Mission statement

Sydney Walk
May 4th 1853

Boo has proved to be the trustworthy companion I always knew she was. I rushed to see her earlier today, with much on my mind to discuss with her. I could not put up with Josiah’s ranting any more and was in sore need of a friendly ear – I know Boo does not hold Josiah in high regard but am not disposed to display much wifely loyalty to him of late. His mood since we returned from Blindingham has become blacker by the day. I have tried my very best to support him and help soothe whatever it is that is troubling him but he will have none of my ministrations, preferring instead to barge about the place and bark at the staff. I could bear that, I suppose, but I shall not be spoken to like that myself. So when he began to turn his dark demeanour towards me, I fled for the sanctuary of Boo’s bosom (which is prodigious at the moment, I could hardly keep from staring at it).

I told Boo how struck with terror we all are when Josiah is at home at present – Villiers has taken to whimpering whenever he hears a door opening and the woman who cooks for us can be heard weeping throughout the day. Really, it is more than I should have to bear! Boo agreed with me and was anxious to connect Josiah’s behaviour with the contents of that note from the Girl. I had not thought to assume his friend’s death was still at the root of Josiah’s bear-headedness – Boo thought that unlikely, too. It occurred to me that I was not actually sure that the note had indeed contained the sad news I envisaged. Boo stifled another one of her looks and urged me to try and ascertain the contents of the note – she is sure that it does not bear the news I had imagined.

We had a fine afternoon and a new form of sweet bread made with coconut – I think it was mixed with milk or somesuch but whatever it was was divine – and now I am back in our rooms, determined to search Josiah’s things to find that note. Whatever news it does in fact contain, I shall be prepared and will make Josiah aware that I understand – but do not condone – his subsequent behaviour. He is a silly man for not trusting me with it in the first instance. I am his wife – what am I for, if not to tend to him and ease his pain?

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