"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."* Or so the elders of society preached to the youth of the then you had Catherine Clancy. Left ring finger bare with only the memory of an engagement ring, plainly dressed, hair always worn in the modest of fashion. Single, age twenty five, with more prospects of catching the blasted rats that scavenged the shop she work at, then getting a husband.
No, Catherine's mind was currently occupied on providing for her younger sister and her elderly father, a caretaker at the British Natural History Museum, who had a frequent tendency to gamble away his paycheck. However under the circumstances Catherine had to do what she must. A promise was a promise after all.
Catherine let out a sigh setting down her stitching. She glanced at the clock,closing time. Catherine blew to the side the light brown bangs that had swept into her face and stood brushing bits of fabric of her skirt. She put away the coat she was mending for Mr. Adams, a frequent customer who always seemed to rip his coat arms on the oddest objects, this time it had been a tree in the park. His wife always was most unsatisfied when she came to the shop requesting it be mended. Catherine always gave her a polite smile which she returned with a scornful look. 'Such a spiteful women' Catherine always thought to herself when they encountered each other.
Announcing she was taking her leave to her boss Ms. Mccarthy, she took her pay and left; slipping on her coat as she walked out the door the bell ringing as she went her hand bag in her other arm. Catherine was fixed on buttoning her coat as walked in the thought what to serve for dinner that night that she didn't realize where she was going and with a thump ran into something or rather someone. She blinked registering herself falling back from impact and a hand shooting out to catch her. Her pale blue eyes met the intent stare of sharp green ones. The person who had caught her was a man with burgundy hair that seemed as if it had never been combed, wearing a black tailcoat that hugged his slim figure, and wore an expression of intense thought. Catherine flinched as his grip tightened to keep her from falling. "Do you recognize this substance?" he inquired pulling out a handkerchief that was streaked with black similar to coal dust. He extended it out to her as he still held her from falling. Catherine blinked glancing at the substance about to say that it was coal but then seeing it glinted slightly she reached out and took the handkerchief sniffing it. "Lubricating Grease, from the metal plant?" She asked remember one of her friends husbands telling her of the grease that had been invented that worked more efficiently to lubricate the machinery at the metal plant downtown.
He stared at her a long moment and then his eyes widened. He yanked her up and she let out a cry at the pain in her arm. "How could I have been so stupid!" He cried."
"Oi, if you're going to help someone up don't yank their arm out of it's socket," Catherine snapped rubbing her arm sorely.
The man blinked," Oh...my apologize madame."
He then took her hand and her eyes widened as he gently planted a kiss on it. "You've been most helpful. Might I suggest vegetable soup," He commented.
"What?" Catherine blinked.
"You were mumbling about dinner, it is nearing supper time, and you seem to be in a rush judging by the miss-buttoning of your petticoat. Vegetable soup is simple enough to prepare in a short time. With that I bid you a good evening Miss," he said bowing his head and turned continuing down the street.
A blond boy came running after the man passing Catherine so quickly he skirt swayed from his wake having to run to keep up with the older man's pace shouting,"Mr. Duran wait!"
Catherine watched the two leave,holding her hand, her mouth hanging open. What an odd man this fellow was. Catherine shook her head and turned to continue making her journey home.
Vegetable soup did sound nice.