It is important to act without attracting attention. Fred's lover has not yet made any claims for her daughter and according to Max she is not aware of her lover's fortune and position in society. I daresay, if Fred was married to her, he intended to keep her in the dark about his person and marry Emmeline nonetheless. Mr P is beside himself and had to be calmed by his son, who accuses himself for not having intervened in the whole engagement procedure. My father-in-law now told me, that Emmeline had objected to this engagement from the start, of which I'm glad to know.
She repeatedly told me, she was unsure of his conduct and didn't want to marry him.If he only had listened to her wishes and acquiesced to bring her back home. Nothing embarrassing like being the fiancée of a demised gentleman would have happened to her. And she might have been happier at Wortham without this marriage being forced upon her. 'Cause nothing else it is (to her). She must think herself entrapped since she escaped my brother. And I'm guilty...
And my dear angel knows of her former fiancé's amours. What will now become of her opinion of him, my family and finally me!? I had the vain hope, she was warming up towards me and regarded me as her companion in life; but now all this is doomed and lost and I'm vexed to no bounds... If this had happened in my house, I had thrown Mrs F out of it with my own hands!
The Fairweathers were here as well and without any warning it burst out what no London gossip could make up in decades! - All the eyes turned on me and I knew within that very moment, that first: Harriet knew more than she had told me before and second, that my husband's eyes burned with anguish.
Due to the unusual cause of this meeting and the curiosity of it's origins and turn-outs, they left me in peace, were civil and all the dark clouds seemed to have been above Maxwell. It was noisy in Mr F's library and we ladies were discussing the possible connexions - to no avail.
Morning - when I woke up, the weather promised our almost immediate departure from Brackenthwaite. I longed to get on and towards Cresford. Harriet must be craving for her Clive. I am curious how she will proceed with her brother. Jeremiah instead understood it to remind me of the meeting with the rest of my family. I haven't thought of that at all. All I had thought of was the mystery about Harriet's family. Now I am anxious. I do not wish to face them. Not entirely because I haven't answered their letters, but being a guest in their house won't make it easier to run from their curiosity and constant inquiries after my marriage life. Oh, my Lord! Mrs P is with child again and it will make her an insufferable companion! - I have to persuade Lord C to stay somewhere else. But where!? Or to leave posthaste?
The carriage is ready, we're leaving.
Night - It was somewhat relieving to finally reunited at Cresford. The journey thither was so quite and tense, that I longed for fresh air and a walk. Harriet literally jumped into Mr O's arms and was clearly happy to have her husband back without any duel with her brother. I wasn't sure about an upcoming duel between her and Maxwell, but the outcome wouldn't be that surprising. My dear friend tortured her brother with her eyes. I wouldn't pity him anyway.
I had a room next to Lord C, who very eagerly helped me out of the carriage. After I had changed we all met again for dinner, but I wasn't in the mood for much talking. There weren't many details about what happened between the families that I didn't knew yet. The only thing I was longing for was exercise. - Jeremiah looked after Maxwell, and Lord C and I took the opportunity for a walk with the Osbertons. They were a bit behind us; I must have been quite fast. Even Lord C, though quiet, had not expected this briskness.
Alas, they have come. And indeed it was the weather which delayed their journey and had them imprisoned at Brackenthwaite for three days.
Mr F was ashamed to face his sister who punished him with pointed remarks and her indifference. She literally flew into her husbands arms when the ladies alighted form their coach and my heart skipped a beat, when Emmeline got out, smiled at me and gave me her hand. I sincerely hope I greeted her the way I intended it to be, but she didn't talk much at dinner today.
On arriving at Cresford Inn, I couldn't get any information of the whereabouts of J, Mrs O and Emmeline. The inn keeper told me of some stormy nights and that they were probably delayed on their way hither. I'm worried. It is past ten and they wouldn't be on any road at this time of night. I will have to be content to wait until the morning and if they're not here by luncheon, I'm going to check any inn on the road to Penrith.
Fortunately I had the good sense of taking my journal with me on this mission. And unfortunately this affair must be solved discretely, otherwise I would have asked Littledale for his help. But in this case it is Mr O who decides about the procedure.
