YOUR BASTARD BABY IS NOT WELCOME IN THIS HOUSE!
After childbearing in a remote French convent in the year 1899, fourteen year old Lady Constance Witherspoon returned to England with her surviving illegitimate twin, Beth. Her twin sister was buried at the convent in France.
"Why did you bring the infernal thing home? I explicitly told the nuns not to allow you to return with it. Your baby is not welcome here and neither are you, if you do not marry."
"Mother, I've informed the house staff that Beth is my cousin's child. No one will ever know she's mine."
"Beth! You called it Beth. How dare you name her after a relative?"
"Well, my baby's name has already been registered as Lady Elisa Witherspoon, so it cannot be changed. Besides, mother, I do not want to marry any man that I don't love."
"Pah! Love indeed. I've told you before. Love has nothing to do with your baby being a bastard, and it will remain one unless you marry. Constance, I will not have a bastard child in my house. When you marry, we will have to tell people that your husband died in France one week after the ceremony. No one will know any different."
Constance stuck her nose high into the air and left the room.
"Come back here this minute, child! How dare you walk away when I'm talking to you?"
Ingrid was cleaning rugs in the hallway and heard the fracas. She ran to tell the scullery staff. Cook was the first to realize the truth about the baby. "Oh my God, Ingrid. It's the child's own baby she's came home with. We'll have to watch our backs now. Hannah will be beside herself for sure. She'll be on the warpath for anyone who gets in her way."
"I agree with you there, Cook. Nothing's as sure as she'll take it out on us lot. Never did I think Constance would have a baby out of wedlock. She didn't bother with men. Yes, she's fiery, and that's a fact, but she's too young to be a mother."
"I know, Ingrid. What I want to know is, when did she ever leave the manor to get pregnant in the first place?"
"Hey, you're right there! I don't think she ever stepped a foot further than the garden alone."
"Ingrid, I've just thought of something. You don't think it was the night when her father..." Her eyes widened.
"Hmm. You got a point there, Cook. We thought he just beat her, but it makes sense. What other man's been near the girl? The male staff here wouldn't lay a hand on her."
Word about Beth escaped the manor, and all hell broke loose as the community flurried with gossip. People called Constance a common harlot. Furious about the whole affair, Hannah snarled at her daughter, "If you had listened to me in the first place and got married, there would be nothing for them to gossip about."
"I don't care about their tittle-tattle, mother. We hardly ever see anyone, so why should I let gossip mar my joyful motherhood? Besides, they're just people from the common herd and not well-bred, as we are."
Hannah shrieked, "Well, I care what people say! Why in precious name did you bring your infernal child into this house, when I explicitly told you not to? I knew they would eventually discover the truth. Our family name has been blackened enough."
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