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|And another one or two.
Written by Rachel G
(5/8/2008 1:59 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Yes or Emma as a detective novel, penned by Mia I.
In Ch..38 at the start of the ball Frank is restless, looking about, going to the door. He claims to have a great curiosity to see Mrs Elton. When a carriage is heard he dashes off, then comes back saying he had forgotten he had never met the Eltons and has no business to put himself forward. The carriage is sent back for Jane Fairfax and Miss Bates.
In a few minutes the carriage returned. Somebody talked of rain. "I will see that there are umbrellas, sir," said Frank to his father: "Miss Bates must not be forgotten:" and away he went.
Then we hear Miss Bates' gratitude:
My dear Jane, are you sure you did not wet your feet? It was but a drop or two, but I am so afraid: -- but Mr. Frank Churchill was so extremely -- and there was a mat to step upon -- I shall never forget his extreme politeness. Oh! Mr. Frank Churchill, I must tell you my mother's spectacles have never been in fault since; the rivet never came out again. My mother often talks of your goodnature. Does not she, Jane? Do not we often talk of Mr. Frank Churchill?
Frank certainly seems remarkably eager to offer every courtesy possible to Jane and her aunt when they arrive at the ball!
The following day we have another oddity when he is walking and recues Harriet from the Gypsies. He had no time to call at Hartfield that morning because he has to be back in Richmond by the middle of the day. And yet, he has enough time to walk the first part of the journey, and to call on the Bates to return a pair of scissors, and to stay talking for a few minutes. (So when did Miss Bates ever let anyone call only for a few minutes??)
Even though I knew the outcome, until this read I had not noticed how remarkably often Frank finds reasons to call on Miss Bates and her family. Who exactly is the attraction, I ask myself. Is it the deaf old lady, the garrulous aunt, or the elegant young woman who's looks, reserve and languid dancing Frank so often criticises to Emma. Perhaps he is just extremely well mannered - but it all makes me very suspicious!
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