Here's another piece of fan-fiction I wrote. Enjoy!
Jane Fairfax sat in the drawing room playing the Campbell’s fine pianoforte. “That sounds delightful, Jane,” said Miss Campbell lazily and she played with her glittering bracelets and necklace.
“Thank you, Miss Campbell,” Jane said and resumed her playing, a small smile playing around her lips. She was used to Miss Campbell’s ways and although Miss Campbell played well herself, she had often laughingly remarked that Jane was much better than she. Miss Campbell bore Jane no ill will especially as she was about to contract a very eligible match.
“Mr Dixon shall be coming today, Jane,” said Miss Campbell, “Mama wants us to put on a duet for him although I can’t imagine why. I shall give up music entirely once I am married.”
“Are you sure he means to propose?” Jane asked gently.
“Of course he means to propose. He’s shown me so many marked attentions; I’m sure even you with all your reserve and quietness have noticed them.”
Jane bent over the pianoforte again, only nodding to show she had heard her companion’s remark.
Mr Dixon came punctually and properly applauded Jane and Miss Campbell’s duet. Indeed, everything Mr Dixon did was proper and well regulated. He made no improper remark, was the proper gentleman, and paid proper compliments.
Miss Campbell’s prediction came true. Mr Dixon, very properly asked permission to speak to Miss Campbell – alone. His request was properly accepted and they entered into a proper engagement. It was all very proper.
Miss Campbell was not in constant ecstasies, she was not in raptures at the turn of events. She accepted her good fortune properly and politely. The wedding was to take place some months from the day of the proposal for a splendid trousseau was to be gotten up and everything done in the properest and most expensive manner.
Jane was quite left out of these arrangements. She was not ignored, but neither was her advice asked for or her presence sought. She was used to this and her opinion was asked for several times as to the making of this or that dress or bonnet. She was content.
The Campbells came home one night from a dinner party with news of new acquaintance they had just made. “Mr Frank Churchill, a very agreeable young man-was very civil to them and most attentive” Jane would normally have accompanied them, but she had had a headache and therefore stayed home. She felt little interest in the stranger for agreeable young men were to be met with everywhere in Weymouth and she supposed that she would never see him. She was wrong.
Two weeks passed. “Jane,” Miss Campbell said eagerly as she came into the sitting room that the two girls shared, “Mama and Papa have agreed to take us on a boating excursion! I am so excited. Mr Dixon will come with us and Mr Frank Churchill. You will get a chance to see him at last. I suppose you’ve been wild with curiosity. He is so handsome.” She stopped short and blushed.
Jane smiled and said she would be happy to go.
The day for the excursion came. Jane saw Frank Churchill and her opinion of him was most favourable. He was tall with dark brown hair and arresting blue eyes. Miss Campbell was right. He was very handsome.
Jane leaned against the railing, drinking in the sun’s reflection on the rippling water when it began to fade. She looked up and saw the sun disappearing and storm clouds rolling in at an alarming rate.
“Oh dear,” Miss Campbell said fretfully, “It’s going to rain and my new dress shall be ruined.”
“Not if we hurry back directly,” Frank Churchill said in a cheerful voice. “Allow me to assist you to the small cabin where you will stay quite dry.” Miss Campbell thanked him in a simpering voice which did not escape Mr Dixon’s notice.
“Oh, Frederick, do go and escort Jane to our cabin,” Miss Campbell said fretfully as Mr Dixon hovered around her.
A large crashing wave broke near the deck, sending a fine mist all over Jane Fairfax. She gasped from the shock of the cold water and then felt a warm cloak descend over her shoulders. It was Mr Dixon. “Thank you, sir,” she said modestly.
Another wave was headed toward the boat. Jane turned to leave and bumped into Mr Dixon who was standing directly behind her. She was slightly off balance just as the wave crashed with all its might into the boat. She fell down and was coming dangerously near to the roaring waves when she felt strong hands grasp the back of her dress and haul her to safety. It was Mr Dixon.
“Thank you so much, sir,” she said gratefully, “Had it not been for you...” Jane felt everyone’s gaze upon her and she lowered her eyes. Frank Churchill was regarding her curiously.
The doorbell rang and the butler opened it. A card was laid upon the tray.
Mr Frank Churchill
It was brought to the sitting room. Jane was seated there. She glanced at the card and instantly told the butler to let the young man come up.
