Tenterhooks


B’grave Square
February 10th 1852

I hoped for happy news from home, but it is not to be. Mrs Everdown has written to tell us that Cook has been taken to a sanatorium in Horsham. She was found in the entrance hall in a state of semi-consciousness by Jennet, who had brought up a brace of pheasants for her to prepare. Jennet rode for the doctor, who declared Cook to be parlously undernourished and in need of total bedrest for a month. Josiah has sent Villiers back to see what is to be done with the staff and I am to prepare myself for resumption of my Mistress duties there, he says. I do not wish to go, especially now that I have such responsibilities to my charity, but Blindingham is my home and our fortune. I cannot tell Josiah precisely why I am reluctant to leave London early, so I must hope that Villiers returns with sufficient confidence that I can stay here until our scheduled rustication. Which is not until June, I think.

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