The Girl Next Door

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
so far, a rich young man in 19th century England has fallen in love with a poor girl down the lane. he's been hunting and he's trying to figure her out. It's not going to be very long , there's detail(I hope)and I'm not any good at giving an overview, so...

Submitted: January 13, 2008

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Submitted: January 13, 2008

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The morning sun shines brightly on the open glade.  He sits with his rifle, waiting for a movement at all.  His red coattails drape over the sides of his chestnut bay horse and his white breeches contrast greatly with the dark mahogany leather of the saddle.  His hounds sit obediently at his feet, the gray hound sitting erect and the black, white, and brown hound lies almost lazily next to it.  There is a rustle in the leaves.  The dark hound bolts upright, but from a single hand signal of her master does she stay.  A rustle again.  Then he whistles.  The hounds dart forward, baying loudly, pounding against the dewy grass.  Birds of every manner fly from the glade, some to the sky, some to the ground.  The master targets the flying game.  Two shots report thunderously from the master’s position on his horse.  Two fowl fall from the sky like planes shot down in glory.  The hounds dash toward the place where the birds landed, barking loudly still.  The master shouts.  The pair immediately stops howling and retrieve the birds, bringing them back to their master.  He dismounts gracefully and gathers his spoil, petting and roughing the dogs appreciatively.  He throws the pair each a treat, then ties his catch to the saddle of the horse and mounts again, heading home to his estate.  After they finish their treats, the hounds hurry after their master.

He rides swiftly back home, urging his bay into a gallop.  The wind is exhilarating.  His brown cap threatens to fly away in the wind, but he ignores it, riding on in the morning breeze.  The estate comes into view.  He smiles happily as he approaches, relishing in the truth that that castle, that mansion is his.  He loves his home and his land almost as much as he is in love with the poor girl that lives on the edge of his estate.  He remembers the first time he ever saw her.  It was late afternoon when he went riding through the village, looking from house to house, just riding.  The sun was staining the sky a multitude of colors, making his mind wander.  Then he saw her.  She was at the end of her cottage walk, picking flowers from her garden.  He slowed his horse to a stop and asked for her name.  Eliza.  He asked if she was married, though in the back of his mind he knew it was inappropriate to ask such a thing.  She blushed and shook her mane of tawny hair.  It glowed with a brilliance he had never seen in a woman.  Her sea-green eyes flashed in the setting sun as she handed him a flower, bid him good evening, and headed back up her walk.  Secretly to himself as he rode on in the morning, he knows now that he was pleased to find she wasn’t married.  His father would be furious if he knew that his son was enamored with a poor waif with no dowry and no family holdings to inherit.  He goes on to the stables.  One of the stablemen greets him and takes the reins.  He descends again and gathers the birds, taking one to the kitchen and leaving one on his horse with orders to the stableman to leave the bay saddled.  He returns with a smile and mounts again, taking off at a trot for town.  He approaches her home once again.  He recalls that only the mother still remains with her, since she is in poor health.  He ties his horse to the tree in the yard and walks slowly up to the door.  He is not sure if she will like his gift, but he knows that she is in need of a good supper.  He remembers the servant woman he asked to spy on her said that she had little food beside vegetables and bread.  He knocks thrice on the simple wooden door.  Footsteps pad through the cottage and the door creaks open slightly.  Her jade eyes peek outside before she opens the door all the way with a smile.  She asks what brings her the pleasure of his company today.  He, in return, asks if she enjoys fowl.  His face falls when she tells him she will not eat the meat of the animals that inhabit the earth.  He asks why.  She loves the animals.  They are kin to her, even if they are only dumb beasts.  She wonders why he asks, but she dare not inquire.  He frowns slightly, then a smile lights his features.  He asks if she will accompany him back to his estate for a surprise.  She looks apprehensive, but agrees, fleeing back inside to inform her mother and take her shawl.  He helps her mount his huge bay horse then takes the reins and leads the stallion back to the manor.  He looks up to her, seeing the sun reflect off her beautiful hair once again.  He sighs inwardly a sigh of contentment and longing.  How he wishes he could touch that hair, but he cannot, not without ruining everything.  Slowly but surely they come back to the estate and he leads her around to the stables and the farmlands.  She gasps and smiles happily when she sees the baby lambs sleeping with their mothers.  He helps her down and she runs to them, eagerly picking one up.  She coos and pets it like a new puppy then smiles at him.  He leans against a tree, watching her delight with mild surprise.  He approaches and sits down beside her and strokes the lamb that sits calmly in her lap.


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