Dice Man


B’grave Square
February 23rd 1852

I am so happy in these rooms we have been in this Winter. Last year was a little busier, I suppose, with tea parties and the excitement of Boo’s baby arriving, but now I feel content just to gaze down on the square from our parlour window for an hour at a time. There are all manner of passers by and I like to amuse myself by speculating about their purpose as they travel from one corner to another. Some of them sweep majestically as if someone’s life depended on them, others stroll aimlessly as if they have nowhere special to go. There are some who appear at the same time each day, some who can be relied upon to walk past once a week and still more who wander back and forth. This latter set can walk past our house up to ten times a day! What can they be thinking of?

I am fondest of a little man who dances along with a cheerful wave for everyone he meets. Each person who passes him is rewarded with a wink and a smile and, often, a snatch of a tune he seems to have invented. It is not one I recognise, I am sure. I make a point of noting who waves back and who dismisses him because I have decided that it is the best way of determining someone’s character. If my little man is ignored, I take a dislike to the person immediately – and I warm to anyone who answers his twinkle with a likewise wave. After a whole afternoon of watching these exchanges I count up how many responses he has received. If there were more smiles than scowls I will eat cake for supper. And if the scowlers win, I eat thin soup.

I must arrange to see Boo soon. I must discuss Papa’s wishes with her. Much as I love these rooms, I do need to be outdoors a little more often.

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