the heavens, and lift my hat only to the man who can menstruate with the same ease. ~Ravenousgrape



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 Post subject: Re: Replies.. the first wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:58 pm 
Hey DW! I am LOVING this already. I like the jargon. Heck, I love the jargon! Makes it so much fun to read.



It's pretty obvious we're gonna see Oz. However, you mentioned Xander and Anya. Will we be seeing them, too? And what about other BtVS characters? I love W/T-ubers that feature lots of other Buffy-verse people.



I swear, I am just not the brightest bulb in the box. I read where Willow fired Dawn, and I was like, "Heh." I was nearly all way through before it hit me that Willow fired Dawn for stealing. Then I laughed my ass off. Bit slow on the uptake.



Andrew Lenkergill and his man, Meekyn. Hee! I love little touches like this.



And I love Giles. So...Giles-y.



I'm really looking forward to more of this.

Edited by: the hero factor at: 4/19/05 4:59 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Replies.. the second wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:07 pm 
Okay... responses to these next three replies... and then an UPDATE :D



Jackie -- Thank you! I've ignored Giles too much so I thought I would have some fun with him and take him to his archetypal British extreme I hope you continue to enjoy!



Cindi - So thorough! Such attention to detail! I'm going enjoy your continuing analysis for sure!



the hero factor -- LOL! Good! I'm so glad the Dawn joke crept up on you.. it was sort of meant to... so I am glad to see the plan worked! Keep your eyes open for more BTVS cameos!!



Cheers!

DW



P.S. Read on for the update!

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."

Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light



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 Post subject: Part Two
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:09 pm 
All Disclaimers apply.

______________________________________________________________________________

Most of the way down in the train that afternoon, I was wondering what could be up at the other end. I simply couldn’t see what could have happened. Easeby wasn’t one of those country houses you read about in society novels, where young girls are lured on to play baccarat and then skinned to the bone of their jewelry, and so on. The house-party I had left had consisted entirely of law-abiding birds like myself.

Besides, my uncle wouldn’t have let anything of that kind go on in his house. He was a rather stiff, precise sort of old boy, who liked a quiet life. He was just finishing a history of the family or something, which he had been working on for the last year, and didn’t stir much from the library. He was rather a good instance of what they say about it’s being a good scheme for a fellow to sow his wild oats. I’d been told that in his youth Uncle Willoughby had been a bit of a rounder. You would never have thought it to look at him now.

When I got to the house, Oakshott, the butler, told me that Daniel was in his room watching his man pack. Apparently there was a dance on at a house about twenty miles away that night, and he was motoring over with some of the Easeby lot and would be away some nights. Oakshott said he had told him to tell him the moment I arrived; so I trickled into the smoking-room and waited, and presently he came. A glance showed me that he was perturbed, and even peeved. His eyes had a goggly look, and altogether he appeared considerably pipped.

“Darling!” I said, and attempted an embrace, but he side-stepped like a bantam weight.

“Don’t!”

“What’s the matter?”

“Everything’s the matter! Willow, you remember asking me, when you left, to make myself pleasant with your uncle?”

“Yes.”

The idea being, of course, that as at that time I was more or less dependent on Uncle Willoughby I couldn’t very well marry without his approval. And though I knew he wouldn’t have any objection to Daniel, having known his father since they were at Oxford together, I hadn’t wanted to take any chances, so I had told him to make an effort to fascinate the old boy.

“You told me it would please him particularly if I asked him to read me some of his history of the family.”

“Wasn’t he pleased?”

“He was delighted. He finished writing the thing yesterday afternoon, and read me nearly all of it last night. I have never had such a shock in my life. The book is an outrage. It is impossible. It is horrible!”

“But, dash it, the family weren’t as bad as all that.”

“It is not a history of the family at all. Your uncle has written his reminiscences! He calls them ‘Recollections of a Long Life’!”

I began to understand. As I say, Uncle Willoughby had been somewhat on the Tabasco side as a young man, and it began to look as if he might have turned out something pretty meaty if he had started recollecting his long life.

“If half of what is written is true,” said Daniel, “your uncle’s youth must have been perfectly appalling. The moment we began to read he plunged straight into the most scandalous story of how he and my father were thrown out of a music-hall in 1887!”

“Why?”

Daniel looked rather pink about the collar. “I decline to tell you why.”

It must have been something pretty bad. It took a lot to make them chuck people out of music-halls in 1887.

“Your uncle specifically states that father had drunk a quart and a half of champagne before beginning the evening,” he went on. “The book is full of stories like that. There is a dreadful one about Lord Angelus.”

“Lord Angelus? Not the one we know? Not the one at Broodings?”

A most respectable Johnnie, don’t you know. Doesn’t do a thing nowadays but dig in the garden with a spud.

“The very same. That’s what makes the book so unspeakable. It is full of stories about people one knows who are the essence of propriety today, but who seem to have behaved, when they were in London in the ‘eighties, in a manner that would not have been tolerated in the lower deck of a whaler. Your uncle seems to remember everything disgraceful that happened to anybody when he was in his early twenties. There is a story about Sir Randall William-Williams at Wyndham Gardens, which is ghastly in its perfection of detail. It seems Sir Randall – but I can’t tell you!”

“Have a dash!” I urged.

“No!”

“Oh, well, I shouldn’t worry. No publisher will print the book if it’s as bad as all that.”

“On the contrary, your uncle told me that all negotiations are settled with the publishing firm of Wolfram and Hart, he’s sending off the manuscript tomorrow for immediate publication. They make a special thing of that sort of book. They published Lady Calendar’s ‘Memories of Eighty Interesting Years’.”

“I read ‘em!” Quite the saucy articles, as I do recall. Certainly made this bird’s tick-tock flutter with a zealous pitter-pat.

“Well, then, when I tell you that Lady Calendar’s Memories are simply not to be compared with your uncle’s Recollections, you will understand my state of mind. And father appears in nearly every story in the book! I am horrified at the things he did when he was a young man!”

“What’s to be done?”

“The manuscript must be intercepted before it reaches Wolfram and Hart, and destroyed!”

I sat up.

This sounded rather sporting.

“How shall you do it?” I inquired.

“How can I do it? Didn’t I tell you the parcel goes off tomorrow? I am going to the Meeren’s dance tonight and shall not be back till Monday. You must do it. That is why I telegraphed you.”

