JANE IN SPACE
Miss Polly Connor
Chapter 21 – “Oh, Miss Austen! I’m your biggest fan!”
That he should so readily recognise one of these faded stars of their time, at last! That he was making his introductions with such an elaborate formality, something from a bygone age. From Miss Austen’s own age, perhaps. And Miss Austen, too, looked a little taken aback.
Jon was a man of great natural civility — a little hard-won, perhaps, after his raw rude irruption into an uncaring galaxy, and all the more cherished by him because of it. But not over-elaborate in his manner, not ostentatious or time-wasting in unnecessary courtesies.
But now, no civility seemed quite great enough. If he had been a man to kiss a lady’s hand, then he would have done so, and it was a damned close-run thing anyhow. “It is a very great honour to have you as a guest aboard our little vessel, ma’am,” he substituted.
Possibly he was flushing a little, from the consciousness that he had very nearly bowed over a lady’s hand. “Your name goes before you,” he added, only slightly awkwardly. “I am a great personal admirer of your work.”
And this delicate, slightly prim-looking little woman, gazed up at him as if he were a great exotic beast. A little irony there, all things considered.