I am astounded that I have not received so much as a thank you from Boo for looking after her precious child. Not a note, nor any flowers despite my having fed and coddled him all the while she was on her sick bed. She is in severe danger of my never speaking to her again. Indeed were it not for the boy himself and the Press I would be glad to cut her out of my life completely. I shall speak to Mrs Doughty to find out what happened while I was away to make Boo take LB back.
Josiah has sent word that a man from the village is claiming that he has seen Cook. He went to the Hall as Josiah was walking over the Orangery – what there is of it – with a surveyor and told him that he had found Cook in a distressed condition, walking half dressed along the lane towards Lydiatt. He recognised her, he said, from when he used to visit the hall with his father to deliver coal. Apparently she is now staying with this man and his sister in a cottage near St Beverel’s Chapel.
I read Josiah’s note with a lightening heart until I reached the final part. It seems the man will not take Josiah to see Cook, he says she is too frail, but has asked for funds with which to feed and clothe her. Funds indeed! Josiah gave him a few shillings – he is a soft hearted bear and I love him for it – but said he would give no more til he has seen Cook with his own eyes. He is a wise man, too, I am glad to know.
Oh, how weary I am of it all! I am surrounded by self serving ingrates when all I have tried to do is provide succour. I should travel back to Blindingham to visit this sister and find Cook – but I am loth to put myself out for anyone any more. I have had my fill of people taking advantage of my good nature.