Disaster has struck! A proper correspondent would give you a preparatory paragraph here lest you be shocked by the main content of this letter, but the truth is I cannot wait to say it – Josiah’s business venture has crumbled to dust!

He had been visiting the factory less often for the last few days – as a result of a womanly wile I employed whilst in want of some company – and yesterday he came clattering home to tell me that the factory had been closed while he was not there!

It seems his associates had looked at some recent accounts and decided the business could not continue. They blamed the cost of construction materials, he said, and said that their other investors had lost confidence in this underground transport system they were building. So Mr Price laid off all the workers and locked the gates, according to Josiah. There will be some resolution soon – they have called an investors meeting for next week – but it is a great shock to Josiah and to me.

So now I have a husband who is both more present and more grumpy than ever before. Which is not what I wished for at all.

Josiah is adamant that the underground system will be successful in the future and is consoling himself with lodging some patents in the meanwhile. I am sure he will bounce back from this soon – he is not a man given to self-pity. Had he been so, I should never have married him.

I shall still be free to come to the Press on Tuesday – I understand Papa is very taken with the commitment Mrs Doughty shows to those girls, Boo, although he never speaks of it directly to me. I can tell by a renewed vigour he has shown lately. He is not the irascible man he has been since we lost Mama.

Anyway, til Tuesday!


Effie xx

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