Today's sample is a very short story that still needs a little tweeking, so please bear with me, thanks :-)
“Do not talk such nonsense, my dear.” Mrs. Stichwell frowned at her husband. “Our Dorothy is the most beautiful girl in the county. It only needs but this new tenant at Rosewell Manor to take one look at her to be smitten.”
“If that is so, Mrs. Stichwell, pray tell me, why has Dorothy not snared young Tommy Launceton, or the Honerable William Smythe?” Without waiting for his wife’s reply Mr Stichwell made himself comfortable in his favourite chair by the library fire.
“Do not mention that odious boy’s name to me.” Regardless of her wide skirts so close to the open fire, the flames licking greedily at the sparking logs, the lady came up to stand in front of her husband. “Tommy Launceton gave her the cut at the assembly last month, and you can be sure everyone—and I do mean everyone...” Her voice rose to a wail. “Everyone noticed. As for the vicar’s daughter, I thought her laughter most cruel. And—” she added. “I would not have believed such behaviour from her.”
“And why do you suppose Dorothy was treated so? She must have done something.”
“Not at all.” Mrs. Stichwell bristled. “It wasn’t her fault that she spilled her drink all over Mr. Launceton. I swear that someone nudged her arm.”
“That is hardly reason enough for such slights, if indeed, Dorothy is being ignored.”
Mr. Stichwell loved his eldest daughter, but acknowledged she could be wilful at times, and if he remembered the altercation between mother and daughter less than an hour before the assembly in question. Dorothy had refused point blank to try and catch Tommy Launceston’s eye. When they’d returned home earlier than usual he’d known something untoward must have happened, and sighed.
Anyone could see young Tommy had feelings for his daughter, but she’d set out to ignore him and so he’d turned to someone else, and who could blame him? Perhaps he’d spent too much time instilling pride into his children. “If you’re going to do something,” he’d always told them, “do it with pride.”
He hadn’t intended for any of them to consider themselves a cut above their neighbours, and yet… Until a month ago, Dorothy and Tommy, along with their particular friends did everything together. Parties, riding, dancing and a lot more, he assumed that kept the party of friends closely connected down the years.
With a sigh he accepted he’d probably never discover the truth beneath the split of the couple the whole county had assumed would wed before the year was out. He liked young Tommy, would have like to have him as a son in law. He had a gentle yet firm way with his daughter which normally controlled Dorothy’s more wayward tendencies.
Pride, it seemed, had certainly come before his daughter’s fall from grace.