Renewals


24 Belgrave Square (!)
October 28th 1851

I have had the most delightful day. I walked to Boo’s house – Villiers walked with me but at a distance, thankfully, so we had no need of noodling conversation. Papa has insisted that I do not walk unaccompanied in London, lest that loathsome man who is pretending to be Josiah should accost me. I do feel safer knowing that Villiers would willingly throw himself on any man that approached me, so I am grateful for Papa’s advice. Josiah gave a dismissive snort when I told him that I was afraid of this imposter. He is brave man to thumb his nose in the face of such a vile character, I cannot but admire his valour.

Boo was delighted to see me, as I was to see her. And how Little Bradstone has grown – he is quite the little man. He does not walk yet but he smiles and waves with great charm. I have not seen him since the Ball but he seems strangely familiar to me with his nose and his chin, bless him.

She had invited Mrs Doughty and Miss Guiser – how warmly they greeted me, I was almost overcome. We took tea and talked about all manner of things. I felt positively metropolitan and have left the villager in me behind at Blindingham. Here, I am a woman of importance.

Boo enquired constantly about the Girl although I had tried my hardest to reassure her that they need never meet. She seems unable to let the matter lie. She expressed surprise that I did not know the address of Josiah’s associate and was astounded when I told her that I thought the child was being cared for by an underservant at the Hall. Perhaps she thinks of being parted from Little Bradstone and it is that thought which exercises her so. I do wish she would forget that terrible incident.

Josiah was absent when I returned to our rooms, but he came back with such a clattering later in the evening that I thought at first he was being chased. He threw open the main door, and ran upstairs like a man possessed, calling my name all the time. I was quite excited by his passion as he approached me in the dressing room where I was preparing to retire. It transpired that he was anxious to ensure that my jewel case was safe and that its contents were all in place. I think, knowing him as I do, that he is more concerned about that imposter than he likes to confess. I love him all the more for his trying to make light of it so as not to worry me.

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