I am glad we found Mr. Fairweather and I am also looking forward to be home again (in the near future). Going to Wortham is not actually an event I am looking forward to; but at least we have Jeremiah on our side. It is Emmeline I am worried about, as she is not even inclined to write to her family and the letters I receive on her account are not very assuring of the Porter's benevolence towards us; or me, in this case. - I wouldn't dream of isolating her from her family and J supports her attitude of being somewhat angry with them. Alas, he is now convinced of my worth being her husband, which hadn't been so at the beginning. I can understand his prejudices, as my brother was not a very gentlemanly fellow. I won't give up hope, that my wife will come to that conclusion herself one day...
We will reach Cresford tomorrow night and Mr O and I will have Jeremiah to support us with Mr F, who becomes more and more nervous by getting closer to Wortham. Mr O is a bit anxious of Maxwell trying to flee, but I think as a former soldier I will just knock him unconscious until we're there. I want this to be over and I want to see my wife again. It is strange to be away from her, though we're not exactly together at home. She took over her part as mistress of our house and that.............................. well, I'm beginning to over-estimate what I hope will come out in the end...
Later today we had tea and some biscuits. - Why is it, one is always eating when bored or condemned to do nothing? - We had nothing with us to seriously occupy ourselves; not a book or cards or anything else. There wasn't any afternoon I can remember, when I was last so bored. After a while we had no topic of conversation which lead us, or better to say Jeremiah, around what I was really wanting to talk about and subsequently we felt into silence; which was again very awkward. But alas my Harriet had the good idea of engaging me into plans to go to Bath this summer and Jeremiah thought it a wonderful idea. I discretely tried to talk him out of his fast idea of joining us there with his family. Please! No summer holiday with Mrs P!!!
Jeremiah arrived today on horseback. He vouched he stopped at an Inn last night and is quite well, but he is doubtless exhausted. At first it was awkward to have him at our home, but after he had some luncheon and refreshed himself for a while upstairs, he joined me in the music room and chatted eagerly about our family back home, his little son and annoying wife. He seriously confessed his dislike on her temper when with child. Outrageous! But he's my brother, my dear Jeremiah... And on the other hand I wondered why he is annoyed with her moods only when pregnant; I think her insufferable all the time.
Mama and Papa are well; that I know, I get regular accounts on that (together with endless inquiries on my 'state'). J and Mrs P visited Patsy, but stayed not for long, as it was unbearably noisy and chaotic. He hadn't seen Violet since I married and can only suppose her well and very occupied with partying at friend's houses here and there and staying at all possible fashionable places all over the country.
He finally went on to the topic most interesting to me: what they were achieving in town and Harmondsworth. When they finally encountered Harriet's brother, they were surprised to find him in utterly unexpected circumstances. J didn' t give me details on how exactly unexpected they were but asked me to be patient as my husband wanted to - how did he put it? - protect me. Now I am surprised. What have I to do with it to need protection!? He is Harriet's brother and I would think her and her family the first to be affected by his actions and conduct... Jeremiah is not very gifted in distracting my curiosity. His tale had quite the opposite effect. But I'll be tame and wait for Lord C to explain it once and for all and after that, I want:
1) return home as soon as possible
2) don't waste any thought on Frederick and Max any more and
3) making efforts in attaining my husband's friendship
We are preparing to go to Wortham. I had a letter from my brother informing me, that he will come to Leyland and accompany us there. Lord C and Clive will meet us at Cresford and from there we will go together. It is most mysterious as neither Jeremiah nor Harriet told me what all the stealthiness is about. I know when someone is keeping something from me. They act strange and it is so obvious they are hiding important information. But I am not yet worried. They are all well and they come together. So no duel between Max and Lord C or Clive. We all will be reunited and all will be well.
The only thing I am not looking forward is to see my family again. They surely will besiege me with thousand inappropriate questions!
My darling Harriet,
three days we have been here and after some misinterpreted directions, we found your brother and are now negotiating with him his return to your family and him issuing a statement what happened, after which we will leave him with your father to unravel their problems.
I miss you and it will take us some days to come to Cumberland. I will send you notice on time to meet us, so we can go to Wortham together.
I don't know how much I should tell you so far; everything is quite a mess and scandalous. I beg you, as does Lord Cartwright, not to consign anything to her Ladyship until we know the whole story and can prevent anything becoming public knowledge.
