A little something after all these years…


Dy Brougham Searches for Lt.Richard Fitzwilliam

(1815, 2 years or so after Darcy & Elizabeth are wed)

The wagon jolted and shivered over the shell pocked roads until Dy’s teeth ached and his fingers cramped in their grip on its splintery sides. Rain continued to fall in unrepentant bursts that were soaking through his oiled cape. His hat was most likely a loss, even for its protective coverings, and the cold crept into the reaches of muscle and bone, both thoroughly wracked by the paths he had been required to travel to get to the farm house in which Darcy’s cousin was said to have been deposited before Uxbridge moved out.

“Il ya la ferme de Emille. Nous sommes presque hors de la pluie damnés,” his driver tossed over his shoulder. (There is Emille’s farm. We’re almost out of the damned rain.”)

Dy grunted his acknowledgement and began to flex his hands and feet. Pray God that Richard really was here and this was not another dead end. Upon a closer examination of the dwelling, his hopes rose. The ebb and flow of armies over its lands could not entirely extinguish the impression that at one time the farm had been a prosperous one. If anything remained of its family and of human compassion, mayhap Richard’s circumstances were not as dire as he feared.

His driver halted the sorry beast so dearly bought in the aftermath of war and hallooed the farmhouse’s inhabitants, but even after Dy’s careful descent from the wagon, no door or window had yet opened. The driver shrugged at his questioning look, indicating that his assistance in raising any response to their arrival was complete. So, stepping out on legs just beginning to feel some life, Dy advanced upon the door and rapped on it sharply.

“Hello there! Is anyone about?” He repeated his salutation in French. No sound came from within. He rapped the door longer and harder. “Hello! Hello! Can someone help me?” An indistinguishable bellow from within, followed by the rattling of the lock and latch stayed Brougham’s hand. He stepped back from the door, but it opened only a crack.

Pardonnez-moi, pardonne-moi, si vous s’il vous plaît,” he began.

“Wot’s ‘is?” came a voice from the dark interior. “Pardon? Pardon? Who the ‘ell’s pardoning me out of me well-earned nap?”

“A fellow subject of King George III.” Dy put a strong arm up against any attempt to close the door and locked squarely with the eyes of the rumpled figure beyond. “I am looking for someone…a friend. Is there anyone else, any British soldier, within?

The door opened a little wider. “’ow does I know you ain’t a spy, a Frenchy spy come to get this ‘ere bought ‘n paid for piece ‘o rubbish I gots to guard?”

Dy went rigid. “Can you recognize a pass and orders signed by Field Marshall Uxbridge that releases your prisoner into my custody, if indeed your man is my friend?” He pulled out the packet of documents with one hand and shook them out, holding them up to the gap. He doubted that the man could read, but perhaps the seal would mean something to him.

A hand shot out from the opening and made a grab for the letters he could not loose. Without thinking, Dy slammed his shoulder into the door, sending the guard down on his back and himself through the portal into the dim interior. For a moment, both men looked at each other in surprise, but the guard’s glance to a pistol on a table set Brougham into motion first. Sweeping it up, he quickly determined that it was primed and loaded. He cocked the hammer and trained it on the rising figure of the guard.

“Now, me fine gentl’man, don’t be hasty wid that there pistolero. I ‘ad to make sure o’ you, didn’t I? The sergeant would ‘ave me ‘ead iffen I neglected me dooty now, wouldn’t he?” the man wheedled, taking a small step toward him.

“Stand where you are!” Brougham commanded. “When does your sergeant return?”

“Oh, any moment, yer lordship, any moment. But, you best not be pointin’ that pistol at an honest soldier of the king when ‘e gets back. Oh, no, sir!”

Dy ignored the warning. “Where is the man you are guarding?”

The guard motioned beyond him. “In a room off the kitchen, yer lordship. I’ll take you iffen you…”

“You most certainly will,” he responded in a steely voice. He stepped aside. “On with you, and have no doubt that I will shoot should you give me the slightest excuse.”

The guard stared at him, then coming to a decision, shrugged his shoulders and ambled forward through a hall, leading him down a short flight of stairs that ended in the farmhouse’s kitchen. The doorway of another hall opened on the right and a doorway to the outside and the kitchen gardens stood on the left. Dy’s nostrils twitched. The stench he had encountered at the top of the stairs had increased on their descent and could not entirely be accounted for by the filth and depredations he had seen upstairs or upon the kitchen’s rotting larder spread out before him.

“He be back there, yer lordship.” The guard motioned toward the hall and the origin of the stench that was raising Dy’s bile already. The look on his captor’s face served the soldier notice that his next words might be critical to his future. “Now, it ain’t a pretty sight, I’m warnin’ ye. I be just a common soldier, yer lordship. Don’t know nothing ‘bout sawbonin’.”

Dy comprehended him with horror. There would be no quick rescue. He might even be too late! Whatever he must do now, he must have freedom to work and that required that the miscreant before him be effectively restrained. But how?

