Beginnings

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Mr. Bennett, hand unsteady, pulled the glass stopper from his decanter and hurriedly poured himself a generous measure of whisky.  He gulped it down, feeling the heat pass down his throat and spread out through his body, his veins the conduit for dispersal.

“By Jove,” he wheezed to himself.  It had hit harder than he was expecting.

He prowled through his mansion, glass of whisky in hand, muttering here and there about the dust or the untreated wooden surfaces.  The place absolutely needed a feminine touch, but why not just hire a maid?  Mr. Bennett had no need of love; his sole love had always and would ever be the feel of a weighty purse.

The front door chimed.  Mr. Bennett slouched over to it, took a moment to compose himself, and flung the door wide open.

“Who the devil calls on a gentleman such as myself at an hour such as this?” he bellowed into the night air.

“P-please sir,” came a thin voice, “I am but a lowly maid, here to offer her services to the esteemed Mr. Bennett of Bachelor Grove.”

Mr. Bennett scowled.  He really ought to change the name of his house.

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