Papa’s Strange Request


I have had the most extraordinary exchange with Papa and I must share it with you. I wonder whether you will make more sense of it than I could. I shall record it here exactly as it unfolded, since I am unable to interpret it with any clarity…..

Papa: “Euphemia, I have a request to make of you which I trust you will indulge.”

(He only calls me Euphemia when he is cross with me, Boo, so you can imagine my consternation at his opening address.)

Me: “Of course, Papa, I shall be happy to undertake any course of action you require of me”

(I decided to respond with as much dignity as I could, although I was really quite unsettled by now.)

Papa: “I wish you to introduce me to the Lady who runs your publishing house.”

Me: “Mrs Doughty?”

Papa: “If that is her name, then yes, Mrs Doughty.”

Me: “I am sure she would be delighted to make your acquaintance, Papa. May I enquire why you would like to meet her?”

Well when I asked him that, Boo, he gave me a very stern look and his mouth began to twitch. He stood up and walked to my window so that the rest of the conversation was conducted with his back to me.

Papa: “Euphemia, I am your father. I do not expect to have to explain myself to you.”

Me: “Of course not, Papa, I simply….”

Papa: “Do not interrogate me further! I have asked you to effect an introduction to this Mrs Doughty and I shall conduct the rest of my business directly with her. Now, might I be able to trust that a daughter will respect her father’s wishes?”

Me: “Certainly, Papa. I shall send her a note immediately.”

Papa: “Thank you. Please be kind enough to impress upon her the urgency of my desire to meet with her.”

Me: “I will tell her that, Papa.”

Papa: “Excellent. I do not wish you to accompany me when I visit the Press, on that or any other occasion. Indeed I see no reason for you and I to refer to this matter again.”

Well, Boo, what do you make of that? He was not cross with me after all, I think, but he was quite distant. Why does he want to meet Mrs Doughty, and alone? Why was he so cold towards me?

Please tell me what your impressions are for I am quite bemused.


Effie xx

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