This story was written in response to the following prompt: Caroline Bingley storms into Darcy House and throws a vase/statue at Darcy, when she finds out that he is engaged/married to Elizabeth. Miss Bingley ends up being locked in the nursery at Darcy House for the rest of the day until Bingley comes to get her.
Miss Bingley stormed into Darcy House in London after learning of Mr. Darcy's engagement to that upstart, country nobody, Elizabeth Bennet. Finding Mr. Darcy in his study with his betrothed on his lap,1
Miss Bingley flew into a fit of rage and grabbing the first thing within her reach – a bust of the late Mr. Darcy – hurled it in their general direction hitting Mr. Darcy square on the head. (She was pleased she had made the shot though she had
been aiming for Miss Bennet.) Mr. Darcy fell to the floor unconscious, with nothing more than a groan and a whimper. “What have you done?” cried Elizabeth, kneeling over Mr. Darcy’s body and sobbing miserably.
“I guess her eyes aren’t so fine now,” thought Caroline.
At this moment, the housekeeper entered the room. “You must fetch help,” cried Elizabeth.
“I will go,” said Caroline.
“No,” replied her nemesis sharply. “Do not let her leave,” Elizabeth directed to the butler who now appeared behind the housekeeper.
The butler led Miss Bingley to an unused room on an upper floor of the house, while the housekeeper verified that Darcy was indeed breathing and sent for a doctor.
Miss Bingley was left alone and quickly realized she was trapped in the nursery, which had clearly been out of use for some years. She kicked at an old bassinet, thinking of Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s children being raised here. “Those should be MY little Darcys!” she screamed to herself. Then, taking a better look around, she reflected, “But, of course, I would have better décor. This place looks pathetic.” She opened the window and leaning out, called down to the driver of her own carriage waiting in the street below. He didn’t hear her. She began waving her arms wildly. Finally, after about five minutes of her jumping around in front of the window, he noticed her. She motioned him to come upstairs.
When the coachman arrived at her door, he was accompanied by the butler who was telling him, “She is not to leave Darcy House until she is fetched by her brother.”
“Well if you will keep me prisoner, may I at least have a word with my own coachman?” said Caroline.
The butler bowed and stepped back while Caroline handed the coachman a folded piece of paper and said, “Go and purchase these items. This room is wretched.” Then, as he turned, she added, “And make sure you charge everything to Darcy House.” The coachman took the note and left the room and the butler locked the door behind them.
Meanwhile, Darcy regained consciousness. He had been moved to a sofa in his study and Elizabeth was eagerly leaning over him, holding his hand. He recoiled when he saw her and pulled his hand back. “Who are you?” he cried in disgust.
“I am Elizabeth,” she said gently, her eyes shining with joy and relief to see him revived.
He looked at her in wonder. “But why were you holding my hand, Miss … Elizabeth?”
“I was so concerned about you. I think we can allow some
liberties since our engagement,” she said suggestively.
“Engagement? What trickery is this?” he shrieked, trying to get up from the sofa.
The housekeeper came in and Mr. Darcy again asked, “Who is this woman who claims to be engaged to me?”
“Oh dear,” said the housekeeper, “the doctor will be here soon, sir; I am sure he will explain your injuries.” She then pulled Elizabeth to the side and said, “Perhaps it is best if you wait in the drawing room.” Elizabeth at first was unwilling to leave his side, but he was so agitated by her presence that she at last complied.
While they waited for the doctor, Miss Bingley’s coachman returned with the items she had requested. “Ah,” she said unrolling one roll of wallpaper, “Scheele’s green
. Beautiful!” She then proceeded to wrap a handkerchief around her face, covering her nose and mouth while she applied the paper to the walls in the nursery.
When the doctor arrived, he examined the patient and went into the drawing room to explain to Elizabeth, “He seems to have forgotten you altogether. I have questioned him, but cannot pinpoint the amount of time he’s lost. Is there no one else of his acquaintance in the house?”
“Miss Bingley is upstairs in the nursery.”
“Curious. Please have her brought to the study.”
“I do not think that would be wise. It was she who caused his injury. Seeing her may only trigger further suffering.”
“Nevertheless,” replied the doctor. Then he rang for the housekeeper and requested that Miss Bingley be brought in.
Having just completed her redecorating task, Miss Bingley was most anxious to escape the nursery. When she appeared in the drawing room she said, “Am I to be allowed to go home now?”
“I would like to take you in to see Mr. Darcy,” explained the doctor.
“Why? Did he ask for me?” she said with a triumphant smile, looking right at Elizabeth.
“No,” answered the doctor.
He led Miss Bingley to the study and Elizabeth followed. When Darcy saw them, he jumped up eagerly, “My dear Caro … uh … Miss Bingley, I am so pleased to see you! It seems I have injured my head and was frightened when I awoke to the face of a stranger.” Then, turning to Elizabeth, he added, “You must be a nurse that was brought in to tend to my injuries. I apologize for my earlier behavior. I was simply startled when I awoke. But now, as you can see, my dear friend Miss Bingley is here and your services will no longer be required.”
Elizabeth stared at him in disbelief. “I told you we are engaged. Why would you think I am a nurse?”
“Oh,” he said, “I took that for a joke. I could never engage myself to a nurse, and certainly not one with whom I am unacquainted. I am sure Jeeves will compensate you for your trouble.”
Caroline now walked to Mr. Darcy’s side, “You must not exert yourself. Lie back and rest your head. All will be well.” She stroked his glorious curls as she looked back at Elizabeth, smiling sweetly. Darcy did as she bid him and felt better.
By the time Bingley showed up to collect Caroline, she and Darcy were chatting away fondly in the study. Elizabeth tried to explain what happened, but Darcy would not allow her to implicate Caroline. It was nothing but a terrible accident, and he was so grateful Miss Bingley had been there to take care of him. Miss Bennet’s presence, however, was unaccountable.
Thus, Bingley saw Elizabeth back to Gracechurch Street and Darcy became engaged to Caroline by the end of the evening. Immediately after accepting Mr. Darcy, she summoned the butler and directed him to “remove the wallpaper in the nursery.”
“Pardon me, madam, there is no wallpaper in the nursery.”
“Oh, I just hung some up today, but it has
to go. I don’t care for the color.”
Darcy looked at her curiously, but Jeeves just shrugged and did as he was bidden.