“What?!”

He gave me a look.

“Do you mean to say you refuse to help me, Willow?”

“No; but – I say!”

“It’s quite simple.”

“But what if I – What I mean is – Of course, anything I can do – but – if you know what I mean—“

“You say you want to marry me, Willow?”

“Yes, of course; but still—“

For a moment he looked exactly like his old father.

“I will never marry you if those Recollections are published.”

“But, Daniel, old thing!”

“I mean it. You may look on it as a test, Willow. If you have the resource and courage to carry this thing through, I will take it as evidence that you are not the vapid and shiftless person most people thing of you—“

“Vapid?! Shiftless?!”

“If you fail, I shall know your Aunt Sheila was right when she called you a spineless invertebrate and advised me strongly not to marry you.”

“Spineless?!”

“It will be perfectly simple for you to intercept the manuscript, Willow. It only requires a little resolution.”

“But, suppose Uncle Willoughby catches me at it? He’ll cut off my allowance with a bob.”

“If you care more for your allowance than for me—“

“No, no! Rather not!”

“Very well, then. The parcel containing the manuscript will, of course, be placed on the hall table tomorrow for Oakshott to take to the village with the letters. All you have to do is take it away and destroy it. Then your uncle will think it has been lost in the post.”

It sounded thin to me.

“Hasn’t he got a copy of it?” I said, eyes narrow.

“No; it has not been typed. He is sending the manuscript just as he wrote it.”

“But he could write it over again.”

“As if he would have the energy!” Daniel scoffed.

“But—“

“If you are going to do nothing but make absurd objections, Willow—“

“I was only pointing things out.”

“Well, don’t! Once and for all, will you do me this quite simple act of kindness?”

The way he put it gave me an idea.

“Why not get Connor to do it? Keep it in the family, kind of, don’t you know. Besides, it would be a boon to the kid.”

A jolly bright idea it seemed to me. Connor was his young brother who was spending his holidays at Easeby. He was a ferret-faced kid whom I had disliked since birth. As a matter of fact, talking of Recollections and Memories, it was young blighted Connor who, six years before, had led his father to where I was having a nip at his sherry and caused all kinds of unpleasantness. He was fourteen now and had just joined the Boy Scouts. He was one of those thorough kids, and took his responsibilities pretty seriously. He was always in a fever because he was dropping behind schedule with his daily acts of kindness. However hard he tried, he’d fall behind; and then you would find him prowling about the house, setting such a clip to try and catch up with himself that Easeby was rapidly becoming a perfect hell for man and beast.

The idea didn’t seem to strike Daniel.

“I shall do nothing of the kind, Willow. I wonder you can’t appreciate the compliment I am paying you – trusting you like this.”

“Oh, I see that all right,” I assured him. “But what I mean is, Connor would do so much better than I would. These Boy Scouts are up to all sorts of dodges. They spoor, don’t you know, and take cover and creep about, and what not.”

“Willow, will you or will you not do this perfectly trivial thing for me? If not, say so now, and let us end this farce of pretending that you care a snap of the fingers for me.”

“Dear old soul, I care for you devotedly!”

“Then will you or will you not—“

“Oh, all right,” I said. “All right! All right! All right!”

And then I tottered forth to think it over. I met Giles in the passage just outside.

“I beg your pardon, miss. I was endeavoring to find you.”

“What’s the matter?”

“I felt that I should tell you, miss, that someone has been putting black polish on our brown walking shoes.”

“What? Who? Why?”

“I could not say, miss.”

“Can anything be done about them?”

“Nothing, miss.”

“Damn!”

“Very good, miss.”

******

TBC....

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."
Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light


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 Post subject: Re: Replies.. the first wave
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:39 pm 
This story is an absolute delight, DW. I smiled, chuckled, and chortled throughout. Willow as Bertie Wooster; who would have thought it! Giles makes a perfect Jeeves, and you've got the slang down perfect. We're more than ready for some zany adventures, so bring'em on.



Edited to say: Hey, while I was reading and replying, you were updating. How's that for promptitude?



Also loving the cameos: Lord Angelus of Broodings!



Daniel is a rum sort of blighter, what? (did I get that right?) Not worth a snap of the fingers.



And as if that weren't enough, the shoes are ruined!



This story is having quite an effect; three exclamation marks in one post! Make that four.

Russ



When we love and give it everything we've got, no matter what the consequences, we are doing what we were put here to do -- Geneen Roth

Edited by: russ at: 4/19/05 7:56 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Part Two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:28 am 
Quote:
Well, it's not so much quantity of response... as quality...
Well gosh! It's like 7:00 in the morning and I've had nothing to eat and now I have to come up with quality feedback? I do say, that's the way though. I've never through of ransoming an update for quality feedback. I may have to try that.



This update is absolutely hysterical. Willow's reading interests do seem to run counter to Daniel's don't they? I mean she thinks her uncles memoires sound interesting and fun and he wants her to read some boring philosophy. Generally I don't like the way some people portray Oz in Kitten stories because Oz was a great guy. Really loved him until Tara came along. But this guy is no Oz. This guys is a complete jerk. He won't marry Willow unless she steals and destroys the manuscript? Even knowing that that could put her off her Uncle's nickle? Not a nice guy. And the things he says: vapid, etc? I hope that she meets up with Tara, does unspeakable things over half of London and makes Daniel look right the fool! Then says while drunk that it's because his thingy is much too small for her.



Quote:
“If half of what is written is true,” said Daniel, “your uncle’s youth must have been perfectly appalling. The moment we began to read he plunged straight into the most scandalous story of how he and my father were thrown out of a music-hall in 1887!”



“Why?”
One of the many funny bits of this story as it is so obvious that Willow wants to hear the story.



"It is better to waste one's youth than to do nothing with it at all- Georges Courteline

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." - Chare Booth Luce

My latest story: Survivor - Ash Island



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:24 am 
Daniel, old chap, do loose that stiff upper lip, won't you, it doesn't become you. Talk about easily scandalized. But the scandal here is, you send your own bethrothed to do your dirty work, shame on you *wags fingers*!



Very funny asides, Lord Angelus of Broodings, like russ mentioned. And Sir Randall William-Williams, does he write poety that is so atrocious that people would rather ram a railway spike through themselves? Can't wait for Tara to come into the picture.



