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With Apologies to Miss Austen
[bab] Lieut William Price set off early from Mansfield Park, a steady, ever renewed source of joy springing in his breast. Half-guiltily, he waved his round hat at the diminishing figure of his tender, tearful Fanny till Sir Thomas's carriage swept at last onto the public road, at which point the young man surrendered himself entirely to contemplation of his delightful prospects. To be Second of the Joyful Surprise! He laughed out loud. What had he done to merit such felicity?

Killick, whose informed eye had detected that the Lieutenant was accompanied by a dozen of Sir Thomas's prime Bordeaux and that he was surprisingly well found in linen, pork pies and preserves in all their interesting variety, could have told him but Killick was nursing a resentment and a broken toe, both gained while attempting to settle the young man's stout sea chest and groaning hampers. For it was no secret among Captain Aubrey's followers that an extraodinary chain of events, exceedingly difficult to relate and barely to be credited, had

[js] enabled the fortunate young man to earn the affection, the gratitude of the entire Aubrey family.

.  .  .

With great satisfaction Stephen drank the remainder of the pot as Jack searched for his rosin. "You have a particular kindness for young Price, I collect?"

"Indeed," replied Jack, "he served us so well in that vexatious affair in Portsmouth. What a stroke it was! Ha ha! It does my heart good to think of it... But I find that the last of the coffee has quite deprived you of your wits; is that not my rosin in your 'cello case?"

"There they go," said Killick to his mate, "tweedle tweedle, pom pom, not a decent tune to be had in the whole of it — like a parcel of cats worrying a donkey."

"Anyways," he continued, revelling in the possession of superior knowledge, his natural aversion to Price on behalf of his phalanges forgotten, "the whole caper came about because of a pragmatical sod called Crawford. Henry Crawford. Nephew to the Admiral. He

(abandoned)

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