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Muslin: A Story

Fixing imaginary creases on his cravat the Earl of Chatsworth dubiously looked at the pink reticule sitting idly besides Elizabeth. The reticule, just the size of a tumbler, was all what she carried for a seven day road trip to London, followed by the Grand ball at Almack’s! Her father never offered to mortgage her wardrobes for goodness sake!
“I run out of words to express my delight in welcoming your company to the Chatsworth house, my lady. Only I fear a little if your other carriages lose the trail of the path, should we wait a while for them to catch us up?” The Earl said in a tone crisper than his collar.
“There is no other carriage my lord.” Elizabeth casually replied.
“That is even more enthralling!” No wonder that London, the city of extravagance, had played its usual charms on this pampered daughter of the baroness.
The Earl smiled blissfully. Who else than him could cover her in the expedition of errands and win her the most exquisite fashion of the city! The dazzling damsel dancing in his arms, and her delectable estate joining his acreage – and they both would live happily ever after!
That morning, his courtyard was crowded with merchant phaetons. Verandah exploding with excited faces! The hall reverberating in voices! Elizabeth couldn’t wait for the Earl to arrive, but he would ensure that the conclusion would be his.
“I’m honored to see you my lord, but I would not hide my disappointment of not having you earlier!” Her eyes sparkled as he entered.
Did he ever mention how addictive he was to Elizabeth’s voice?
“I just have this one saved for you! Please accept this as my gratitude to all your kindness so far!” Elizabeth turned to her reticule and pulled out a piece of… probably nothing more than a wave of autumn air!
“All of my other pieces are sold off! This is called muslin my lord! Finer than butterfly wings, lighter than cloud! I’m so glad that I can release the mortgage from your surveillance sir! However, needless to say I wouldn’t ever be able to release myself from the debt of your kindness!”
Heaps of cloudy airy butterfly wings-like wonders were shimmering on the floor. The merchants, instead of emptying their satchels, were haggling among themselves on who would be collecting which one.
“How did you bring all these?” The Earl asked vaguely.
“Inside my reticule! That is the magic of this fabric! 2 kilometer long piece of yarn weighs only 2 grams! In weavers language it’s called the ‘1500’ count cotton! Next time I’ll bring a full trunk! And I’m ambitious to hope that I’ll still be blessed with your hospitality, sir?

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