Yeah, "crap" is so much better, less ruffian. Still trying to incorporate "rum" into my vocabulary. But I fear it will soon be taken over by a new term -- referring to yourself as a bird, it's been a long long time since that was part of accepted everyday usage. This is fun, I hope your blackmail continues to work cos this sucker will continue to leave feedback in exchange for updates.

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:47 am 
And the plot thickens.....



What an excellent way to stir things up, a book about past indiscretions of all those now pious and prude. What shock and horror it would cause within the community. The book must be destroyed! Or not, either way I'm sure it will provide us with another entertaining bit of the story. Which I'll be expecting soon. Please :pray (see you have me begging again).



I'm curious about the polish on the shoes and am also waiting for the arrival of Tara into the story.



-wiccanbotanist

I like having low self-esteem, makes me feel special - Jane Lane (from Daria)

Sugas mea papilium (Suck my butterfly) - A Woman in Uniform by umgaynow

I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:28 pm 
Oh yay! More replies!!



Russ -- Hee! I got FOUR exclamation marks out of you... let's see if I can't make it five the next time around.... I am so glad you are enjoying it! And as I have said, keep an eye out for even more cameos!!



Debra -- Well, the ransom approach seems to be working!! I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it before, either! Oh yes, I am with you. I loved Oz on the show. I thought was was an awesome "first love" for our Willow. A cool guy, understated, and sweet. That is why I have worked so hard to make "Daniel" soooo very different from Oz. This is a relatively short story... so I didn't want to risk having him appear the victim when the inevitable happens. Better to make him an ass so that Willow is just better off all around. And... erm... I'm afraid there won't be any "drunken Willow"... though... heh... that would have been rather funny. Stay tuned!



hidden watson -- Yes, Daniel is a weasel-y fellow...but the question now is, can Willow even pull this scheme off? And what will happen if she does? Or if she doesn't? Hehehehe... time will tell... :D And yes, the blackmail is working nicely... I think I will wait for a few more replies before posting the next part. So hopefully, it will be up tonight.



wiccanbotanist -- Ah yes... scheming is now most readily afoote. And I have my suspicions that Tara will be at least mentioned in the next portion... now if only there were a few more replies.



YMKA -- :D Got your ims. Don't worry about keeping a dictionary at the ready for this story. I had to do the same just writing it!! Well, dictionary, thesaurus and collection of Wodehouse's short stories as a reference for slang. Trust me... no one sounds sillier in this thread than myself!! Don't be afraid to speak up here!!



Hmm... now... I'm thinking of a number in my head...:hmm ... and when that number of replies is posted... I'll post the next bit.



Don't worry! It's a small number! LOL



Cheers

DW

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."

Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:28 pm 
Read this on the train coming home from work today. And I got funny looks from people because I was laughing so much. I'm not just talking about a chuckle here and there (though there were chuckles to be had). No, I'm talking full out guffaws!



Thanks for allowing me to provide my fellow commuters some entertainment on their ride home this afternoon, DW.



Looking forward to an update.



Carleen :wave




‘Well hello you big old monster you, I fart in your general direction!’ --Willow WtVS: Episode One: Hellmouth High



"I support your lifestyle choice. You go gay girl." -- Anya A Hot and Heavy Halloween



"Please feel free to enjoy your lesbianism." -- Anya Art Appreciation

Edited by: GayNow at: 4/20/05 2:52 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:43 pm 
Yay! Update-y goodness.



Yeah, it sure did seem that Willow was kinda interested in hearing the story. And why am I not surprised that Wolfram and Hart have no qualms about publishing something scandalous and trashy? Heh.



So, Will's going on a bit of an adventure? This should be fun. I can't wait to see how Tara figures into all this.



I like the bit with Giles at the end. He is just thoroughly unflappable, isnt' he?







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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:54 pm 
ok...I think that this should count as several replies...good show...keep it up :kitty





back to my lurking



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:07 pm 
OMG!!! OMG!!!! Well, I simply HAVE to post the next part now... and I'll explain why in a moment...

Carleen -- Oh yay! You're here too! So glad I was able to help you give your fellow passengers a show! LOL. Furthermore, I am tickled that I actually got you to GUFFAW no less!! Well, hopefully this next portion will have you reeling as well!

the hero factor -- Well, wouldn't you be interested in finding out what your uncle did if it was causing your fiancee such distress? Wow.. that was a long sentence... well, how will Willow handle this one? We shall see....

StormyIz -- Ladies and gentlekittens... this person here is a professional lurker... she has been a Kitten since 2002 and her post in my thread (as you can see) marks her 3rd post EVER!!! Okay...okay.. I simply HAVE to post the update.... it's a moral imperative... I can't even believe she posted... This is a woman who would rather call me on the phone and beg me to update, than actually post a request... so... it must be done. So... I'm doing it.

Read on for the next section!!!

Cheers
DW

All Disclaimers Apply

__________________________________________________________________________________


I’ve often wondered since then how these murderer fellows manage to keep in shape while they’re contemplating their next effort. I had a much simpler sort of job on hand, and the thought of it rattled me to such an extent in the night watches that I was a perfect wreck the next day. Dark circles under the eyes—I give you my word! I had to call on Giles to rally round with one of those life-savers of his. Furthermore, to make matters worse, on what was setting out to be an already perfect blighter of a day, my Aunt Sheila decided to descend upon Easeby, full of vigorous intent to have a word with me.

She sprang it on me before breakfast. There in seven words you have a complete character sketch of my Aunt Sheila. I could go on indefinitely about brutality and lack of consideration. I merely say that she routed me out of bed to listen to her painful story somewhere in the small hours. It can’t have been half-past eleven when Giles woke me out of the dreamless and broke the news.

“Mrs. Rosenby-Gregson to see you, miss.”

I thought she must be walking in her sleep, but I crawled out of bed and got into a dressing gown. I knew Aunt Sheila well enough to know that, if she had come to see me, she was going to see me. That’s the sort of woman she is.

