A/N: First of all, I must say a massive thank you to everyone who has commented on this story and stayed reading, even though I take so long to upload! Secondly, this story will be about 20 chapters in total, and I will try and upload as often as I can – don't give up on me, they will be posted!
Hope you enjoy this chapter, please leave a comment Thank you!
Chapter Four – 'To Remove to Bath for the waters.'
Doctor Hemingway was a young, pleasant mannered gentleman who had decided, rather than have it thrust upon him as so many have, that in no uncertain terms would he choose a different profession other than becoming a doctor. He was fairly tall for one of one and twenty, having inherited his good looks and mild manners from his Mother, leaving only the privilege of scraping ones head on a ceiling, from his Father.
Although Doctor Hemmingway was fairly new to his situation and way of life in the village of Uppercross, the other inhabitants thought that he was a man in which all troubles could be deposited. Indeed, for he was invited for many a supper dance at Uppercross House and after a very short while, Mrs Musgrove had become so fond of him that she saw him as a second son. When Mr Musgrove's health began to deteriorate with a bad case of the gout, she sent for him directly. Hemingway had prescribed rest and Mr Musgrove had been confined to his bed chamber for a fortnight under the doctor's close instruction, when Mrs Musgrove received this correspondence;
My dear Madam,
My dear friend Dr. John Hemingway has written to me as a matter of urgency regarding your husband. Doctor Hemmingway wrote to me seeking advice on how best to proceed with Mr Musgrove's treatment. I am a specialist in the condition of the gout and should be very happy to call on you and Mr Musgrove at your earliest convenience. I would also ask that Doctor Hemmingway accompany me, being your personal doctor.
Indeed Madam, you must not presume that I come to invade your home and to take advantage of your unfailing hospitality that Doctor Hemmingway has told me of. Only that I believe Mr Musgrove's condition to be of a serious nature, and my coming as soon as may be is the best way forward. I shall not ask you to pretend the nature of Mr Musgrove's condition is small and trifling, only that you may be prepared that major changes may have to be made to your household to accommodate for his illness. The waters and the air of Bath are most soothing and agreeable, especially for one with the gout as Mr Musgrove has. Do be prepared Madam that as I believe you have a son who could inherit your estate, moving to Bath may be a very wise choice to drastically improve your husband's health.
Yours, Doctor Richard Croft
Camden Place, Bath
By all accounts, Sir Walter Elliot was a proud man, who was very careful, always to be doing, what was generally accepted as the 'right thing'. His servants, even in Sir Walter's somewhat reduced circumstances were of a large number, and were dressed in what was universally accepted as the finest servants' attire in Camden Place. Luncheon and supper were always served precisely on the hour without fail. After all, to fail in this was to descend to the lower ranks of society, so the Elliot household staff were reminded daily.
Sir Walter's manservant was indeed greatly surprised when his master requested viewing of a few properties in Camden Place, and that he, Sir Walter Elliot, a great preserver of distinction and rank, would do it himself. So great was his surprise, that he even nearly misplaced his list of engagements for Sir Walter to carry out in order to find a suitable lodging.
So naturally, the head footman of the Elliot household couldn't have been more surprised when his master arrived to open the doors to his own residence. Indeed, the Admiral and Mrs Croft who were waiting to be admitted to the Elliot residence had never expected the great Sir Walter Elliot to greet them personally – indeed they were quite easily as shocked as the footman, if not more.
'My dear Admiral, Mrs Croft. You are very welcome indeed.'
Sir Walter had been greatly awaiting his meeting the Admiral and Mrs Croft to discuss his daughter's wedding. He was also aware through Fredrick telling him, that the Admiral and his wife were looking for a permanent residence in Camden Place and he intended to help them where possible.
Once they had adjourned to the drawing room and tea had been sent for, Sir Walter started the conversation.
'I feel that this is an appropriate time as any to discuss the future of Kellynch, as Anne and Captain Wentworth are taking luncheon with Lady Dalrymple.' The pride was evident on Sir Walters person, through the way his eyes shone with happiness and the tone of his voice.
The Admiral nodded.
'Indeed, Mrs Croft and I are to quit Kellynch for Bath, right here in Camden Place. Do not fear Sir, the house shall be kept in the Elliot family, as my brother in law, Captain Wentworth has purchased the house and intends to be settled and comfortable in two weeks complete.' The Admiral smiled and let his wife continue the conversation.
'I believe Sir Walter, that my dear brother, knowing of your dear daughters acute attachment to Kellynch, and managing to have procured such a wealth of Spanish gold from the war, he found himself unable to see the house taken by anyone else. Feeling it the best use of a small portion of his fortune, he could not stand any opposition and went to close with Mr Cookson directly.'
