|My favorite wizard.|
Princess Beth takes care of the children for a week in Darkest London. They all get along just fine, and Beth enjoys the late night chats with the wizard. He's really a bit of a poppet. On her morning off, she makes a bee-line back to her shared digs, where she spends the morning cooking and cleaning. During one of those late night chats, Princess Beth tells the wizard about her childhood home, her old pony Sugar and her horse named Beauty. They were left in the hands of the evil stepbro, Philip. Hmmm.
Princess Beth's leave is extended (she has been 'lent' by the hospital) so she can spend a couple of weeks in the country!
The wizard has a surprise for her...he takes her for a ride one day - right up to the palace of the evil stepbro. The wizard casts a spell or two and manages to flatten Philip and save Sugar and Beauty from the knackers. Professor Wizard is some kind of wonderful. He even invites Beth to go riding with him - of course she knows how- what with being a princess and all. He also tells Beth what his idea of a good marriage is.
Because Mevrouw Thorbecke suffers from SSoRDD Syndrome (spoiled sister of rich Dutch doctor), she needs Princess Beth for MORE time (so far Mevrouw is at least 3 weeks post-op)...so arrangements are made for Princess Beth to accompany the troupe to Holland. A quick stop off in London - just enough time to cash her cheque, cook and clean for Prince William and leave him part of her hard earned wages (grrr...), and they're off to the continent and the Thorbecke's hometown of Willemstad! Not before a little foreshadowing in the form of an enigmatic incantation from the Wizard, "I'm waiting...."
Willemstad is a lovely little town, right smack on the waterfront. This is important.
Her: No...no harm done. I may not have ever been in love before, but I promise not to moon around. You're so hot and rich, I'm sure you can forget all about me with anyone you fancy - all you need do is lift a finger and they'll come running.
Him: I am not in the habit of chatting up the birds.
Her: Let's just forget this conversation.
Him: I have a retentive memory.
Sure, it sounds okay, and I'm a big fan of Beth right now - she isn't pretending that she's not in love - and she's woman enough to say it. I am irritated with the all-knowing all-seeing Wizard. As far as I can tell, the only reason he doesn't put a ring on it, is that she doesn't think she's his ideal wife. Instead of words of encouragement, Beth is packed off to bed.
Moody Dirk confesses his sins to Uncle...the little toe rag finally feels remorse for his transgressions. Alexander catches up with Beth at the train station in London. A final few kisses to break the curse, proposal of marriage...
Epilogue: Beth kept a wary eye on their children...she had to be sure that the taint of Moody Dirk was not hereditary. All the right fairy godmothers were invited to every christening to help ward off the whiff of Bad Seed-i-ness.