The Story so far…. The wicked Sir Jasper De Jasper has given young Cordelia Bright a stark choice. Either marry him, or see him close down the St Justus Home, condemning the headless orphans to the workhouse, where they will be fed processed sludge until the end of their days. Reluctantly, she has agreed to become his wife…
When Sir Jasper De Jasper left Cordelia in the office at St Justus Hall he had not proceeded far along the corridor when his path was blocked by the stout figure of Sister Veronica Odium.
“Sir Jasper” she said “How fortunate that I should come across you here. May I have a word?”
Sir Jasper gave her a hard faced stare for a moment and then smiled his oily smile. “But of course Sister” shall we retire to the drawing room?”
The Drawing room was empty, Matron Blessed having taken the orphans out into the garden, it being a pleasant evening. They could be seen through the French windows, collecting buttercups and daisies for Jessica to weave into garlands.
Sir Jasper sat down and indicated for the Sister to do likewise. “What would you speak with me about?”
The sister drew a deep breath. “Well Sir Jasper. I understand that the girl Cordelia has somehow enticed you into proposing marriage to her. Speaking as a well wisher, I hope that you will not be too put out if I were to advise you against marrying such a girl.”
She paused and looked into his eyes, hoping to gauge his reaction to her words. His face remained immobile, as he held and returned her gaze. She could think of no other action than to plough on.
“She is too emotional and soft hearted for a businessman such as yourself. She would be of no support to you whatsoever. Indeed, I believe she would be a hindrance to the furtherance of your interests. Furthermore, I feel sure that she would be unable to satisfy a man of your calibre and prowess in other ways.” The sister paused and coloured a little after speaking these words, but there was still no reaction from Sir Jasper, so she continued again. “A more mature lady, well versed in the ways of the world, with an understanding of the hard facts of business and with the strength and vigour to sate any other desires you may have would be a much more suitable companion.”
Was sir Jasper’s face becoming slightly pinker than it had been at the beginning of the conversation? He leant forward and lightly touched the sister on the knee.
“And would you have any particular lady in mind my dear?” he asked looking directly into her eyes.
“Well, Sir Jasper,” came the reply in a voice rather smaller and more tentative than it had been moments earlier. “I rather thought that I may make an ideal wife for you.”
Sir Jasper threw back his head and roared with laughter.
“You?” he cried “You? Why you ridiculous, foolish, idiotic old maid! Whatever possesses you to make you believe that I would ever consider, ever imagine considering, ever dream of imagining considering marrying you. Why, the very thought that I should ever countenance dreaming of imagining considering marrying a woman such as you, and expecting you to satisfy my tiniest need fills me with nothing but repugnance! Away with you! You hideous, monstrous excuse for a woman!”
With those words Sir Jasper stood and marched out of the building, leaving the sister ashen and shaking in her chair. As her breathing and pulse gradually returned to their normal rate she muttered “You will be sorry for those words, Sir Jasper De Jasper”
Wedding preparations are underway, but Sister Odium is in a foul mood… in tomorrows thrilling Chapter. Same time, same place!