It is widely expected by many mothers of girls that one day the fruit of all of their years spent grooming their beloved daughter will present itself as the eternal uniting of her, dressed all in white, with a man in a three piece suit. This hypothetical occasion, while subconsciously, is stubbornly engrained in these mothers’ minds, and such a long-standing wish is not easily deterred.
“You are at university now, and it is about time you begin searching for a nice man to settle down with,” said Mrs Lynfield.
“Well, mother, I have much more of a focus on my studies at the moment,” sighed Georgie.
“As it should be,” Mr Lynfield said, giving Mrs Lynfield a silencing look.
Mrs Lynfield snorted.
“Quite ridiculous, Georgie, you are nearly twenty two!”
“Still young, mother.”
Mrs Lynfield took no notice of her daughter.
“Well, no matter,” she said with a scheming smile, “for you will never guess who has bought the estate on the hill!”
Mrs Lynfield glanced at her husband and daughter in turn, eyes sparkling. She continued with no encouragement.
“Master Lawrence!” she exclaimed.
“Who is he?” asked Georgie.
Mrs Lynfield rolled her eyes.
“Who is he?!” she cried in disbelief, “He is only from the wealthiest family in Cardwell. Everyone in Herten is talking about him. They say he’s looking to invest in some of our very own
businesses, right here, in Herten! Now would you believe that!”
She was clearly very excited.
“Well he cannot be intending to invest in our farm, so I fail to see what excites you so much,” Mr Lynfield said.
“You cannot be serious, Mr Lynfield! I do not care for his investment in businesses, only for his investment in time… with our daughters!”
“A very poor investment indeed,” Mr Lynfield said, winking at Georgie.
Georgie laughed, but Mrs Lynfield was not in such good humour.
“Why, you rattle my bones for pure enjoyment, don’t you?” said an exasperated Mrs Lynfield.
“I must admit, I do take great pleasure in it from time to time,” he smiled, eyes twinkling.
“You may think this funny, but I will be very displeased if you will not agree to have him visit here before the turn of the week!”
Mr Lynfield chuckled, and Georgie shook her head.
“Honestly, Mother, I don’t understand why you are so fussed!”
“Oh,” Mr Lynfield began with stately sarcasm, “but a rich and single man is a very great prize, Miss Georgie, no matter what his disposition!”
“You mock me now, but Georgie – or any of our daughters – they will match well with him certainly!”
“But Mother, I do intend to further my studies –”
“Educated women must settle down eventually, and sooner rather than later. There is no use in becoming a career woman, they are so uptight that they are probably barren!”
“And that won’t do very well when you decide you’d finally like to give us some nice little grandchildren, will it now?” Mr Lynfield said, humouring her.
Mrs Lynfield nodded fiercely.
“All this talk of grandchildren is making me nauseas,” Georgie said, wiping her hand across her brow theatrically.
“Well that ought not to be the case, Georgie, for it is like that we shan’t have any should Mr Lynfield refuse to invite the Lawrences to visit us here,” Mrs Lynfield said sharply, “We are
suffocating in a social vacuum in Herten, so we should make advances as soon as appropriate suitors move close by! It is a very rare thing, my dear.”
“Well perhaps if Georgie finds the idea of having children so nauseating,” Mr Lynfield said, “I should revoke my invitation to the Lawrences to visit us this Saturday, for it seems inevitable that grandchildren will spawn from such an event.”
Mrs Lynfield peered at him suspiciously, and Mr Lynfield nodded in confirmation. Georgie sighed, dreading Saturday already.
Mrs Lynfield whirled. “Oh you have been winding me up all along! That is so clever of you! Isn’t he a tease?,” she asked her daughter, ecstatic, before turning back to her husband, “But now don’t be silly, dear, children do not come of a mere meeting! We must make succeeding plans as soon as possible!”
At that, Mrs Lynfield twirled out of the room in a dramatic flurry of apron and freshly curled hair.
Mr Lynfield was a strange character and so it was not unusual that only Georgie really understood him. He displayed such a variety of wit, sarcasm, scorn and apathy, and it was so interchangeable between these, that Mrs Lynfield could not recognise the difference. She understood him to be a loving and loveable vexation, with no knowledge of society. He, on the other hand, found her worries trivial. He was fond of her though, in the way that one is when one must be.
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