I staggered into the smoking-room where Daniel and I had had our severe proceedings the day before and found her sitting bolt-upright in a chair, staring into space. When I came in she looked at me in that darn critical way that makes me feel as if I had gelatin where my spine ought to be. Aunt Sheila is one of those strong-minded women. I should think Queen Elizabeth of old must have been something like her. She bosses her husband, Ira Gregson, a battered little chappie on the Stock Exchange. She bosses my cousin “Lumpy” Harrison-Phipps. She bosses her sister-in-law, Lumpy’s mother. And, worst of all, she bosses me. She has an eye like a man-eating fish, and has got moral suasion down to a fine point.

I dare say there are fellows in the world—men of blood and iron, don’t you know, and all that sort of thing—whom she couldn’t intimidate; but if you’re a bird like me, fond of a quiet life, you simply curl into a ball when you see her coming and hope for the best. My experience is that when Aunt Sheila wants you to do a thing, you do it, or else you find yourself wondering why those fellows in the olden days made such a fuss when they had trouble with the Spanish Inquisition.

“Halloa, Aunt Sheila!” I said.

“Willow,” she said, “you look a sight. You look perfectly dissipated.”

I was feeling rather like a badly wrapped brown-paper parcel, what with the night I’d had and the looming scheme ahead of me. I’m never at my best in the early morning. I said so.

“Early morning! I had breakfast three hours ago, and have been riding on the train here ever-since, trying to compose my thoughts.”

If I ever breakfasted at half-past eight, I shall walk on the Embankment, trying to end it all in a watery grave.

“I am extremely worried, Willow. That is why I have come to you.”

And then I saw she was going to start something, and I bleated weakly for Giles to bring me my tea. But she had begun before I could get it.

“What are your immediate plans, Willow?”

My mind drifted nervously to the crime I was enlisted to commit later that day. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.

“Well,” I ahemed, trying to skirt the mention of my upcoming devious doings, “I rather thought of tottering to the village for a bite of lunch later on, and then possibly staggering round to the pond for a bit of a walk, and after that, if I felt strong enough, I might trickle off for a round of golf with some girlie pals of mine.”

“I am not interested in your totterings and tricklings. I mean have you any important engagements in the next week or so?”

I scented danger.

“Rather,” I said, “Heaps! Millions! Booked solid!”

“What are they?” She eyed me skeptically.

“I—er—well, I don’t know.”

“I thought as much. You have no engagements—“

“Well,” I interjected, “I had hoped on spending this week with Daniel Osbourne here at Easeby. We are engaged you know.”

“Yes, I know. I have already sent him my condolences.”

My jaw snapped shut with a rather pipped “pop.”

“It’s just as well you are here,” she went on, “for here is where I wish you to stay. I am sending your cousin Alexander to join you.”

“Old Lumps? Why?”

“I felt he needed to be removed from the presence of certain, unfortunate, influences.”

“What’s Lumpy been doing?”

“’Lumpy’”, she began, bristling slightly at using his nick, “is making a perfect fool of himself.”

To one who knew young Lumpy as well as I did, the words opened up a wide field for speculation.

“In what way,” I inquired.

“He has lost his head over a creature.”

On past performances this rang true. Ever since he had arrived at man’s estate Lumpy had been losing his head over creatures. He’s that sort of chap. But, as creatures never seemed to lose their heads over him, it had never amounted to much.

“I imagine you know perfectly well why Alexander was sent to London from the country, Willow. You know perfectly well how wickedly extravagant your Uncle Anthony was.”

She alluded to Lumpy’s governor, the late head of the family, and I am bound to say she spoke the truth. Nobody was fonder of old Uncle Anthony than I was, but everyone knows that, where money was concerned, he was the most complete chump in the annals of the nation. He had an expensive thirst. He never backed a horse that didn’t get a housemaid’s knee in the middle of the race. He had a system of beating the bank at Monte Carlo, which used to make the administration hang out the bunting and ring out the joy-bells when he was sighted in the offing. Take him for all in all, Uncle Anthony was as willing a spender as ever called the family lawyer a bloodsucking vampire because he wouldn’t let Uncle Anthony cut down the timber to raise another thousand.

“He left your Aunt Jessica very little money for a woman in her position. The estate left to her requires a great deal of keeping up, and poor dear Ira, though he does his best to help, has not unlimited resources. It was clearly understood why Alexander went to London. He is not clever, but he is rather good-looking, and, though he has no title, the Harrison-Phippses are one of the best and oldest families in England. He had some excellent letters of introduction, and when he wrote home to say he had met the most charming and beautiful girl in the world I felt quite happy. He continued to rave about her for several mails, and then this morning a letter has come from him which he says, quite casually as sort of an afterthought, that he knows we are broadminded enough not to think any the worse of her because she is on the vaudeville stage.”

“Oh, I say!”

Aunt Sheila nodded gravely, fanning herself. “It was like a thunderbolt. The girl’s name, it seems, is Anya Jenkins, and according to Alexander she does something which he describes as a single on the big time. What this degrading performance may be I have not the least notion.”

“By Jove,” I said, “it’s like a sort of thingummy-bob, isn’t it? A sort of fate, what?”

“I fail to understand you.”

“Well, Aunt Jessica, you know, don’t you know? Heredity and so forth. What’s bred in the bone will come out in the wash, and all that kind of thing, you know.”

“Don’t be absurd, Willow.”

That was all very well, but it was a coincidence for all that. Nobody ever mentions it, and the family has been trying to forget it for twenty-five years, but it’s known to everyone that my Aunt Jessica, Lumpy’s mother, was a vaudeville artist once, and a very good one too, I’m told. She was playing in the pantomime at Drury Lane when Uncle Anthony saw her first. It was before my time, of course, and long before I was old enough to take notice that the family had made the best of it, Aunt Sheila had pulled up her socks and put in a lot of educative work, and with a microscope you couldn’t tell Aunt Jessica from a genuine dyed-in-the-wool aristocrat. Women adapt very quickly, you know.

I have a gentleman friend who married Daisy Trimble of the Gaiety, and when I meet her now I feel like walking out of her presence backwards. But there the thing was, and you couldn’t get away from it. Lumpy had vaudeville blood in him, and it looked as though he were reverting to type, or whatever they call it.

“By Jove,” I said, for I am interested in heredity stuff, “perhaps this thing is going to be a regular family tradition, like you read about in books – a sort of Curse of the Harrison-Phippses, as it were. Perhaps each head of the family’s going to marry into vaudeville for ever and ever. Unto the what-d’you-call-it generation, don’t you know?”