When we came to the village, we first went to the wrong house, presuming your brother to stay with a respectable family of somehow his own state. But no one at the Manor Farm had any idea of who Max was and we returned to the Inn.
Lord Cartwright and Mr. Porter were discussing further steps with Mr. Tredwell, when I went to the shop across the road to buy some writing supplies (I forgot mine in town, being muddleheaded as usual). There I heard a maid asking for something her master had ordered and how she had called him Mr. Maxwell. I pretended to know him and told her what a surprise it was to find him here as I was on my way to town. She was quite an innocent creature and asked me, if my friend was really Mr. Fred Maxwell. - Darling, I am dumb-funded at his impertinence to change his name so abominably.
I had a boy in front of the shop running to call for my friends to meet me at the address the girl had given me. I didn't want to lose time and immediately went with her.
We came to a halt in front of a small, but respectable looking house and the maid let me in to the tiny hall. Not two minutes later I was to enter a salon and stood in front of your brother, holding an infant.
Do not be alarmed, my dear! Though he was speechless and stared at me changing colours instantaneously, nothing worthwhile happened, as the other gentlemen knocked and were let in forthwith. - After some minutes of calming down the strange situation and the woman presumably mistress of that house ordering tea (from the same simple-hearted maid), we learned the baby-girl wasn't your brother's child. But it is worse actually, my love, as it is probably Frederick's and Tredwell post-haste went to find out if they were really married, like the mother vouched (and your brother!)...
Well, my darling, you see now, how important it is not to say a word yet to Lady C. - I will write to you very soon and look forward to embrace you again.
Your loving husband,
I had it brought up to my parlour to mend my lords shirts myself. Though I am not at all talented in mending anything beyond past-time stitching, I'll try this part of housewifely duties now. - I also advised Mrs Lewis to let me look after her masters neck clothes and earned a not very skilfully hidden but still approving smile from her. (I don't know yet, if I should let her get away with it...)
We took the girls out today in our small coaches and the misses enjoyed themselves tremendously. They were cheering at any turn of the road and urged Higgins to go even faster. Harriet, though sometimes a bit pale, and I, had at least the same amount of girlish fun on this adventure.
I had Mrs Lewis prepare some picnic and Tom and Neville were there in time to set it up for us on a small clearing near the stream.
No word from town or Harmondsworth yet...
let me at first assure you, we are all well and are conducting this business as fast as possible. Your brother joins us at our house the day after we arrived and had since supported us in finding Mr F. He wishes me to tell you, that neither your parents nor Mrs O's family was or is involved in any of this. - He will write to you himself.
On the same day we arrived, Mr Tredwell called and we planned our next steps in pursuing Mr F. Our first attempt at Boodle's was fruitless and the only information we acquired was his absence from town. We had Elliott looking everywhere about Mr F's possible whereabouts, as his house is not occupied by any member of his family at the moment and the number of servants limited to the living-ins.
When we met Tredwell yesterday again, we were luckier. Your friend's brother is supposed to be a guest at some place near Harmondsworth, where we will depart to as soon as we have finished all business here in town, Tredwell accompanying us too.
Your brother informed us, that the F's have not heard from their son for at least two months and he hadn't visited since last winter (also not at Mrs O's wedding?)
I sincerely hope, my dear lady, you're well and beg you to convey my warmest regards to Mrs O.
Until that moment, I hadn't realized how I waited for word from my husband. It was a heavy envelope & when I opened it, I knew why: Lord C had sent his letter together with that of Clive to Harriet in one package. He then explained to me, they wanted to be sure we get them at the same time. Leaving tea and rolls aside, we read our letters at once.
When Harriet was to become a mother...
be assured, we safely arrived in town this morning and already found a note by Mr. Tredwell, who would come to see us today. Mr. Osberton will send his own note to Mrs O and just asked me to pass on his regards to you.
As soon as we know more and how we will proceed, I will write to you again. Please trust me to deal with this matter and don't answer any inquiries whatsoever from your family yet.
And I was mroe than assuaged to know, they safely reached town.
When I looked up, I could see Harriet closely examine her note from her husband with slightly more content (but no more information).
As women, we had to sit it out and wait and as far as I made out of Harriet's remarks over breakfast, she hoped the 'gentlemanly manner' in which her Clive had promised (as had Lord C) to deal with her brother, didn't include anything violent.
