This Time Round / Look Who's Talking
Storytime Presents Scenes from Pride and Petulance.
by V. Jewitt

Part 5(b)
(In which, there is an abundance of Wickhams, Lady Catherine will not
be put in her place and Barbara decides to swiftly bring the
procedings to as happy an ending as can be expected.)

****

NARRATOR / BARBARA WRIGHT
Eventually news came that the couple had been discovered and Wickham
prevailed upon to marry Lydia, although Mr Bennet felt oppressed by
his debt to his brother in law, knowing how much such a bribe must
have cost. However, the marriage took place and the Bennets prepared
to welcome the Wickhams to Longbourn.

[MRS BENNET / NANCY runs out to embrace LYDIA / JO GRANT]

WICKHAM / PROFESSOR JONES
It's a pleasure to see you all!

MRS BENNET / NANCY
Professor Jones?!

MR BENNET / THIRD DOCTOR
But - what happened to Captain Yates?

LIZZY / SARAH JANE
Lydia, you've married Colonel Fitzwilliam by mistake.

WICKHAM [winking at LIZZY]
No, I came to an arrangement with Captain Yates. Sort of early
retirement, as it were...

CAPTAIN YATES [appearing from behind the hedge in a dishevelled state]
Is that what you call it?

MR BENNET
Mike, you look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

MIKE YATES
Really? I suppose that's about the size of it. That's my part, you
Welsh interloper!

LYDIA
Oh dear! Mike, don't be cross -.

WICKHAM
See? I'm better at being unscrupulous!

MIKE
Right, that's it - come outside now, Professor Jones, and we'll see
who's going to be Wickham.

WICKHAM
I don't have time for this, man! Besides, you're too late - I've
already married the lovely Lydia!

MIKE
That does it!

[As MIKE and WICKHAM fight, LIZZY pulls LYDIA to one side]

LIZZY
I believe you have something important to let slip about your wedding.

LYDIA
Yes. That Mr Darcy was there, interfering...

<Flashback>

[MR DARCY / BRIGADIER walks in on WICKHAM and LYDIA, in the bedchamber
of an inn, reading a hefty 19th century volume about the Amazon.]

WICKHAM
So you see, there's this fantastic fungus out there somewhere...

LYDIA
Oh, Wickham!

DARCY [drawing his revolver]
Right, Wickham-. Good grief, Fitzwilliam, what are you doing here?

WICKHAM
Captain Yates was otherwise engaged. I'm Wickham now. Carry on,
Darcy!

DARCY [coughing]
Right, well, you can darned well marry the girl, Wickham, or I'll
shoot you!

WICKHAM
Hmm. Throw in a few thousand pounds as well, and I can go for that.

DARCY
You can have 10, 000 if I have your assurance you really are off up
the Amazon and I never have to set eyes on you again.

WICKHAM
It's a deal.

<UnFlashback>

[As the two WICKHAMS continue to fight it out on the front drive, a
carriage pulls up. MR BENNET ignores it, approaching YATES and
JONES.]

MR BENNET [using Vensuian Aikido]
Hai! Hai!

[Both would-be WICKHAMS fall on each side of him]

MR BENNET
Gentlemen, let's sort this out amicably, shall we?

[LADY CATHERINE / SECOND DOCTOR falls out of the carriage, losing her
wig. KITTY hurries to help her up]

KITTY / JAMIE
Doctor! Am I glad to see you! But what are you doing in that get-up?

LADY CATHERINE
You're a fine one to talk, Jamie! Or should I say Kitty? [Winks]

KITTY [after a moment's pause]
Oh, aye. I'm still wearing this dress. Someone needs to have a wee
word with yon book about the difference between kilts and skirts.

LADY CATHERINE
It might be a good idea, Jamie. [Suddenly starts shouting] Miss
Elizabeth Bennet!

LIZZY [swinging round]
What are you doing here? This is much too early! You must go.

LADY CATHERINE
I've waited long enough. Miss Bennet, I am here to tell you that you
may *never* marry my nephew.

