Ah, the fictional fight. Where the mean girl provokes a verbal battle with the heroine–and gets bested. We loves that kind of thing. (I wrote about the Cat Fight last time. Must be a favorite subject.) There is also the guy fight, where the bad guy gets koshed in the nose. Uh-huh. We loves that, too.
Light fiction is supposed to be fun and fresh and entertaining. So I toss in fights, usually verbal ones.
So here is part of a fight, from Chapter 34 of Darcy By Any Other Name. It’s ghastly for Jane Austen fans because the two combatants are good friends and cousins. Wrenching for Mr. Darcy too, because finally he is telling the truth to someone, but it doesn’t go over as expected.
I won’t tell you how it ends, but yeah, somebody takes a swing…
“You have had your jest,” said Colonel Fitzwilliam. “But I’m not having any.”
“Ask Darcy about your parents, Fitz, or your brother. Or his father. He knows nothing, not even information that could be gleaned from the social column in any London paper.”
Fitz folded his arms across his chest. “As I say, a fine jest.”
“Try me,” said Darcy. “Ask me anything, anything you like.”
“So that you can gather more information about me or my family? No thank you.” He leaned in. “Who are you? What kind of rig are you running?”
“I told you. I am Darcy.”
His cousin responded with a string of oaths. “Out with it,” he said. “How much is this going to cost me?”
“Cost you?” said Darcy. “What do you think I am, Fitz?”
“Isn’t that patently obvious? A dammed charlatan! A swindler and a blackmailer! Well? What’s the figure?”
Darcy gave a curt laugh. “As if you had the funds to pay.”
Colonel Fitzwilliam was shocked to silence.
“Let’s be honest, shall we?” said Darcy. “You came here in answer to my summons. But you also knew that I would open my purse. Reimbursement for travel, a gift, a loan until quarter day. Call it what you will, it amounts to a handout.”
“Hee-haw,” came the distant bray of one of the donkeys. Its timing was excellent.
But Darcy did not laugh. “This time, my dear Fitz, you will find that the feeding trough is empty. As Collins I have no money, and as Darcy, Collins cannot sign a draft on my bank. So you, my dear cousin, are out of luck.”
Tomorrow’s we’ll have G for Gusto! Oh yes. Thanks for stopping by!
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