I had not until that moment thought of this possibility and Lord C's potential involvement into such gentlemanly manners and it struck me, that Frederick might have lost his life in a duel. I noticed a funny prickle inside my stomach and wondered if I feared for my husband's life...
(Harriet did fear for Clive, I don't doubt it. But I don't think it appropriate now to talk this over with her. It wouldn't do any good...)
We were comfortably reading and now and then browsing the shelves for treats of adventures or novels, when I stumbled upon an edition of Mandeville's "Fable of the Bees". Mama had me read it a dozen times and learn it from heart, when I was a child; how I detest that thing!
...containing several discourses, to demonstrate, that human frailties, during the degeneracy of mankind, may be turn'd to the advantage of civil society, and made to supply the place of moral virtues...
Thinking about it, it seems my mother saw me as the black sheep long before my rebellion against this marriage, though I always thought to be a good child... - I sincerely hope, this book was bought by Lord C's parents and not by himself; or I seriously have to watch him carefully...
It was dawn, when I woke with a start. First I couldn't make out what had startled me so. But slowly I remembered the dream and had to sit up straight to digest it.
After breakfast, H and I went into the shrubbery to relish the cherries. I have some very sweet at the moment, as Isaac brought them in after dinner. I would have Mrs Redbourn bake a cherry pie (I still should ask her), but as Lord C isn't here to enjoy it; well, they might return in time for the rest of the fruits to be due.
I am more calmed down now, but in the shrubbery with H analysing my changed disposition towards my husband, I was partly surprised by her accurate and deep observations and, though distracted by the sweet gooseberries, a bit annoyed at myself. It is true, I changed consiberably during Hs absence, which is an unsignificant time frame anyway. But she is my friend and she was right. maybe H didn't expect me to overcome my stubbornness and follow her advice so fast and so soon.
I am glad you decided to see him what he is: your husband, your partner in life, Emmeline. Trust him to be a very good one too. He is not like his brother. Your own dear Jeremiah said so.
I wish I could talk to my brother; I wish, he could be here, but more so I wish him to be with Clive and Lord C in London helping them.
I lost twice at Quadrille and Harriet rather liked to sit with Lady Humberdross, who never played cards or anything...
Sir H was not a good partner for me, as he never remembered which card was trump. After the second lost game I decided to relieve Mrs Kettle from from staying all night behind the harpsichord and, selfishly (i wouldn't lie to myself here), hid behind the instrument. It was soothing not to be bothered by anyone.
When we returned home, H was obviously in a good mood and we had some tea before we went to bed. Whatever Lady H had to tell her, it has brightened her up enormously.
We didn't talk about the latest incidents but about taking a house together in Bath as soon as our husbands would be back again. Making plans as ordinary as that was consoling indeed. - The summer still mainly ahead of us, Harriet desperately wanted to go to the seaside, but not our seaside in Cumberland, she was thinking about the fashionable one.
To day, we set out to visit Ms B as we hadn't been at the service yesterday. It was refreshing to think and talk of something entirely different. Although I hadn't seen her for a week, since last Sunday that is, I was glad she hadn't been at Leyland for a visit and would have observed my strange state of mind. She expressed her surprise of meeting Harriet so soon again and my friend and I decided mutely to let her in to the most general facts of what had happened. I was sure, and so was Harriet I suspect, that Ms B was the last person we coudln't trust and the most sympathetic friend we could find around here. And so it was indeed and Harriet seemed to be rather evidently relieved to have one confidant as supporting and impartial as Ms B.
I hadn't slept well or at all that night and was quite exhausted. I realized him sitting on the edge of my bed, caressing my hair. It is awfully mean of me to be somehow annoyed by his behaviour towards me. I mean, his kind behaviour towards me! How do I deserve it anyway? I am afraid I really begin to like him, as if it is not already enough that I respect him. But his perfect conduct, especially in comparison with his brother, is reminding me all the time, that I am really grateful to be HIS wife and not anybody else's. What a disturbing thing to realize!
The men of course wouldn't inform us about any details, and though we are affected, they will defend their and our honour, in a gentlemanly way...
Despite that, I would like to know what exactly my father knew about all of that mess. He must be roughly informed about something. Jeremiah knows! I begin to suspect anything!
Again, after we all went to our chambers, my husband sought me out in my room. He announced their departure at dawn the following morning and their wish not to lose one minute in investigating how far Max and Fred went in their perfidiously game. He walked about my bedroom, quite nervous, but probably not as nervous as I was.
I had no idea about what I was more anxious: he maybe kissing me again, or... maybe not... and the silly thought of asking him to say goodbye tomorrow morning and some strange inner voice thinking for whatever reason I would think that...
Thinking this, doing that, he took the decision from me in any case and before he left the room he took my hands in his and closing them tightly in front of his chest: I got kissed on my forehead and was mumbled a 'good night'.
What a strange wish anyway...
Now I am a bit relieved to be alone again, though I don't think of sleeping, ever sleeping again...
But one shouldn't halloo 'til you're out of the wood!
Oh, why is all coming down on me at once!? Still having Harriet's disturbing words in my head, no clue what to do about it actively and finally about starting to like my own husband, he accomplishes to wreck my nerves even more.
What is the matter with you!? You never confide in me, never let me know what you think.
Please, talk to me, I beg you!
Oh my good Lord, why is it always so hard!? Especially when it only began to become easier!? I'm acting so foolishly and probably hurt him all the time. Even when I want to safe him any trouble and grief. What was I to do? How could I get out of this dilemma?
I really don't like how he always looks at me with his hazelnut eyes. It is very unfair! How shall I keep the thread of my thoughts intact when he distracts me like this!?
So I told him, I was expecting an important letter from my dear friend. [the following I have to write Harriet forthwith!] BECAUSE: he, my ever well informed husband, explained to me, he too, got a letter from our friends, from Mr. O more accurately and he had sent him an answer with the accompanying messenger. Lord C went to get it for me to read:
Cresford Inn, Wortham, July 11th
as a friend I would like to inform you about the late happenings at Wortham Hall in connection to my dear wife's family at -Park. You may wonder why this should effect you and your family, but the matter is a bit complicated and even more delicate.
I came to the knowledge of these circumstances only through a private conversation with your brother-in-law, Mr. Porter. But I have to relate to you the precedent happenings at my wife's former home to explain to you the difficult situation at hand.
When we left your kind hospitality to pay a visit to my family-in-law, we were not greeted with much civility nor respect at our arrival. My father-in-law literally banished us from his grounds and within the same breath accused not only us, but also you, Sir, your kind wife and her family of causing the imminent ruin of his family. As we had no idea what must have happened and had to leave at once (my poor wife thunderstruck, speechless and near bursting into tears), we decided to take lodgings at Cresford Inn and visited the Porters the following day.
Before we left without any more explanations, as they vouched not to have any idea what it was all about and hadn't spoken to the Fairweathers for quite a long time (whoever knows why!?), I nearly ran into your brother-in-law, who took me aside and asked me meet again at the Inn. There he could bring some light into this mess and told me that very evening an unsettling tale of the young Mr. Fairweather and your late brother, Sir. I don't know how much more Mr. Porter (or his family) is acquainted with Max's and your brother's racketeering during last season, or if you have any ideas what they might have been about. Therefore I beg you to receive us once more as soon as it might be of convenience to you.
I haven't told my wife all the details of Mr. Porter's narration and would rather discuss it with you to try to find a solution. I also recommend to look for Mr. F in order to bring more light into this matter and to convict him to his family...
I am, ever so grateful,
Clive Osberton, Esq.
And indeed my poor friend and her dearest husband arrived shortly after luncheon. - I took Harriet up to my little parlour and tried to comfort her as much as I could, although I was full of questions myself and more than curious to have more details from his Lordship.
I had to wait until after our very silent dinner and when I was in my dressing-room, having seen Harriet off into bed myself, Lord C begged to enter my room and related what news he knew now from Mr. O.: He must have shortened and censured it extensively; not to spare me the odious and shocking details, but for himself (and how he and I and whoever else will see his departed brother). I can barely retell what he told me, nor put it into words of my own. It is not primarily that I was to be part of some stupid and reckless game. But Frederick and Max have consciously played with many people's lives and souls and thinking of Max doing this to his own sister. Harriet must be more than just desolate to know this and more so, as her parents think her and her husband being part of this intrigue.
Why Jeremiah also knows of it and such a great deal, I cannot fathom and fear I won't find sleep this night. Lord C didn't tell me anything more about what my brother might know but at last said:
We will sort it all out, my dear, and Mr. Osberton and I will seek Mr. Fairweather out an get it explained and out of this world towards his family.
He kissed (!) me goodnight and left, leaving me standing there rooted to the spot. Oh how he took advantage of this situation and just kissed me! I am furious! Yes, I think I am...
Yesterday at dinner; well, before dinner - I got it over with and started with the easiest task to open up to my husband: I told him, that 'I' ordered a stew, vegetables and boiled meats for the first course of the meal, then a peacock pie and bread buns coated with cheese sauce and for dessert some fresh and sugared fruits (candied pineapple) as it was quite hot and I didn't want it too elaborate for only the two of us. [We had no guests, as usual, and] I hoped he would approve of my choice.
It was a great success I think, because he first just stared at me, then had to clear his throat at least half a dozen times before he could even start about what to think of it and moreover what to reply. We both must have been an amusing picture, right out of a comedy at the Royal Theatre. During the first two courses I asked him a great deal about his library and he invited me to show me parts of his collection that would be of interest to me... & I'm a great deal interested as the books I brought with me and some of those in the drawing room I already have read, in some cases twice - or in others don't want to read, 'cause I'm not at all interested in botany as must have been the last Lady C.; Well, thankfully she loved gardening. It is a work of art. And thankfully Mr. Pankhurst jr. is working to keep it like that.
I made tea in the Music Room, as usual, and he joined me there. Lord C told me about his latest plans he had discussed with Mr. Wolstenholme to enlarge the stables for the new horses he would acquire in autumn. As well as the enlargement along the anfractuous stream. He wants to connect the lane there with that of the park, leading to the stables from that direction... his business anyway... But conversation felt less awkward than before and it went more easily. Funny how everything can be made more effortless over a good meal...
My dearest Harriet,
since I got your note yestermorning, I have read it a dozen times, and though I am glad you immediately informed me of what had happened I am more confused and concerned than enlightened.
I cannot wait til you may write again and have to ask you for more particulars about what your parents said and what Clive could tell you later.
It all must be a misunderstanding! did you see your brother or is he still in town or wherever? he must know more about it, as he was the one in the first place to be surprised about your marriage and disaproved that your parents did not object you chosing for yourself. My mother told me, it is your sister now to make an even better match - but how could her portion be lost too and your brother's inheritance? You both had it inherited by your mother's uncle and my father always wished he could give all that is his to Jeremiah and we girls could have had such an relation as your mother... Forgive me, I am only kind of quoting my father... - Well, I know that J was very happy about Annabella having a nicely sized dowry. And Patsy, and Violet too, went into their marriages as quite well-portioned brides. I know nothing specific about my marriage contract, but when my father, J and Lord C signed it, I took the opportunity to take a glimpse on what I am worth. It was a very different sum than in Frederick's agreement; I only know that because I heard J scolding my father about him throwing his youngest daughter to the wolves and this remark made me fear Frederick more than ever before. So when that marriage didn't take place and it was talked about me marrying his brother and then you suddenly marrying yourself... how can it effect your family's fortune!?
Your Emy is going it over again and again and through all likely possibilities, as surely you both did as well. I am anxiously awaiting your next letter and hope everything was only a mistake.
ever so affectionate,
Since their departure the meals together with Lord C are a trying thing to endure. I try to converse with him about general matters and he politely answers and inquires about my day. Though I can clearly feel he's disapproving my non-house-working attitude, he doesn't say a single word. Another, not discussed problem between us is our non-marriage. It is burning in his eyes - since Harriet made me look more closely, I am more than aware of my husband's supressed feelings towards me (wherever and why at all they come from) and it makes me even more uncomfortable. With Harriet gone and no Mr O to distract him from his wife, I know not what to do. It is not really that I pity him, nor me. I so dearly want to find a solution of this misery and I think there is no other way than to talk to him.
I am determined to change my stupid deportment and will try to be a good wife and friend to my husband:
1. asking out Mrs. Lewis about how the late Lady C. managed the house and what was traditionally done for servants and tenants
2. stop being miserable, as I AM MARRIED and should be happy that it is to Lord C and not to his brother
3. trying to be more amiable towards my husband
Now I will write to Harriet, no matter if there will be a letter by the morrow. If that will be so, I will just write again.