I am grateful for your swift response to my letter. I was frightened that you might not want to write to me after I was so cross with you.

I am horrified at your account of the Girl’s behaviour towards you. I shall, of course, investigate this further but if what you say is true – and I have no reason as yet to doubt you, my dear – then she can not stay under this roof a moment longer. Indeed, if her actions were threatening to your person or to that of Little Bradstone then I shall have no choice but to involve the constabulary.

I have made Josiah aware of your complaint against the Girl. He paled visibly when I told him how she flew at you as if to scratch your face. He is as anxious as I am for this sorry business to be settled and forgotten.

So, for now, be assured that I shall take steps to punish the Girl if I find there to be enough evidence to persuade Josiah of my intentions. He is strangely attached to that scrawny child of hers but I shall take great pleasure in sending them away if I can.

Give my best to Mr Pitt and tell him I hope he has recovered from the Ball. He seemed quite weary and distracted when I met him on the top lawns after his chat with Josiah. I was concerned for a while since he did not appear to recognise me, but his familiarity with me soon returned. I was greatly relieved when he held my arm tight and told me to take care – how funny that until that moment I had thought him quite indifferent to me. Now I know that the sight of me can rouse him to strong feeling. Do send him my personal regards, Boo.


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