I am still shaking – though whether it is with emotion at hearing from Mama or anger at Josiah’s attitude I cannot be sure. I have not sent word to Papa yet and, despite my resolve to say nothing of recent events to Josiah, I have been such a worry-piece that he could not help but notice. My attempts at dismissing his questions failed and I was forced to tell him exactly why I have been so distracted. I love my husband dearly and do not wish to be a cause of concern to him – it is my job to rid him of thoughts that may aggrieve him, after all. So when he demanded that I tell him what my ‘obvious secret’ was, I could not deny him.
Needless to say, he was not as excited by my news as I had hoped. After listening to me for a good few minutes he began to rage and storm about the room – I became quite concerned that Villiers would knock to see what was afoot. Josiah shouted about charlatans and crooks in such an agitated manner that I had to promise I would never go to Highgate again, not on any premise. He has forbidden me to discuss that evening with anyone – especially Papa – and was unnecessarily cruel in his assertion that I had been taken for an idiot by the lady I saw.
I suppose it is possible that I may have been the victim of a terrible hoax. Josiah seems surprisingly knowledgeable on the subject of extortion and fraud and I am lucky that he wishes to protect me – but I cannot think the woman to have been so devious. After all, she spoke to Mama – I heard her do so. No, I am sure my husband is mistaken. I shall visit this lady again – but I will wait until Josiah is back supping with the Cornbenches at Blindingham before I do.
Silly Effie, how I've missed you!