“So, what air ye goin’ to do, yer lordship? The mand grinned hideously. “He ain’t nowise fit to travel. ‘ppears to me…”

“Where does that go?” Dy nodded to what looked like a door fixed in the floor of the kitchen.

“Be a root cellar, yer lordship.” This reply was accompanied by an amused air at the common ignorance of the gentry, but in a moment, it turned into one of concern. “Yer not goin’ to put me in the root cellar, in the dark!”

“Open it up, or this will end here and now,” Dy barked at him and brought the pistol to bear upon his heart. With a gulp and cry the guard twisted on the ring and pulled the door up and open. Another set of stairs led down into darkness. “Move that chest there over here.” He indicated with his left hand. “Down into the cellar with you, all the way to the bottom” he ordered after the chest was in place.

“Please, yer lordship. Don’t be leavin’ me…” the man pleaded from the bottom of the stairs.

Dy slammed down the door and had pushed the chest half way on top of it just as the guard hit the other side at a run. The chest shivered at the blow but did not move. With another great shove, he had it squarely upon the cellar door where it would stay until the “sergeant” returned, if he ever did.

Copyright Pamela Aidan 2016

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25 thoughts on “A little something after all these years…

  1. Kim S. says:

    More, please!!!!

  2. Mary DuHain says:

    Lady Pamela, we are SO HAPPY to see the story continue, this little something is greatly appreciated! I’ve not yet read it, but have printed it for later – will savor in a bubble bath with a glass of sherry ~ THANK YOU!

  3. Linnea Smith says:

    A lot of years…

    More, please.

  4. Yes! yes! Love Dy and his exploits! More, more, more!!!! s’il vous plaît!

  5. Gin says:

    Just finished listening to the trilogy again so this is a real treat!

  6. Jane says:

    Thank you for posting!

  7. Andree says:

    This is a wonderful little gift! I enjoyed it so much, and I hope it means there is more coming! I have been hoping for more for years!

  8. Utahbenches says:

    Love and appreciate all your writings. Thrilled to see this piece and I hope you will continue and give us a new volume. I treasure all your novels and continue to hope you will keep these characters alive for us in more books to come. No one does this better than you!!!!! Keep writing😀

  9. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing this little surprise! How wonderful it would be to read more!

  10. Pamela Aidan says:

    Thank you everyone for the lovely reception! I’ve got the bones of the next book but not the skeleton. Your encouragement is so appreciated.

    • utahbenches says:

      So happy to hear you say this!!! Let us know if we can do anything for you!!!!

    • Debbie Lawson says:

      OMG!! This was great, what a cliff hanger!! Please please don’t give up now, please finish the book!! You are the best writer out there for the people in the book. I can hardly wait for the next book. Your last 4 are my favorites of all time, even the ones by Jane Auston her self!

    • Katherine S says:

      I am dying to read about Dy and Miss Darcy. I beg of you to write the book!

    • Hannah Yokoyama says:

      Yes! So glad to hear it. I just finished the Darcy trilogy and saw at the end that you were thinking of writing more and I immediately went online to find out!

  11. Mary says:

    We, your ardent fans, would be happy to provide you with encouragement any time you need a ‘lift’; just say the word!

  12. Sarah says:

    I keep checking to see when we would get more. Loved this. Can’t wait for more. 🙂

  13. booksnbakery says:

    And now I’m eagerly awaiting more! Dy quickly became one of my favorite characters in the trilogy ( that I’m once again reading for the umpteenth time!) More of his exploits would be so great!

  14. Brigitte Bedolla says:

    I’m with the others. Upon completing Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Series, I was dying for a continuation of Dy Brougham’s story. Thank you for this! I devoured the Gentlemen Series as it was released and re-read them often. I love your work, and will be ecstatic to have more!

  15. QNPoohBear says:

    How did I miss this earlier? I love Darcy and I love Dy even more. I hate cliff hangers and hope there’s at least another scene coming. The description is incredible! I love all the details and dialogue that make me feel like I’m there. I appreciate an author who can show and not just tell. Thank you for posting this tidbit after all this time. While I’m not the most patient person, I’d rather read a well-written story than a quickly written story.

  16. Christine says:

    I have just discovered these wonderful books. Thank you!! So well done. I read P&P at least once a year since I was 20 and I must watch the movie every Fall. I forget that I am not alone in my love of Jane. I look forward to reading all of your work. Thank you again.

  17. Heather says:

    For literally years now, I have been following an Amazon discussion for people waiting for this story! Every time a message gets posted I try not to get my hopes up too much, but they are officially WAY up!

  18. Tess Austria Nasis says:

    Well, how appropriate on Austen’s birthday that I am prepared to dust off my copies of the Darcy trilogy and reread them a third time, after which I will await the fourth installment of a remarkable series! Thank you for the sample!

  19. Miriam Warner says:

    Bones or skeleton, I can’t wait. LOVE the character of Dy and will so look forward to his story. Have read the trilogy over and over.

  20. katherinne heller says:

    Dear Miss Pamela,
    I´ve been diying to know what have happened to you and your writing. Please do comment about the book or your health. It will give us a bit of hope to know you are still working on it.

    Loads of love from Chile.

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