“I am afraid that all the Campbells and Mr Dixon have gone out for a drive. I decided to stay at home.”
“That is quite all right,” Frank Churchill said, “It was really you I wanted to see.”
“Me?” she asked, quite amazed.
“Yes. You see, I know all about the Campbells, but hardly anything about you. Are you enjoying Weymouth?”
“Yes, very. It is so...diverting. I like it very much.”
Frank Churchill smiled. “Mrs Campbell has told me that you are very talented in the musical capacity. I would like to hear you play if I have a chance.”
“I do enjoy music and Miss Campbell and I often play duets.”
Frank nodded. “I have detained you for long enough, Miss Fairfax. I shall be going now.”
“Thank you for calling.”
Frank Churchill walked along the street, brow furrowed in thought. Colonel Campbell had informed him that Jane was to be a governess. Though he would not think of broaching such a subject in her presence, he could not help but think of it. Jane Fairfax was a lovely girl – anyone could see that. It was indeed a pity that such elegance and beauty should be wasted on a few children who would leave her thin and wasted away. It was a bad business indeed.
Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill continued, quite inadvertently, to see more and more of each other. It seemed as though they were always thrown together. Jane found herself liking Frank more and more and he was becoming attracted to her too.
Frank was invited to a dinner party at the Campbells and afterwards he secured a promise from Jane – she would play for them. Miss Campbell was about to join her but Frank was quite insistent that only Miss Fairfax would play. “For,” said he, “Although your playing must be delightful, I would like to form a true judgement of Miss Fairfax’s musical ability.” He joined her at the pianoforte.
One bright, clear morning, Miss Campbell changed her name to Mrs Dixon and the happy couple set off for Ireland. “Write to me, Jane...” was the new Mrs Dixon’s parting remark and Jane promised to do so.
It seemed as if Jane would be left quite forlorn for the next day Colonel Campbell brought news that Frank Churchill’s aunt, Mrs Churchill was extremely ill and required him home as soon as possible. “Although if you ask me,” he said, “It is all an excuse. Mrs Churchill is the one of the best people for making excuses and pretending herself ill.”
Jane merely nodded. She had entertained hopes...but no, it was impossible. Frank Churchill would never...could never...think of her in the way she wanted him to.
Frank called the next day to say goodbye. The Campbells were once again out. Jane made their apologies. “I am not sure when they will be back. Will you be able to wait?”
“No, I will not, but Miss Fairfax...Jane, if I may...I have again really only come to see you. In fact, I planned my visit to correspond with the Campbell’s going for a walk because I have something to ask you.”
“Yes?” Jane said, scarcely breathing.
He kneeled down. “Will you marry me?”
For a moment Jane was speechless. Then she spoke. “Yes, Frank, I will.”
“We must tell all our relations!” Jane said. It was a few moments after the proposal. She was bursting with the news and felt she must tell someone.
Frank was suddenly serious. “Oh, Jane. I didn’t think of this before but I am afraid that we must keep our engagement secret.” His face was downcast.
“If my aunt was to know, she would forbid it and probably cut me off, thus leaving me with nothing to support you with.”
“But I don’t care about the money.”
“But I do Jane. I want to take care of you properly. We must wait.”
“If it really means that much to you...”
“It does Jane. Do not worry. We can secretly exchange letters and might be able to meet sometime. Colonel Campbell and I have become good friends.”
Jane brightened at the thought. “We will keep the engagement a secret,” she finally said, “For as long as is needed.”
Five months passed. The Campbells and Jane were invited by the Dixons to Ireland for a few months.
“I will write back today and say that we are all pleased to accept.”
“Mrs Campbell...” Jane began.
“I have not been feeling very well for several weeks, you know and I think that it would be better for me to decline. The boat ride would, I think, not be good for me.”
Mrs Campbell looked disappointed. “Are you quite sure?”
“Quite. Perhaps I could go to my aunt and grandmother’s place in Highbury? I am sure the air would agree with me.”
“A capital idea!” said Colonel Campbell and the business was settled.
Jane, of course, did not divulge her real reason for wanting to go to Highbury. Frank had written her a small note, telling her that he would soon be visiting his father in Highbury and asked her if she would be able to come too. Now she would be able to write back and tell him that she would be arriving in good time. The engagement must still be kept secret but what a joy it would be to see him again.