It was while they were up north that the small family of three were unexpectedly confronted with a visit with the ‘travelers’, a part of the extended clan that were usually discussed in hush tones in quiet corners, the scandalous behaviour of this kin creating great amusement in their restrained society.
The ‘travelers’ were blood kin to Mrs Q. through a waywaid aunt, and while she enjoyed glorious memories of childhood romps with her cousins, the prospect of meeting as adults was almost too overwhelming. As members of mature society, Mrs Q. and her cousin had indeed chosen greatly varied paths in life. Mrs. Q saw herself much a part of genteel society, raising her daughters through good education with a high focus on the mores of the day. Yet it is a most usual part of genteel society to look downwards on others of perhaps less fortunate circumstance, perceiving it as a slight stain on the family name.
Mrs S., her cousin, had entered mature society very early, after a somewhat disgraceful elopement with Mr S. in a fashion very similar to Mrs. Lydia Bennet Wickham of Meryton. The disgrace to the family was keenly felt, but the family hastened to smile and pretend nothing was askance, with the hope the marriage would smother all gossip through their society.
It was now a good twenty-five years on and the S. clan had generously increased, with five children and their partners and five grandchildren to add. The family would have enjoyed a most reputable name but had taken on a roaming lifestyle, traveling as a gypsy clan of fifteen, with the ever positive Mr S. seeking work along the way. Perhaps the most alarming aspect was that their abodes were not the manors, country houses or cottages to which genteel society was most used to, but were caravans on wheels and canvas tents. The family S would travel from county to county, setting up home wherever required and turning a eager attitude to whatever work was available to hand.
Upon re-acquaintance with Mrs S., Mrs Q. was dutifully shamed to the awkward realisation that her own ownership of snobbery was of far greater shame than the perceived disgrace of a roaming lifestyle. The re-acquaintance was such a delightful affair, ending with many promises of future visitations and the declaration it should not take another twenty five years to occur.