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fic: Chapter and Verse

Title: Chapter and Verse
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (TV)
Characters: Arabella Strange
Rating: G
Content notes: no warnings apply
Length: 300
Author note: Part of the Not Merlin series, and follows on from A Lesson from Scripture. [personal profile] sevenswells' General Arabella icon belongs to a different 'verse but is too lovely not to use. Thanks to [personal profile] kalypso and [personal profile] owl_by_night for their help with this one.
Summary: Arabella reflects on her discovery, and makes a decision.

Three years was a long time for a man to be away from his wife, without a word passing between them. Arabella did not believe for a moment that so many letters could have gone astray by accident. She had even wondered if Mr Norrell’s envy of his pupil could have led him to spy on Jonathan, though she thought it best not to voice her suspicions. Now, gazing at the scrap of paper taken from her husband’s pocket, she wondered if the interception of their correspondence had proceeded from a different cause altogether.

2 Samuel 1, 26

She had known Jonathan might find consolation in the Peninsula. She had refused to let herself think of his dalliances with other women, beyond a hope that he would be careful of his health, and hers. But this was no casual encounter: the text spoke of love. Of Jonathan’s love for another man, passing the love of women.

She could burn the paper, but what good would that do? The words would still be there in her head. It was impossible to pretend that nothing had changed. Who was this man, and what had he and Jonathan been to each other? What might they still be to one another, come to that?

Whatever the pain of knowing, it could not be worse than passing the rest of her married life in doubt and mistrust. To lie awake by her husband’s side at night, wondering if he was thinking of that other man – she would not bear it. She must speak to him.

The hall clock struck five; it might be hours yet before Jonathan returned from Mr Norrell’s. A glass of ratafia, perhaps, to steady her nerves. She stowed the scrap of paper carefully in her workbox, and sat down to wait.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/229151.html with comment count unavailable comments.


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