Steerforth arrived at Dr. Beartholomew's cottage at the designated hour.
"So good to see you again Steerforth. It has been a long time old chum."
"Glad you arrived home safely. How was your journey?"
"Amazing! I made many important discoveries, amongst other things. But we have plenty of time to discuss my research in the future. There is a much more pressing topic of which we need to speak before the ball."
Steerforth's fur fluffed a bit over the last statement. Could Georgiana's fears be real?"
"Steerforth, as you know invitations have been issued to many of the bears in our town for an upcoming ball. With the immense success and discoveries made during my trip I felt the need to celebrate with my fellow bears. However, something, or should I say someone, has contributed to my findings and I need to enlist your help in handling the situation."Steerforth's heart beat faster within his mohair chest. Surely Dr. Beartholomew would not be so brazen as to ask his help in breaking his sister's heart!"I traveled with a bear from across the pond, Dr. Bearpaws. She specializes in the study of the rare blue bear. Aside from being scholarly she is quite beautiful. The ball is to honor not only my discoveries but her invaluable contributions as well. Without her I could never have accomplished my goals. Needless to say, this is where I require your assistance.""Of course, but I'm not sure how I might help."With baited breath Steerforth awaited the favor being asked.Unbeknownst to the two bears Harietta Rabbit was hiding in the bushes outside of the open window of Dr. Beartholomew's study. Listening intently she was enthralled with the juicy story that was developing before her very ears!Excited over what she had heard she muttered to herself,"I knew there was more to this ball than just a friendly gathering! This is the exclusive that will make my career!"Dr. Beartholomew was in love with another bear and she was the first to learn of the secret! Without listening further she hopped from the branch scurrying to her office to type the story and get it to press for the morning news."I need you to escort Dr. Bearpaws, if you please. She is not an overly social bear and the prospect of the press hounding her over our recent discoveries could make for a disastrous evening. I do not want her to fall prey to our more grizzly residents.Relief rushed through Steerforth's cotton stuffed chest."I would be honored to escort her, old friend!"
"Splendid! Now that we have settled that I would like to discuss your sister Georgiana..."