Mr. and Mrs. Wickham visit Longbourne. They are received about as well as you would expect from a family waiting to hear whether their youngest member has been raped and left destitute, or wedded to an absolute nightmare.
Mrs. Wickham (Lydia) seems to be totally unaware of the awkwardness of the situation. And amazingly, so does Mrs. Bennet, who, just 24 hours earlier, was complaining of "tremblings and spasms all over me" and was convinced that Mr. Bennet was going to have to fight Mr. Wickham and be killed.
While they're there, Lydia lets slip that Mr. Darcy was at her wedding.
Elizabeth writes to her Aunt Gardiner ASAP and gets the deets, which are:
1. Darcy found Lydia & Wickham.
2. Darcy forced them to marry.
3. Darcy paid off Wickham's debts.
4. Darcy paid Wickham to marry Lydia.
And Elizabeth is Flabbergasted, Stunned, Grateful, But Why? For me? Could he have done it for me?
If you're thinking that it seems weird that a girl should go all goo goo eyed for a man who just forced her sister to marry a douchebag, remember this: If Lydia doesn't marry Wickham, the scandal lives on, the family reputation is ruined, none of the Bennet girls are deemed eligible to marry, so when Mr. Bennet dies they have no money and all of them will likely be forced into prostitution to survive.
Puts it in perspective, eh?
So, Lydia & Wickham are married and the family is saved (literally). Thanks to Mr. Darcy.
But let's leave that heap of gross undone laundry for a sec and talk about some unmarried people. Namely:
Two Bachelors: Mr. Darcy & Mr. Bingley
Two Bachelorettes: Elizabeth & Jane
Darcy's still got work to do. He did, after all, separate Jane from Bingley and ruin all of her chances with him. Or did he?
Well, yes, he did. But after patching up the Wickhams, he grabs Bingley and lays it all out:
Dude, I was wrong about Jane.
She likes you.
Bingley promptly socks Darcy in the mouth. And all is forgiven.
The two bachelors show up at the Bennets house soon after. They have a very awkward dinner with the Bennet family--Mrs. Bennet is Over-The-Top Hostess-of-the-Year, Jane has no idea what to think or say or do or feel and Elizabeth keeps trying to talk to Darcy but is continually thwarted by the aforementioned Hostess of the Year.
There are a few of these visits. The ice melts a little....but will it melt enough?*
*Alright, horrible button to the end of this chapter. Do forgive the metaphor. :)
This week's chapters were written by the director of "Pride & Prejudice: An Adaptation" Caitlin Lushington.
NEXT WEEK: Will they or won't they? Is Jangley a thing? And a rumor emerges...