LIZZY
Oh dear. I suppose that's an end to that, then.

NARRATOR
Lizzy! Lady Catherine, can't you wait for your cue?

[As MR BENNET heads back to the house, the two WICKHAMS start fighting
again]

NARRATOR [beginning to sound alarmed]
On second thoughts, we should just put an end to this! Mr Bingley, Mr
Darcy!

[BINGLEY / HARRY SULLIVAN runs on, followed by DARCY. As he hesitates
in front of JANE / LIZ SHAW, DARCY gives him a hefty, shove, sending
him to his knees.]

BINGLEY
Oh, I say - no need for that, sir. Miss Bennet, will you - er - ?
Would you do me the honour, um -?

LIZZY
Jane, please say yes.

JANE [with a resigned sigh]
You have made me very happy, sir. Of course I will marry you. I
assume that *was* what you were trying to ask?

BINGLEY
Jolly good! Darcy, why don't you propose to her sister while we're at
it?

DARCY
Must I propose again?

LADY CATHERINE
No - you most certainly will not! You are promised to my daughter!

DARCY
What? Who else am I supposed to be marrying?

LIZZY
Ignore her.

LADY CATHERINE
Unfeeling, selfish girl - I am not accustomed to be spoken to like
this. Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?

DARCY [taking LIZZY's advice and ignoring his inconvenient Aunt]
I will merely say that my feelings are still as they were when last we
addressed this subject. And yours?

LIZZY
Mine have undergone such a change - do not speak of what I said then!

DARCY
You have -

LADY CATHERINE [flinging herself between them, clinging on to her
errant wig]
I won't allow it!

NARRATOR
Lady Catherine, you are spoiling the scene.

LADY CATHERINE
That's very rude of you. I don't think that there are supposed to be
two Mr Wickhams, or tht Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy both propose together
like that, so you're all as bad as me!

LIZZY
Quick, Brig - let's run for it!

[DARCY and LIZZY run from the scene, MR BENNET trying to separate
WICKHAM from WICKHAM, LADY CATHERINE shouting and generally getting
the way and BINGLEY looking ever more miserable at the prospect of
marrying JANE.]

*
MR BENNET
Mr Darcy has just been here to ask for your hand, Lizzy. I did try to
refuse but he threatened to shoot me if I prolonged this story any
longer, but I cannot bear to lose you to anyone not worthy of you.

LIZZY
But I do love him, Father!

MR BENNET
Eh?

LIZZY
I'm sorry, but I had to get it over with. Can you give us your
blessing and let this story end?

MR BENNET
Absolutely not! Are you out of your senses to be accepting this man?
The *Brigadier* marry you, Sarah Jane - it's preposterous, it's -

NARRATOR
Given that you *knew* he was Mr Darcy, you can't be that surprised.

MR BENNET
Oh, very well. Marry him if you must, my dear. As long as you are
happy and truly care for him.

LIZZY [hugging him]
Thank you, Father!

MR BENNET [picking up his newspaper]
I admire all my three sons-in-law highly. Wickham - both of him - is
my favourite; but I think I shall like your husband quite as well as
Jane's.

*
NARRATOR
Later, Lizzy had chance to speak to Darcy alone.

LIZZY
So come on, tell me how you came to fall in love with me?

MR DARCY [alarmed]
I thought we had finally reached the end of this, Miss Bennet!

LIZZY
Humour me.

MR DARCY
I cannot fix on the hour or the spot or the look. It is too long
ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I *had* begun.

LIZZY
Well, it could not have my looks - you had early withstood that - my
manners were bad - it must have been my impertinence -

MR DARCY
Your liveliness of mind did attract me, I confess.

LIZZY
You may as well call it impertinence at once. You were sick of
civility, of all your subordinates looking for you approbation that I
interested you because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really
amiable you would have hated me for it. There - I have saved you the
trouble of accounting for it.

MR DARCY
There was also your affectionate behaviour to your sister at
Netherfield.

LIZZY
Dearest Jane! Who could have done less for her? But what made you so
shy of me when you first called and afterwards dined here - oh, drat
Lady Catherine and both Wickhams - sorry. Why did you act as if you
did not care about me even if we didn't get to do that part?

