“But mother,” Madeline cried. “I love him most ardently.”
“I do not care about your love,” her mother said. “And neither should you. You are a daughter of Rosehead Hall. You are the heiress to an enormous estate. You must have a husband to match such wealth. Pierre Belmont is not such a man.”
“He is a good man.”
“He is a lawyer,” her mother pointed out. “They are not good men.”
“He is good,” Madeline insisted. “And I will marry him… even if…” she paused and wondered if she even dared to say what she had long believed to be the bane of women’s chances to live in suitable society. There was a chance that if her mother did not agree to her marrying the love of her life, that Madeline would take up Pierre’s proposal and flee north to Scotland to get a marriage. Elopement was a scandalous thing. Madeline was sure to be disinherited but there was a part of her that did not care for that. She loved Pierre more than her wealth, more than the approval of her mother in most cases. She was more than willing to do the extreme to be with the man that she loved– even if it cost her everything else.
“Even if what?” asked her mother in a scoffing voice. “Do you think that he will marry you in secret and shame if you are cut off? For that is what I shall endeavour to do if you continue with the ludicrous scheme. You shall inherit nothing you shall be all alone in the world. Your beloved Pierre will not love you without your money.”
“Mother that is a lie,” Madeline cried out. “He loves me for me, I know it.”
And without saying another word and without being excused by her mother, Madeline left the drawing room of Rosehead Estate and the house entirely. She was determined to seek out Pierre. She was determined to find her love and tell her of her mother’s refusal. She found him where she always found him, out on the moors, by a stream that boasted the most beautiful site for a picnic.
“Madeline my love,” he cooed as he saw her coming. “I had hoped to see you today.”
“Oh Pierre, Pierre,” she cried as she collapsed on the ground. “It is the most horrible thing in the whole world.”
“What is it my love?” he asked. “What has got you so distraught?”
“My mother has refused to sanction our marriage. She will cut me off if we go through with it.”
“I do not care for you money Madeline,” Pierre insisted. “I would marry you if you were the daughter of a pig farmer, so long as you would have me with what little I would be able to give you.”
“You have given me your love,” Madeline said. “That is all I need.”
And so, on the plains of the moors, with a biting wind at their backs, Madeline and Pierre promised to be with each other for the rest of their days, no matter the obstacles that would be thrown in their way.