Benedict does get around to a more formal proposal...I am no longer young, and you're old enough to regard marriage as something more than swanning off into the sunset...he also promises that if Prudence consents to be his wife, she's the only woman he will date. Well, golly, you can't ask for fairer than that. She can give her answer in the morning.
Benedict is darling at breakfast - he sends Sibella upstairs to fetch something so that he can have a minute alone with a sleep deprived Prudence and get her answer ASAP. She's a little peevish about how smug he looks - but he assures her that his good nights sleep was because he didn't have to think about it - his mind was made up. Sibella is delighted that Prudence will be her mama. Prudence is pleasantly elated about the engagement, but not quite as thrilled to be told that she now has to return home. It was fine to live under Benedict's roof when she was an employee, but now that they're getting married it won't be appropriate. Not to worry, it's only for a few days, after all, Prudence's father is a vicar and knows all about Special Licenses and stuff.
Off to Little Amwell with just enough time to put together a wedding outfit. Any qualms Prudence might have felt on the morning of the wedding are kissed into next week by Benedict. A very satisfying snog followed by a sweet little wedding - which takes place in the very place they met.
Back to Appeldoorn, Prudence is upgraded to the Big Bedroom. She and Benedict get along swimmingly - both quite happy...although Prudence doesn't know yet why she's so happy and contented. Leave that to an inconvenient visit from Myra - who stops by to offer felicitations and innuendos. Oh! As soon as Benedict gets home she realizes that...*gasp*...she loves her husband! Now that we've got that out of the way, it's time for some angst. Some murky waters. Some jealousy.
Benedict starts reading signs wrong. He comes home a little early one day and finds his wife chatting away quite cheerfully with his friend Everard. Benedict is quietly angry. That doesn't stop the two of them from accepting an invite to dinner as Casa Herrisma - wherein Prudence is enlightened by Everard as to his sad history of romance.
I have only been tempted to marry twice. The first time I was quite young - just qualified and full of dreams. Joanne Winkeler had green eyes and glorious red hair...and a temper to match! She married someone else and went abroad to live. Since Facebook hasn't been invented yet, I have no idea where she is now. The second time I was tempted to marry was when I met you, Prudence. You remind me of Joanne - gosh, I hope that didn't come out creepy - it's meant to be a compliment. The end.
Food: vol-au-vents, little cream cakes, sausage rolls, lobster patties twice, lobster soup, duckling in brandy sauce, Sibella likes aubergines, spiced chicken with apricots, ravioli (!) "Buttered toast!" he exclaimed. Bitter balls, celery sticks with cream cheese, tiny savory puffs, cheese straws.