MR DARCY
I was embarrassed.

LIZZY [in heartfelt agreement]
And so was I. So we have both been throughout.

MR DARCY
Indeed. Have we finished now?

LIZZY
One other thing. Lady Catherine?

MR DARCY
Ah yes, her behaviour as it *should* have been, gave me hope - and
then I was determined at once to act.

LIZZY
Then Lady Catherine has been of infinite use, which ought to make her
happy, for she loves to be of use. Shall you ever have the courage
to announce to her what is to befall her?

DARCY
I am more likely to want time than courage, Elizabeth. If you will
give me a sheet of paper, it will be done directly -

[LADY CATHERINE pokes her head through the door]

LADY CATHERINE
You needn't write, Brigadier. I'm here. You are not marrying that
girl!

LIZZY
Please, Doctor. We're almost finished.

LADY CATHERINE
But I've hardly been in it at all! I never get to do much in these
things. It's not fair! [Sulks] Oh, marry her if you must!

LIZZY
Thank you. He will. And I shall be mistress of Pemberley, teach
Georgiana how to tease her brother and educate Kitty into becoming a
respectable girl.

LADY CATHERINE
If you can teach Kitty to be a respectable girl, that will be a
considerable feat, my dear. I'm not sure he'll thank you for it,
though.

NARRATOR
And you must try and avoid the scrounging Mr and Mrs Wickham and Mr
Wickham.

DARCY
Quite. I think we should pack all three of them off up the Amazon...

*
[DARCY, ELIZABETH, BINGLEY and JANE all walk down the aisle to find
that MR COLLINS is preparing to marry them.]

MR BENNET
Good grief, it's the Master *again*!

MR COLLINS
I'm afraid I seem to be the only clergyman available.

DARCY
Just get on with it!

NARRATOR
I'd like to say that we are seconds away from the end, so if anyone
was thinking of wife-swapping at this moment, please bear that in
mind.

DARCY
Whatever put that idea into your head?

JANE
Drat.

ELIZABETH [genuinely shocked]
Liz!

NARRATOR
Happy was the day that Mr and Mrs Bennet got rid of their two most
deserving daughters.

[The assembled cast gives a loud cheer as the end is finally reached.
Well, with one exception...]

FOURTH DOCTOR [sounding very bored]
Can I go fishing *now*?

*

Barbara caught Izzy returning. "They're all in bed now. I did what
you asked, but really I do think classics aren't the best idea. Even
Pride and Prejudice was a bit much for them -

Izzy stared at her for a long moment. Eventually she recovered
herself enough to say, "You read the toddlers *Pride and Prejudice*?"

Barbara looked worried. "Perhaps I *should* have done Jane Eyre."

"When I said classics," said Izzy, "I meant something like Winnie the
Pooh - children's classics!"

"Oh," said Barbara, enlightenment finally dawning. "Oh, dear. Mind
you, I'm not sure that would have been any less disturbing. You'll
have to excuse me - I have some detentions to attend to."

Izzy was still shaking her head in disbelief.

"I think they found some of the characters very entertaining and I'm
sure it will have improved their vocabularies," Barbara offered.

"Hmph," said Izzy, "they've certainly had their vocabularies stretched
by some of these things and I wouldn't say improved is the word." As
the schoolteacher headed for the door, she called after her. "One
thing, though - who was Mr Darcy?"

She hesitated and then patted Izzy on the arm. "It's probably kinder
not to say..."

***

<Vicky breaks down into hysterical sobs> It's finally over... Why did
I do this? What possessed me? My brain is left a ruined mess.
There's only one thing for it... <Heads off for the wrap party at the
Round>

Credits:
All characters are copyright of the BBC and BBC Wales.
Pride and Prejudice was written by Jane Austen. You may have heard of
her.
Storytime was invented by Imran Inayat & B K Willis; TTR by Tyler Dion
The collision of all three was entirely my own fault, with deepest
apologies to the Brigadier.




Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five

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