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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

By Phyllis Cooper,2014-11-04 20:15
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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

    Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

    Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

    Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

    CHAPTER 1

    IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want ofmore brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at NetherfieldPark, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the livingdead.

    “My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park isoccupied again?”

    Mr. Bennet replied that he had not and went about his morning business of dagger sharpening andmusket polishing-for attacks by the unmentionables had grown alarmingly frequent in recentweeks.

    “But it is,” returned she.

    Mr. Bennet made no answer.

“Do you not want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently.

    “Woman, I am attending to my musket. Prattle on if you must, but leave me to the defense of myestate!”

    This was invitation enough.

    “Why, my dear, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune; thathe escaped London in a chaise and four just as the strange plague broke through the Manchesterline.”

    “What is his name?”

    “Bingley. A single man of four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!”

    “How so? Can he train them in the ways of swordsmanship and musketry?”

    “How can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”

    “Marriage? In times such as these? Surely this Bingley has no such designs.”

    “Designs! Nonsense, how can you talk so! It is very likely that he may fall in love with oneof them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes.”

    “I see no occasion for that. And besides, we mustn’t busy the roads more than is absolutelynecessary, lest we lose more horses and carriages to the unfortunate scourge that has sotroubled our beloved Hertfordshire of late.”

    “But consider your daughters!”

    “I am considering them, silly woman! I would much prefer their minds be engaged in the deadlyarts than clouded with dreams of marriage and fortune, as your own so clearly is! Go and seethis Bingley if you must, though I warn you that none of our girls has much to recommend them;they are all silly and ignorant like their mother, the exception being Lizzy, who has somethingmore of the killer instinct than her sisters.”

    “Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me.You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”

    “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. Ihave heard of little else these last twenty years at least.”

    Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and self-discipline,that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understandhis character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding,little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herselfnervous. And when she was nervous-as she was nearly all the time since the first outbreak ofthe strange plague in her youth-she sought solace in the comfort of the traditions which nowseemed mere trifles to others.

    The business of Mr. Bennett’s life was to keep his daughters alive. The business of Mrs.Bennett’s was to get them married.

    Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

    CHAPTER 2

    MR. BENNET WAS AMONG the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had always intended tovisit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till theevening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in thefollowing manner. Observing his second daughter employed in carving the Bennett crest in thehandle of a new sword, he suddenly addressed her with:

    “I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy.”

    “We are not in a way to know what Mr. Bingley likes,” said her mother resentfully, “since weare not to visit.”

“But you forget, mamma,” said Elizabeth, “that we shall meet him at the next ball.”

    Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, began scolding oneof her daughters.

    “Don’t keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven s sake! You sound as if you have been stricken!”

    “Mother! What a dreadful thing to say, with so many zombies about!” replied Kitty fretfully.“When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?”

    “To-morrow fortnight.”

    “Aye, so it is,” cried her mother, “and it will be impossible to introduce him, since weshall not know him ourselves. Oh, how I wish I had never heard the name Bingley!”

    “I am sorry to hear that” said Mr. Bennett. “If I had known as much this morning I certainlywould not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, wecannot escape the acquaintance now.”

    The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps surpassingthe rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was whatshe had expected all the while.

    “How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I wassure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! Andit is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word aboutit till now.”

    “Do not mistake my indulgence for a relaxation in discipline,” said Mr. Bennett. “The girlsshall continue their training as ever-Bingley or no Bingley.”

    “Of course, of course!” cried Mrs. Bennett.”They shall be as deadly as they are fetching!”

    “Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose,” said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he leftthe room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife.

    “What an excellent father you have, girls!” said she, when the door was shut. “Such joys arescarce since the good Lord saw fit to shut the gates of Hell and doom the dead to walk amongstus. Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you atthe next ball.”

    “Oh!” said Lydia stoutly, “I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I’m also the mostproficient in the art of tempting the other sex.”

    The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon Mr. Bingley would return Mr.Bennet’s visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.

    Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

    CHAPTER 3

    NOT ALL THAT Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on thesubject, was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley.They attacked him in various ways-with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distantsurmises; but he eluded the skill of them all, and they were at last obliged to accept thesecond-hand intelligence of their neighbour Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. SirWilliam had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, and, to crownthe whole, he meant to be at the next ball with a large party. Nothing could be moredelightful!

    “If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield,” said Mrs. Bennet toher husband, “and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for.”

    “And if I can see all five of them survive England’s present difficulties, then neither shallI,” he replied.

    In a few days Mr. Bingley returned Mr. Bennet’s visit, and sat about ten minutes with him inhis library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, ofwhose beauty and fighting skill he had heard much; but he saw only the father. The ladies weresomewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of ascertaining from an upper window thathe wore a blue coat, rode a black horse, and carried a French carbine rifle upon his back-quitean exotic weapon for an Englishman. However, from his clumsy wielding of it, Elizabeth wasquite certain that he had little training in musketry or any of the deadly arts.

    An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Bennet planned thecourses that were to do credit to her

    housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be intown the following day, and, consequently, unable to accept the honour of their invitation,etc. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have intown so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little bystarting the idea of his being gone to London only to retrieve a large party for the ball; anda report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with himto the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted by hearingthat instead of twelve he brought only six with him from London-his five sisters and a cousin.And when the party entered the ball, it consisted of only five altogether-Mr. Bingley, his twosisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man.

    Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy,unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion, but little inthe way of combat training. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but hisfriend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome