When I woke today, I couldn't quite persuade myself to get up and start with my usual morning habits. Harriet was gone, visiting her family. When the moment of farewell came, I was mentally frozen. I wished her and Clive a good journey, thanked them for their visit (and they in return thanked us for our hospitality and kindness) - all very formal phrases in completely unformal behaviour. My dearest friend did hold me tight for a considerable amount of time. A thought crossed my mind that Lord C would harrumph at the sight of this, but he didn't and I was glad... - so my mind was then singularly occupied with the fact of their leaving. It was after the coach had long vanished, when I realized that I was still staring after her. Even Lord C was still outside. We went for a walk then, which woke me from my lethargy. Then I was frightened. No time to compose and to rethink all I prepared for such a moment.
But alas! the Miss H. and her mother came to call and took me for a drive.
We had quite a nice visit after all. Though there's not much going on in the village, Miss H's mother always finds some kind of news and via her daughter we had our share of the gossip. It is said that there's an estate to be sold at the border of the county. And though it is only a rumour, Mrs. H seems to know a great deal about them. A rich merchant family from Carlisle wishes to move into the neighbourhood. I conceive that the bespoken estate must be Stackney Hall near the insignificant village Burton Stackney. I have heard about it before when Lord C and Mr O spoke about estate business. It is an mansion owned by the son of an impoverished Cumbrian family. A little more than 500 acres and the merchants will become gentry. But no one is talking about what will happen to the current owner. – When I went back and came to a home without my guests, I felt very lonely and stayed in my room. How will I be able to face him!?