Captain Wentworth, ecstatic with Anne’s acceptance of his hand, ventures to Camden Place to apply for Sir Walter’s consent…
His footfalls sounded briskly off the pavement as Captain Wentworth strode to the home of the Elliots in Camden Place. With the warm sun peeking through the fluffy clouds, the weather was brilliant and reflected well the overwhelming happiness of his heart at that moment.
Anne had accepted his hand! After eight long years of abject misery, he had won the heart of his love and would once again apply to Sir Walter for his consent.
Awash with anxiety and excitement, he rapped the ornate brass knocker and paused to await the door’s opening. His first application eight years ago had not been accepted with ease or graciousness, and Captain Wentworth began to worry once more as his mind was called back to the disparagement of the self-centred baronet so many years prior.
“You? Anne accepted you? Granted, you look well enough, but where is your fortune? To think one of your inferior birth would have the gall to believe yourself worthy of the daughter of a baronet! It is unpardonable!”
“This connexion should never be—Anne the sister of a curate and wife of a naval officer. What a disgrace to the name Elliot!”
Of course, Anne’s gentle character could not withstand such censure and the persuasion of both her father and Lady Russell, but now that day was long past and long forgotten. Gone was the innocent nineteen year-old who broke his heart, his Anne was now a woman of eight and twenty, a woman who knew her own heart and mind.
The butler allowed him inside and took his hat.
“Captain Frederick Wentworth requests a private audience with Sir Walter Elliot.”
“Very good, sir,” responded the servant. With a polite bow, he passed through the closest set of doors only to return a few moments later. “If you will follow me.” Captain Wentworth trailed behind the man as he returned through the same doorway, pausing just inside. “Captain Frederick Wentworth.”
A quick survey of the room indicated Sir Walter would not grant him the private audience he requested. Miss Elliot stood from where she had been seated at the divan, a pinched, sour expression upon her face, while Anne, dear Anne, rose from her seat with such a glow upon her countenance. She was more beautiful than any memory he had of her—and she would at long last be his!
His bow was returned with curtsies from the ladies and a pretentious nod from Sir Walter.
“I cannot comprehend your purpose in requesting a private audience,” droned Sir Walter as if he was bored of his own voice. “You cannot have anything to say which my daughters cannot hear.”
With a curt nod, the captain steeled himself. “Very well, sir. I have come for but one purpose. I have requested the honour of your daughter Anne’s hand in marriage and have been accepted. The request of a meeting was to garner your blessing and consent.”
Sir Walter cast a disinterested glance to Anne as Miss Elliot’s head whipped to her younger sister. “But what of Mr. Elliot!”
“What of Mr. Elliot?” asked Anne in a calm tone. “I have given him no encouragement and have no understanding with the gentleman. He is free to seek his future where he wishes.”
Miss Elliot sneered as she took her seat, casting a loathing glare at Captain Wentworth. “He is hardly worthy of the daughter of a baronet.”
“The captain has his fortune and has distinguished himself in service to the crown. He is all that is noble, honourable, and deserving.”
Captain Wentworth beamed with pleasure. Her defence was not required, but how wonderful she should come to his aid on her own! He had secured her as much as she had secured him, and her affections were his and his alone
Sir Walter appraised him much as he had eight years prior. “You have not lost your looks, and do not appear the colour of mahogany, rough and rugged to the last degree; all lines and wrinkles. At least your countenance would reflect well upon the Elliot name.” With a sigh, he tapped the top of his snuff box. “You may not be what I would have hoped in regards to birth, but I will give no objection.”
Captain Wentworth turned to Anne whose face was lit with a bright smile. “Thank you, Father.”
“Yes, well…” droned Sir Walter.
“It is such brilliant weather. Would it be acceptable if I escort Anne to Sidney Gardens; we could settle on a day for the wedding whilst we walk the paths.”
Her father peered at the captain as he placed a bit of snuff upon the side of his hand. “I suppose.”
Anne bit her bottom lip and hastened from the room as the captain gave a bow. “I thank you, Sir Walter, for your time.”
The pompous gentleman gave a dismissive wave, and Captain Wentworth turned and departed without delay to the entry where his betrothed awaited him.
She wore a beatific smile as she nodded and placed her delicate hand on his arm. “We shall.”