“Please do not be quite idiotic, Willow. There is one head of the family who certainly is not going to do it and that is Alexander. And you are going to stop him.”

“Me? I say! Why me?”

“Why you?” She said with a roll of her eyes. “You are too vexing, Willow. Have you no sort of feeling for the family? You are too lazy to be a credit to yourself, but at least you can exert yourself to prevent Alexander’s disgracing us. You are going to stop him because you are his cousin, because you have always been his closest friend, because you are the only one in the family who has absolutely nothing to occupy her time except golf and ‘tricklings’ and ‘totterings’. If you require another reason, you are to do it because I ask you as a personal favor.”

What she meant was that if I refused she would exert the full bent of her natural genius to make life a Hades for me. She held me with her glittering eye. I have never met anyone who could give a better imitation of the Ancient Mariner.

“So you will accept, won’t you, Willow?”

I didn’t hesitate.

“Rather!” I said, “Of course I will.”

“There’s a good girl. Now, in addition to my instruction to Alexander to have him join you here at Easeby, I have invited a young lady who I feel is a more suitable match than that—that—actress.”

“Really? Whom?”

“A young American girl by the name of Maclay. Her father is the owner of several textile mills outside of Boston. Although their money is unfortunately new, it will certainly do well to help your cousin’s estate. Your position is really quite simple, Willow. All you must do is drop several positive observations of this Maclay girl in your cousin’s lap and urge him to engage her in private conference. Multiple times would be preferable. Then, inevitably, nature should take its own course.”

“How can you be so certain it will?”

“I have it on good authority that the young lady of which I speak is a quiet creature of rare beauty. Alexander has always had an eye for the fairer of the fair, not to mention remarkably fickle in the delegation of his affections.”

“Well, that’s all very good, of course. But perhaps she isn’t equally taken with him?”

“Don’t be ignorant, Willow! Even you should understand the benefits to both families involved. The Harrison-Phippses will happily welcome the Maclays’ money, and, in exchange, the Maclays will gain credibility. Certainly it is clear that Miss Maclay’s father would have already instructed her to accept any agreements young Alexander might propose.”

I considered this a moment.

“What if he hasn’t?”

“Oh, Willow, you are tiresome.”

*****

TBC....

"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."
Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light

Edited by: DarkWiccan at: 4/20/05 3:11 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:05 pm 
Ohhh... Daniel is an ASS.



I loved this update but the things that kept sticking out at me were definitely his comments and actions.

He has gone beyond ass, past even mythical proportions of assness.... he has become the Supreme Ass.:happy



So Willow rushes back a day early to answer Daniel's distress signal and what does she find when she gets there? He's leaving.. for a party. That he hasn't invited her to, even though she is his fiancee. And if that wasn't enough...

Quote:
When I got to the house, Oakshott, the butler, told me that Daniel was in his room watching his man pack.




Now I know that he wouldn't be expected to do his own packing... but supervising? Isn't that just a little anal?



However, even that doesn't compare to his words of love and devotion to his bride to be.





Quote:
“If you fail, I shall know your Aunt Sheila was right when she called you a spineless invertebrate and advised me strongly not to marry you.”


I am sooo glad this is a W/T story. Willow needs to give him the cut direct, post haste.

:rage



There were some funny moments I really enjoyed:)



The manuscript....I want to read it TOO! LOL

Sounds like a ripping good time:)



This line just made me laugh..

Quote:
It must have been something pretty bad. It took a lot to make them chuck people out of music-halls in 1887.


:rofl

I imagine that it did.. and I wish I knew what their offense had been:P



And Connor! He sounds like he will be very annoying, but the frustration he brings will be funny:P



Quote:
He was always in a fever because he was dropping behind schedule with his daily acts of kindness. However hard he tried, he’d fall behind; and then you would find him prowling about the house, setting such a clip to try and catch up with himself that Easeby was rapidly becoming a perfect hell for man and beast.


I have to say it.. but in a way that makes me look forward to seeing more of him:D

Great Job DW!!:banana :D



I learned how to tie a tie, without any live, personal demonstrations. The most mind boggling thing the average American guy has to do, I did successfully by myself within fifteen minutes. And so, I shall orient the tip of my nose toward the heavens, and lift my hat only to the man who can menstruate with the same ease. ~Ravenousgrape



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:11 pm 


And Hurricane Sheila has arrived.



:shock

Poor Willow...Sheila could certainly wither most people with a single glance, and Willow won't even last that long.



She's the type that keeps a time schedule that the whole world had better keep too if they know what's good for them.

Yeesh! *shudders*



I don't know how Willow is going to juggle all these plots at once...and HEY! She has to give Tara to Lumpy??

Ohhh I just don't see that happening:P



Quote:
“Well,” I ahemed, trying to skirt the mention of my upcoming devious doings, “I rather thought of tottering to the village for a bite of lunch later on, and then possibly staggering round to the pond for a bit of a walk, and after that, if I felt strong enough, I might trickle off for a round of golf with some girlie pals of mine.”




That made me laugh:)

I loved how the words she chose to illustrate her planned movements were very slow and plodding and wishy washy. Nothing concrete planned there. Annnnd.. the L Word has spoiled me.

I can't think of women and golf without picturing hordes of scantilly clad women around pools.



:bow





Poor Willow, she's so intimidated by Sheila that if Sheila had requested her to go into London and kidnap Lumpy's love interest well....

She does try really hard to keep up though:)

Quote:
“I thought as much. You have no engagements—“




Quote:
“Well,” I interjected, “I had hoped on spending this week with Daniel Osbourne here at Easeby. We are engaged you know.”




LOL she has a point! She does have *One* engagement:D

However Tara will be arriving soon....I don't think she will be wanting to keep it....:flirt



Great Job:D This old bird is looking forward to more as always:D







I learned how to tie a tie, without any live, personal demonstrations. The most mind boggling thing the average American guy has to do, I did successfully by myself within fifteen minutes. And so, I shall orient the tip of my nose toward the heavens, and lift my hat only to the man who can menstruate with the same ease. ~Ravenousgrape



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 6:31 pm 
Simply hysterical! God, I'm overusing exclamation points so badly today I'll be locked up shortly.



