Caroline Anne Araminta Darling looked with dismay at the once-high polish of the Professor's shoes."I'm so sorry. Nausea is a foreseeable side-effect of being rescued in a fireman's lift following a bomb blast that took out the Men's Medical ward of an antiquated but well-loved East End hospital. Still, I shouldn't have abused your shoes like that. If you'll give me a mop & bucket, I'll clean it up.""Never mind the shoes. Do shut up so that I can stitch that gash over your right eye. I can't ensure you won't have a delicate, actually-rather-charming little scar if you're talking."Caroline fumed at his arrogance, but she dutifully stopped talking. And his shoes did smell rather.
Already, I want to edit that... (sign of an unabashed writer)
Caroline fumed...(so did the Professor's shoes).
Caroline Anne Araminta Darling looked with dismay at the once high-polish of the Professor’s shoes now drenched along with his once immaculate trousers in muddy water from the large pothole that she had driven through at the entrance to the drive. “I’m so sorry, Professor! Please forgive me, but how was I to know that you would be lurking about in the drive and what brings you here anyway?” A combination of fright and guilt making her voice more shrill than she had intended. For the first time she noticed the Rolls parked further along the drive in the gathering dusk.“ Never mind the shoes, Miss Darling ” he said in a coldly angry voice, “ you nearly ran me down with your recklessness! You took that turn into the drive at a dangerous speed. And for your information, I do not lurk about! I was in Bishop’s Stortford today and since you are not on the telephone, I stopped by in the hopes that you would be home. I came here, Miss Darling, to engage you to look after my mother when she is discharged, but if your nursing skills are anything like your driving skills, I may have to reconsider my offer.” Oh Lord, she thought, now I’ve botched it! Two months prior her dear but impractical father had died of a heart attack after having lost his modest nest egg in a bad investment leaving nothing but debts and a mortgage on their cottage. Caroline had been forced to give up her job at a large London Hospital and come home to care for her hapless, helpless mother who had collapsed under the shock and strain. Her father’s pension was pitifully small and her own meager savings were fast being depleted. She had applied for work for weeks with no luck. She thought of the shabby, mortgaged cottage, the drawer stuffed with unpaid bills and her weak and silly mother and felt swamped by despair. What would become of them?“ But perhaps you’ve already found employment Miss Darling and my trip was unnecessary?” He asked silkily.She looked up to see a nasty sneer on his face and realized too late that he had read the panic in her plain little face. He knew she hadn’t a job and was baiting her. At that moment she almost hated him. Hot words rose and died on her tongue. She would have to swallow her pride and try to smooth his ruffled feathers. She needed that job.“Mother’s dining at the Vicar’s, Professor, but do come in and allow me to tidy you up a bit and offer you tea? It’s the very least I can do…”
What darling Bettys we all have! Hot words and smelly shoes!--The Venerable Neels would be so proud!
Professor van der Graaf den Rhenen doubt very much that his hand-made Italian leather shoes will ever be the same again, but nevertheless suddenly smiled kindly from his handsome face and said, "That would be very good of you."She led him through the tiny hall to the kitchen. Pudge, the large ginger and white cat, watched guardedly from a Windsor chair on one side of the warm Aga as Caroline told the professor to have a seat opposite and pop off his shoes in a no-nonsense voice which effectively concealed her awkwardness and as well as a vague excitement.When she returned with his shoes, she looked agape at the tea tray set with thinly sliced and buttered toast and the professor taking the kettle off the Aga. "Well, I never! I don't suppose you ever...?""Er, no," he cut in smoothly, "I've never made tea in stockinged feet before, but let me explain further the reason for my being here, shall I?" His voice was cool."Very well," said Caroline and poured the tea. She listened attentively as the professor went over the particulars over tea. Besides the job opportunity, she reflected that the sooner he's gone, the sooner she would recover her calm.Mevrouw van der Graaf, while in Caroline's ward at St. Katherine's, had already informed her that she had returned to her native England after her Dutch husband died a few months ago and lived in Tonbridge, a larger village neighboring Bishop's Stortford. The professor had thought of everything, it seemed, except one point. "And what about Mother? Afterall, I left St. Katherine's so that could look after her.""Ah, as to that, Miss Darling," continued the professor in the vein of a conjurer pulling a rabbit out of a hat, "here's what I propose....."
Wow, Betty Debbie and Betty Keira, this is fun! Betty Lulu, you picked up on all the points that the reader must assume. That both the Professor and his mother had previously met Caroline on her ward at St. Katherine's. That his mother had obviously liked Caroline and wished her son to engage her as her private nurse. You've partly solved the knotty problem of what to do with Caroline's inept mother by settling Mevrouw van der Graaf in her girlhood home at Tonbridge not far from Caroline's own home. The details have yet to be revealed by the Professor...I really enjoyed this!
Suzanne, Betty Lulu,Very Neelsish!!! I especially enjoyed the professor's nasty coolness. 100% pure Neels style.Awesome. I'd buy the book(s).Betty Anonymous
Magdalen, Lulu, Suzanne A+ loving it!Caroline Anne Araminta Darling looked with dismay at the once-high polish of the Professor's shoes but if he did choose to bring one hundred measly, food poisoned stricken Bosnian orphan infants into her dank smelly basement flatlet what could he expect.Saphira sneered, “Darling, we will be late for the Burgermeister’s soiree. I do so want you to meet your new rich clientele. Could not you let Nurse clean your shoes and deal with these, these… ghastly creatures by herself. ““Oh no, I am so sorry. Its just baby vomit.” Caroline sighed “I can easily make a soup kitchen and vaccine station ready from my empty cupboards. It is what I am underpaid for anyway, with my ugly grey smock and severely pinned back hair”.Professor van Heck de Vex looked coldly at them both. “Saphira, Piet will drive you to the soiree or to your home. You can decide where you wish to go to alone.”Turning curtly as he escorted his fiancé to the door, the Professor eyes flashed at Caroline. “Nurse Darling, get the infants ready on their saline drips and start singing nursery rhymes immediately. I will call your father and tell him you will not be home for at least another year. And Nurse, you and I seem to have greatly different impression of your duties actually are.”Caroline quailed at his icy tone and the daunting sight of all the green tinged drooling babies.Betty AnHK
Van Heck de Vex! And a wide-ranging parody. You've even managed to pull in the fiancee and the household help!
Betty Anon, I am still laughing as I write - this is a fantastic parody on the Neel's heroine's ability to take life's sour lemons and make delicious lemonade and, by contrast, show up the evil girlfriend/fiance by her selflessness and devotion to duty. We can only hope that one of the poor, dear infants sicks up on Saphira's designer shoes and silk hose before she can escape to the Burgermeister's soiree!