A/N: The challenge this time around? The word 'atrocious.' Probably been used to describe my grammatic ability more than once. The disclaimer still applies. The characters I use are owned and cared for by Disney, though if I could I'd purchase them. They're an interesting bunch.
Mister Henry Atherton, teacher of manners, had reached the end of the rope and he wanted to make sure that Governor Swann knew this. He puffed out his chest and slowly crossed his arms over his chest. "Never in my entire career have I met such a student, so unwilling to learn, so…" He sighed and delicately touched his hand to his forehead. "I don't know if I will be able to fix this. This…man is…where did you find him, the common gutter?" He snarled in indignation. "You mock me by thinking that I can teach this!"
Governor Swann twisted his handkerchief in his hands, wincing under the man's onslaught. He'd heard that Henry Atherton was the best teacher of manners that money could buy, but also of his horrible temper and demanding ways. At first, it sounded like a risk worth taking. Now he wasn't so sure about that. "I'm sorry." He stuttered out an apology. He wasn't used to being looked down upon. Instead of calming the man, he took it as his cue to go on.
"I still expect to be paid, of course, for my services." Atherton continued on, fluttering a hand near his face. With his other hand, he steadied himself in the doorway between the hall and the dining room. If Governor Swann leaned to his left just a bit, he could see into the room. Elizabeth was gently trying to console the agitated blacksmith who was staring at one of the many spoons as if he found even the presence of the utensil offensive.
At Atherton's comment, Governor Swann straightened up. "Now see here! You've done nothing as far as I can see and you expressly promised me that I would see improvement or else I wouldn't need to pay you." He replied indignantly. "Now, you will either go back in there and teach him or I will not pay you!" Despite Atherton towering over him, Governor Swann seemed to take on an attitude that made him just as tall, if not taller. Atherton glared at him, not willing to back down.
"I will most certainly not and I will be paid for my time wasted!" He roared. "I'm sorry, Governor, if you had the opinion that I this situation was fixable, but even I cannot make gold out of a rock. He would not know charm if it slapped him in the face, and trust me, I have felt the need on several occasions." Atherton responded, sniffing. "It taxes him to remember which spoon and which fork goes with which meal and I highly doubt he knows what the knife is even for!"
I highly doubt that, Governor Swann thought as he watched Will rise out of his seat, grab the knife from the place setting and raise it to throw. Thankfully, Elizabeth rose quickly from her seat and tackled the near homicidal blacksmith to the ground. The loud thump that resulted didn't even register with the furious teacher.
"Please try again." Governor Swann seemed to shrink in size as his anger abated. "If it doesn't work this time, I will pay your full fee without complaint." He sighed and closed his eyes. "Please."
Atherton seemed to think this over for a long moment before finally replying. "Fine." He snapped and turned on his heel, heading back into the dining room. By that time, Elizabeth had gotten up off the floor and Will was back on his feet. She eyed Atherton nervously over Will's shoulder as she straightened his shirt.
"Come along, boy. The governor has asked me to try once more to make you a gentleman, though I fear this is all a lost cause." He said, his lips curling into a sneer. "We'll move on to fencing instruction. You must always be ready to defend your lady's honor. If we're lucky, you'll even know which end to hold." He swept out of the dining room, motioning for Will to follow. The blacksmith did so, a conniving smirk on his lips. Elizabeth shot her father a wide eyed look, but Governor Swann didn't see it.
He was too busy resisting the urge to bang his head against the wall.