I find it interesting that Willow is considered so lazy and pointless by everyone around her and yet considered dependable and ingenius enough to complete their schemes for them. This is turning into a complete English Manor farce type thing isn't it? I mean we'll have Xander and Tara here soon and no doubt quite a lot of Willow sneaking Anya in for Xander after he comes to her with a scheme and then Willow and Tara sneaking and the continued supposed scheming about the book. Should be quite the farce.



I loved this:
Quote:
“Early morning! I had breakfast three hours ago, and have been riding on the train here ever-since, trying to compose my thoughts.”



If I ever breakfasted at half-past eight, I shall walk on the Embankment, trying to end it all in a watery grave.
Willow seems to have attained the type of industrious lack of serious action that one generally only found in men around that period. It seems like women were always taking art and playing music and reading aloud to each other and baking break for orphans and sewing for their trouseau or whatever. But men, rode around and said witty things and did nothing at all. She somehow seems to have attained a high level of the nothingness in spite of her gender. How wonderful for her. And of course, her drinking is quite impressive.



Anyway, I continue to love this and shall endeavor in future to leave the type of feedback such as to encourage frequent updates. (Tee hee).

"It is better to waste one's youth than to do nothing with it at all- Georges Courteline

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." - Chare Booth Luce

My latest story: Survivor - Ash Island



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:30 pm 
It's just a good thing that I'm reading this in the privacy of my own basement. I'd hate to be riding a train or something and make a spectacle of myself with public guffawing. Which would have to happen -- I defy anyone to read this and keep a straight face.



Sheila reminds me why Ogden Nash described someone as "more forbidding than a Wodehouse hero's forbiddingest aunt." How her plans for Tara's future are to be foiled should be a sight to see.



Meanwhile, poor Willow does seem to have gelatin where her spine should be; she's being pushed around by her aunt and her odious fiancee. Tara and Giles will have their hands full in rescuing this bird! (note the self-restraint -- only one ! this time).

Russ



When we love and give it everything we've got, no matter what the consequences, we are doing what we were put here to do -- Geneen Roth



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:45 pm 
*whispers....I'm shy.... :blush ....plus I feel like I'm out of my league...:lol which I am....



Your Sheila reminds me of Anya for some reason....:lol Can't wait to see what's going to happen when Tara and Xander are there:grin That should be VERY interesting (yes I know... statiing the obvious!!!!)



There...not lenghy....not....nothing..but! it still counts!!! So next update is when? In 5 minutes?!:D Because.....you JUST said that uyou will....:lol :lol :lol .....It's fate....



:peace :heart

M. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Part Three Replies
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:57 pm 
Ok... sigh... I shouldn't be doing this... I really am caving... I should be waiting for more replies... but I am not... b/c I am a sucker for the puppy dog eyes... and everyone I have run into is giving me them... and it's... so mean of you all.

Okay.. let's see...

Cindi -- you replied twice... so... I'll answer both of yours first. Mhm... Mhm... Mhm... mmm... Mhmm. Ok. My answer is, Only on Tuesdays. Thanks!

Wiccanbotanist -- don't worry.. begging isn't necessary, b/c obviously I am a sucker. I don't think my blackmailing scheme is working as well as I thought it would.... Oh well.. Yes, everyone relies on Willow to do their dirty work... perhaps b/c if she gets caught.. all anyone does is shrugs. She's so silly of course she's going to get caught in ridiculous situations... or so they think.

Debra -- Well, Willow is the "Bertie Wooster" of this story, so she is going to behave more like a male of the period than a female... but I look at it like this... the women's movement was in full swing then.. and all about women having the same rights as men. Well, think about it. Willow sees all these men being lazy... and she thinks, well, it's my right to be lazy too!! So she is. And, I find it funny that everyone seems to think she's a heavy drinker based on one mention of a hang-over... she's not that bad, people!! LOL

russ -- Dangit!! I really was hoping to get an explosion of "!!" out of you this time... Well... this next bit will do the trick... let's see what happens when Willow's gelatin spine tries to do a little dirty work....

Read On!!!

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From breakfast on I felt like a bag-snatcher at a railway station. I had to hang about waiting for the parcel to be put on the hall table, and it wasn’t put. Uncle Willoughby was a fixture in the library, adding the finishing touches to the great work, I supposed, and the more I thought the thing over, the less I liked it. The chances against me pulling it off seemed about three to two, and the thought of what would happen if I didn’t gave me cold shivers down the spine. Uncle Willoughby was a pretty mild sort of old boy, as a rule, but I’ve known him to cut up rough, and, by Jove, he was scheduled to extend himself if he caught me trying to get away with his life’s work.

To top it all, I had the broodings of my Aunt Sheila’s scheme bouncing about in my forehead. The old girl had popped off on the train before I had a chance to really settle in with the plan. The idea seemed hearty enough, and gratefully light on the labor, at least for my end of it, but still, there was something quite rummy about the whole thing. But then, I had always been a bit short on brain myself: the old bean seemed to be constructed more for ornament than for use, don’t you know? I decided to wait for good old Lumps to arrive, along with this American-girl-Maclay-what’s-it and have a good strong dash at it.

At nearly four Uncle Willoughby toddled out of the library with the parcel under his arm, put it on the table, then toddled off again. I was hiding a bit to the southeast at the moment, behind a suit of armor. I bounded out and legged it for the table. Then I nipped upstairs to hide the swag. I charged in like a mustang and nearly stubbed my toe on young, blighted Connor, the Boy Scout. He was standing at the chest of drawers, confound him, messing about with my gloves.

“Hallo!” he said.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m tidying your room. It’s my last Saturday’s act of kindness.”

“Last Saturday’s?”

“I’m five days behind. I was six till last night, but I polished your shoes.”

“Was it you—“

“Yes. Did you see them? I just happened to think of it. I was in here, looking around. Mr. Berkeley had this room while you were away. He left this morning. I thought perhaps he might have left something in it that I could have sent on. I’ve often done acts of kindness that way.”

“You must be a comfort to one and all!” I said rather grumpily.

It became more and more apparent to me that this infernal kid must somehow be turned out eftsoons or right speedily. I had hidden the parcel behind my back, and I didn’t think he had seen it; but I wanted to get to that chest of drawers quick, before anyone else came along.

“I shouldn’t bother about tidying the room.” I said.

“I like tidying it. It’s not a bit of trouble – really.”