Sir Walter nodded and smiled understandingly as he found he had grown to favour his soon to be son in law and was deeply touched by the love he saw exchanged in glances between his daughter and her betrothed. After all Sir Walter reminded himself, he had been a happily married man before his own dear wife had passed, and to feel empathy in this case, was not by any means a softness of character.
Deciding to sell Kellynch and not return to a place where his wife had given birth to three children and where he had learnt to be master, father, and husband, was a hard thing for any man, Sir Walter assured himself, and even a man such as Sir Walter Elliot, about whom it was generally acknowledged had no feelings at all, was and should be allowed to feel fatigued.
However, Captain Wentworth had bought Kellynch and as he assured the Admiral and Mrs Croft, he would not have been truly happy to see anyone else in possession of the great house.
'I take it then Sir, that my daughter is not aware of this impending arrangement?'
The Admiral nodded and smiled. 'Indeed – I believe Miss Elliot is aware that Mrs Croft and I are to leave Kellynch and she may know that it has been sold – that I can't remember. Fredrick is to surprise her on their wedding day I believe.'
Sir Walter smiled. 'I have taken the liberty of visiting some properties which may be to your liking, here in Camden Place. Will you permit me to show you these lodgings?
The Admiral glanced quickly towards his wife and addressed Sir Walter.
'That would be very agreeable Sir, thank you.'
The arrival of the Admiral and Mrs Croft to Camden Place from a dwelling such as Kellynch Hall caused such a stir that Mrs Smith wrote directly on receiving the news to voice her concern.
My Dear Anne,
As you are surely aware, my companion Nurse Rooke is the sure fountain of daily happenings about town. Just this morning I received information of the Admiral and Mrs Croft – they are come here to Bath!
After such a fine house as Kellynch, there has been the most shocking talk of the circumstances of their removal from Kellynch and even though I know them to be scandalous falsehoods, I wish for you to put my mind at rest dear friend, and relate to me in full, everything you know of the Admiral and Mrs Croft's moving to Bath. Everything you care to relate of course, you may always be assured of my secrecy. However, I had entertained hopes that Nurse Rooke might be told the true story and make it her work to circulate the truth.
I am sorry to have to ask you, but I am aware you may not know of these rumours and they should be stopped before the Croft's reputation is tainted, for they are such dear people.
On another, happier note, I am greatly looking forward to your wedding, dear Anne, and I believe I am looking forward to being in company in the company of Captain Harville, whom I liked very much. I hope all your wedding preparations are going as planned and that everything is very agreeable to yourself and Captain Wentworth.
I also believe I am not alone in voicing my surprise at your Fathers betrothal as there did not seem to be a strong attraction between them. Mrs Clay seems a very gentile, pretty sort of woman, but I have not yet had the pleasure of being fully aquatinted with her and entertain high hopes of being so soon. I understand their wedding to be a small private affair, which I must say I agree with heartily – so important that day is, but a blessing to have the people we love around us. Indeed, I wish them every happiness that I had in my marriage to the late Mr Smith, and all the joy in the world.
And now dear Anne I must close, for Mrs Rooke has drawn a bath for me.
Your loving friend,
Anne was greatly surprised by her old friend's letter and upon receiving it, answered it directly.
My Dear Harriet,
I must confess myself surprised by your letter as I had not understood the Admiral and Mrs Crofts news to be the talk of Bath!
I regret that I am unable to enlighten you in this situation dear friend, for I know little more myself. I have received notice from the Admiral and Mrs Croft informing me of their wish to quit Kellynch, but did not outline their reasons for having done so. I believe the Admiral requested the move and decided on Bath very early on. I shall have all those dearest to my heart around me as Mr and Mrs Musgrove are to move here to Camden Place as well as the Admiral and Mrs Croft.
I still know not where I am to reside when I am married to Fredrick as he only has lodgings with Captain Harville at present. He has made some enquiries into purchasing a number of different estates, of which any would be very agreeable – any home where I am able to be with Fredrick is perfect.
I must close,
The arrival of Mr and Mrs Musgrove and the Admiral and Mrs Croft to Camden Place was as ceremonious as was to be expected. Mrs Musgrove appeared emotional, but as Sir Walter commented, 'One would show signs of emotion when parting with a house of such charm and grace as Uppercross.'
The Elliots, Musgroves and the Crofts became the principle residents of Camden Place. Anne found it hard to believe that anything could interfere with all her new found happiness. Indeed, she was very well pleased with her situation.