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MORE than once did Elizabeth, in her ramble within the park,
unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy. She felt all the perverseness of the
mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought,
and, to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him
at first that it was a favorite haunt of hers. How it could occur a
second time, therefore, was very odd! Yet it did, and even the
third. It seemed like willful ill-nature, or a voluntary penance, for
on these occasions it was not merely a few formal inquiries and an
awkward pause and then away, but he actually thought it
necessary to turn back and walk with her. He never said a great
deal, nor did she give herself the trouble of talking or of listening
much; but it struck her in the course of their third rencontre that he
was asking some odd unconnected questions-about her pleasure in
being at Hunsford, her love of solitary walks, and her opinion of
Mr. and Mrs. Collins’s happiness; and that in speaking of Rosings
and her not perfectly understanding the house, he seemed to
expect that whenever she came into Kent again she would be
staying there too. His words seemed to imply it. Could he have
Colonel Fitzwilliam in his thoughts? She supposed, if he meant
anything, he must mean an illusion to what might arise in that
quarter. It distressed her a little, and she was quite glad to find
herself at the gate in the pales opposite the Parsonage.

She was engaged one day as she walked in reperusing Jane’s last
letter, and dwelling on some passage which proved that Jane had
not written in spirits, when, instead of being again surprised by
Mr. Darcy, she saw on looking up that
Colonel Fitzwilliam was meeting her. Putting away the letter
immediately and forcing a smile, she said“I did not know before
that you ever walked this way.” “I have been making the tour of
the park,” he replied, “as I generally do every year, and intend to
close it with a call at the Parsonage. Are you going much farther?”
“No, I should have turned in a moment.” And accordingly she did
turn, and they walked towards the Parsonage together.

“Do you certainly leave Kent on Saturday?” said she.
“Yes-if Darcy does not put it off again. But I am at his disposal. He
arranges the business just as he pleases.” “And if not able to please
himself in the arrangement, he has at least great pleasure in the
power of choice. I do not know anybody who seems more to enjoy
the power of doing what he likes than Mr. Darcy.” “He likes to
have his own way very well,” replied Colonel Fitzwilliam. “But so
we all do. It is only that he has better means of having it than many
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