“But it’s quite tidy now.”

“Not as tidy as I shall make it.”

This was getting perfectly rotten. I didn’t want to murder the kid, and yet there didn’t seem to be any other way of shifting him. I pressed down the mental accelerator. The old lemon throbbed fiercely. I got an idea.

“There’s something much kinder than that which you could do,” I said. “You see that box of cigars? It’s for your brother. Take it down to the smoking room and snip the ends off for me. That would save me no end of trouble. Stagger along, laddie.”

He seemed a bit doubtful; but he staggered. I shoved the parcel into a drawer, locked it, pocketed the key, and felt better. I may be a chump, but, dash it, I could out-general a mere kid with a face like a ferret. I turned to head downstairs and found Giles looming in the doorway like a great—well—like a great looming-thing, don’t you know. The blighter nearly scared the buttons off my gloves.

“Excuse me, miss.”

“Good Heavens!”

“Terribly sorry to disturb, miss.”

“Yes—no—what is it?”

“There’s a Miss Maclay to see you.”

“Already?”

“You were expecting her later, miss?”

“Well, I—Come to think of it, I didn’t know when she would arrive. Has Lumps arrived as well?”

“’Lumps’, miss?”

“My cousin, the young Mr. Harrison-Phipps.”

“Not as yet, miss.”

“Dash it. Well, then, show me to her.”

“Miss Maclay is awaiting you in the downstairs hall.”

I expect my eyes must have goggled at that revelation.

“The hall?!” I said. “Hasn’t she been shown in?” The notion seemed simply barbaric.

“Oakshott informed me, miss, that she was rather firm about waiting for you there.”

“Firm, you say?”

“Indeed, miss.”

“Well, thank you, Giles. That’ll be all, I expect, for now.”

“Very good, miss.”

I went downstairs again. Just as I was passing the smoking room door, out curveted Connor. It seemed to me that if he wanted to do a real act of kindness he would commit suicide.

“I’m snipping them,” he said.

“Snip on! Snip on!”

“Do you like them snipped much, or only a bit?”

“Medium.”

“All right. I’ll be getting on then.”

“I should.”

And we parted.

I entered the front hall and there I discovered a deucedly pretty girl. What happened now was that I began, as it were, to drink her in. She was rather small, like me, with great big eyes and a ripping smile, not to mention the most-lovely flaxen hair since, well, ever, really.

Quite instantly I saw the unknowable flaw in my Aunt Sheila’s plan. The girl I was to set Lumpy fancying for was a girl I found myself rather fancying. On sight, mind you! The old ticky-tock was a blighted fool when it came to deucedly pretty girls. I’d spent countless hours trying my best to re-educate the organ to the proper ways of beating; my engagement to Daniel Osbourne was sort of the final round of exams, don’t you know? But here it was and it seemed that the old thumper was just as stubborn at learning as the old melon. There was nothing to do but set it aside, and press forward.

“Hallo!” I said, cheerily on the approach.

“Hello.”

Rum, I thought. She had the voice of an angel with an American accent. I realized then that the setting aside of things was going to be markedly more difficult than previously anticipated.

“Willow Rosenby.”

“Tara Maclay.”

“Yes, my Aunt Sheila warned you’d be coming.”

“Warned?”

Dash it all, I’d worried her, and not three sentences in.

“Oh, well, what I mean to say is that she gave us notice you’d be arriving. So the staff would be prepared; not only the staff, of course, but the rest of us as well, don’t you know? Not that you’re coming to Easeby is on the particular intriguing—Not to say that it isn’t, mind you! Your company is quite welcome here at the old what’s-it-called. I myself am quite bucked.”

I came to a stop when I’d finally run out of air.

“Are you alright?”

“Topping!”

There was an unfortunately brutal pause.

“I hope I didn’t cause too much trouble,” she said.

“Trouble?” I was confounded.

“By asking the butler to let me wait in the hall.”

“Oh that? Pish-tosh.”

“He seemed a little upset.”

“Well, you know butlers.”

“Not really.” She said, “Daddy has never cared for them, so, we’ve never had one.”

“Well, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with serving one’s own tea, or folding one’s own shirts.”

She shook her head rather shyly, and then sort of glanced away. If this girl proved any more adorable, I feared I would have to chain myself to my room out of concern of making a greater fool of myself than I already was.

“Speaking of tea,” I went on, “would you care for some? It’s rather that time.”

“Alright.”

I gestured that she should follow me and we made our way down the hall.

“The smoking-room’s just up ahead,” I said. “We can take our tea in there.”

“I’m afraid I don’t smoke.”

The way she said it made it sound like the most sincere apology since my cousin Winifred’s brother Wesley accidentally ran over her prized terrier Maxmillian’s tail with an overloaded barrow of wild berries. I felt it best to reassure the dear girl.

“I don’t either.” I said. “Disgusting habit, really.”

Just then, blighted Connor popped out of the room with the box I had sent him in with.

“Here’s your cigars. I’ve snipped them all for you, medium, like you asked.”

I glanced to Miss Maclay, then back at the horrible kid in front of me. Both regarded me with peevish sort of looks. For whatever reason, I made the decision to dodge.

“I say, young chappie, you must have me confused with one of the other guests.”

“Are you mad? You only just gave me these to snip.”

“I dare say not. I never touch the things.”

“But I was in your room when you gave them to me.”

“Well, I must have been in the wrong room then, mustn’t I?”

“You’re balmy!”

“I may very well be, but those are not my cigars!”

“Well, I’m not keeping them!”

“If I may,” Miss Maclay interjected. “Perhaps the easiest way to settle this is to return the box to the room where you found it. Then the true owner, whoever they are, will be sure to find it again.”

The little devil hesitated a moment, then grumbled something under his breath and legged it for the stairs. I let out the deepest draft of air I’d ever taken in. This girl was perfectly marvelous! Though I couldn’t help but notice the knowing gaze she struck me with at the “whoever they are” bit of her wording.

“Shall we have a dash at the drawing room?” I said. “I’ve always felt the view out the window is quite agreeable.”

I led the way and we proceeded to take our tea.

