“Sir, I have caught sight of snail mail delivery. He is at the end of the lane and should arrive sometime in the next few hours.”
Sidney, the snail mail carrier, was in the distance trudging through the snow.
“Perhaps it’s Georgiana!” Steerforth exclaimed.
“So soon? I thought we had more time before her return!” Pearl declared.
Keep in mind no distinct time of arrival was given, or should I say delivery, so this could very well be her.”
Turning to his butler, “Hobbs, my good fellow, go help Sidney with the package. It could take all day at his snail’s pace.”
Befuddled by the request Hobbs replied indignantly, “Go out in the snow in my bear paws? I think not sir!
Confound it! I am a butler not a mail carrier!”
And with that he left the room.
“Steerforth, shouldn’t you persuade Hobbs to go? After all, he answers to you not the other way around.” Burl said delicately.
“He’s a good chap who goes above and beyond the call of duty in most cases. He must have his pride you know. Whatever is in the package will be revealed soon enough. Let’s have another round of tea while we wait.”
The whispered murmur of Sidney’s slinking locomotion signaled his arrival. As the sound of the bell pealed through the halls Hobbs scooted hurriedly to usher in the delivery.
Breathless from his trek Sidney mumbled, "Good day Hobbs. Sorry for the delay but I'm feeling a bit sluggish today. I have a delivery for Sir Beartram."
"I'll see that he receives it"
Signing for the package Hobbs closed the door as Sidney meandered back down the snowy path.
“Sir, a package has arrived.” Hobbs announced.
All the bears gathered round as Steerforth carefully opened the box. As the lid was lifted everyone peered inside when a manicured paw jutted out from oodles of paper wadding startling the furry onlookers.
"Some assistance would be appreciated!" a muffled voice chirped from within. Purging the layers of packing Steerforth helped the traveller out of the box.
"Georgiana! You're here! We were not expecting you so soon."
"I wanted to surprise you so I was sent by way of expedited post" she said as she hugged her brother.
Burl and Pearl joined in on the welcome before Pearl blurted out, "My goodness it is splendid to have you home but you gave us no time to prepare for your arrival."
"Oh Pearl, always the party planner. This is exactly why I chose snail mail as a means of travel. I wanted no fuss made over my return. However, I did receive a letter prior to my departure that Victoria Bearwell will be paying us a visit quite soon."
Several button eyes rolled before Burl spoke, "Hmmm...I guess we need to start stocking up on tea."
"Burl, must you be so crass? You know she means well." Georgiana retorted.
"Means well? Honestly Georgiana, you are too kind at times. After all, she is just like..."
Before he finished his statement Steerforth chimed in, "Enough about Victoria's upcoming visit. Georgiana is home and we should celebrate!"
They gathered in the parlor and rang for Hobbs to bring a fresh pot of tea and scones. Georgiana was sharing the adventures of her travels when a strange feeling ran through Pearl causing the mohair on her neck to stand on end.
Noticing her discomfort Georgiana queried, "Are you alright Pearl, you look a bit fluffed."
"I think so I just had a strange sensation, as if something were watching me...