Tara Maclay was one of those very quiet, appealing girls who have a way of looking at you with their big eyes as if they thought you were the greatest thing on Earth and wondered that you hadn’t got onto it yet yourself. She made me feel that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. She was rather like one of those innocent-tasting American drinks which creep imperceptibly into your system so that, before you know what you’re doing, you’re starting out to reform the world by force if necessary and pausing on your way to tell the large man in the corner that, if he looks at you like that, you will knock his head off. What I mean is, she made me feel alert and dashing, like a jolly old knight-errant or something of that kind. I found her absolutely ripping!

Dreaded was the thought of turning her over to good old Lumpy when the time came.

*****

TBC....
"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."
Have you had your Preachification today? Get it at my site: Shadows and Light


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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:15 pm 
I SAY! What an absolute JOY!



And all those years of watching Jeeves and Wooster as a kid, thinking I was the only yougin' out there that could do a banger imitation of Bingo, Bertie and Daisy! Oh dash it all, it's an absolute WONDER to see it in W/T formation. (I still have this particular episode on tape, don't you know.) Though, I do recall there not being so much a profile of a love interest for Bertie that didn't threaten, scare or overpower him, unlike the story we have here, it's all the same to me.



Mmm...brilliant! Fabulous! A wonder! And to old PGW, hurrah for silly Brits and Overtly Rich-Woosters!





-elizabeth :spin



p.s. and I had thought all fanfic had lost it's touch for me...guess I'll have to keep my eye on this one as well...









"Oh, where are my manners, Tara, Willow, Willow, Tara."



-random line I know I search for in every fanfic out there.



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 Post subject: Re: Part Two Replies part... er... two
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:05 am 
I believe you're right, DW. This is the most hilarious chapter yet!



So Willow did the dastardly deed. She's right about the chances of getting away with it, though I hope eventually she'll see that returning it is the quickest way of ridding herself of Daniel. Meanwhile, it wouldn't be a bad thing if someone did murder young ferret-face (in this or any other version).



Willow's self-descriptions are among her best lines. I loved, "the old bean seemed to be constructed more for ornament than for use," but this one really did it!

Quote:
The old ticky-tock was a blighted fool when it came to deucedly pretty girls. I’d spent countless hours trying my best to re-educate the organ to the proper ways of beating; my engagement to Daniel Osbourne was sort of the final round of exams, don’t you know? But here it was and it seemed that the old thumper was just as stubborn at learning as the old melon.




And then she babbles! In Bertie-speak!



Her description of Tara at the end makes it apparent that there's more to old Willow than meets the eye. I do believe Tara is going to be the making of her.



Thanks for getting my day off to a great start!

Russ



When we love and give it everything we've got, no matter what the consequences, we are doing what we were put here to do -- Geneen Roth



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 Post subject: Re: Part Three Replies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:07 am 
This gets better and better. At least now we know who the black polish brown shoes or brown polish black shoes culprit is. What a perfect vocation for Conner: ferret faced "good deeds." Perhaps while there he will be tidying, notice the manuscript and decide to catch up a good deed by returning it to the library for Uncle W. That way, it's taken care of before Willow manages to return from walking the young lady around the gardens or whatever she proposes next. The way she describes herself is completely a riot: bean not for thinking, etc. But this is the best:



Quote:
The old ticky-tock was a blighted fool when it came to deucedly pretty girls. I’d spent countless hours trying my best to re-educate the organ to the proper ways of beating; my engagement to Daniel Osbourne was sort of the final round of exams, don’t you know? But here it was and it seemed that the old thumper was just as stubborn at learning as the old melon. There was nothing to do but set it aside, and press forward.
So matter-of-fact and she just leaps in at that point. I love the feeling that Tara is hip to what's going on (and if that isn't anachronistic, I don't know what is) and that she's giving little looks to Willow too. Quite adorable. Mmm...



Another urging for fast updates: as soon as the story is complete, all your dedicated readers can race to put the story on the recommendation thread...



Quote:
I’d spent countless hours trying my best to re-educate the organ to the proper ways of beating;
On reread this is particularly intiguing. I mean what would one do for hours to convince the heart to like boys? Sit and think about it? Look at them as they play tennis? If it were a man who didn't like girls, I'd think he'd visit a house of ill-repute repeatedly to get interested but surely they don't have houses of gigilos. So wondering.

"It is better to waste one's youth than to do nothing with it at all- Georges Courteline

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there." - Chare Booth Luce

My latest story: Survivor - Ash Island

Edited by: JustSkipIt at: 4/21/05 5:09 am


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 Post subject: Re: Part Three Replies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:29 am 
Ack, you're posting faster than I can leave feedback! *Reads quicker to catch up*



What's up with everyone? First Daniel, now Sheila, want Willow to do their dirty work for them. *shakes head* Lumpy's inherent genetic makeup that attracts him to vaudeville girls, hilarious. I wonder if Willow, Lumpy, Anya and Tara will cook up some scheme so surreptiously Lumpy is going to see Tara while he sneaks out to be with Anya, leaving Willow and Tara deliciously alone to get to know each other better?



Such a roundabout way, as is necessary in those days, to admit to a preference for the ladies. A beautiful and laugh-out-loud paragraph that both russ and Debra have quoted, so I'll refrain. I wonder how lesbians were regarded in those days. I mean there was Radclyffe Hall (a bit earlier) and there was Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, but that's about it.



More funnies,
Quote:
“Do you like them snipped much, or only a bit?”

“Medium.”
a brush-off if I've ever seen one. The whole skit with Connor and the cigars and the Tara not smoking, totally classic.

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Part Three Replies
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:15 am 
Hey DW:)



I read it yesterday at night! :lol God....it was funny:lol For some reason I just loved this line "“I’m five days behind. I was six till last night, but I polished your shoes.” " Convos' between Willow and Connor.....:lol :lol ...BTW!!! I can't believe Willow actually DID it!!!!:shock .....please tell me she's not going to go thru with it. I was hoping that Tara will arrive before (which she did) and convince Willow NOT to do it.... and I still have hope because she didn't actually destroy it :grin Which makes me happy:grin



So she knew all along that she fancies girls....how very progressive of her;)



"“Are you alright?”



“Topping!”

"
:lol :lol :lol :lol .....Sorry... it was really funny in my head...



PLEASE Continue to update.....3 times a day is a great way to go!!!! I think all fics should be like that.....update after update....after update......:grin :grin



P.S Sorry for the emicons usage :p



:peace :heart

M.



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