September 4th, 1763

Yesterday I went to see Ms. B and halfway towards the village we met, my friend in search of me. We turned our visit into a trip around the countryside and enjoyed the sunny day out. It is always so easy and comforting to talk to her. She seems to have a solution for everything... When she met her father's relatives the first time, it was an overwhelming experience. She was only fourteen and stepped into a totally different world. After loosing her parents and suddenly being dependent on strangers, she thought it a nightmare to leave her home and coming here. But no such horrible faith of many an orphan one hears about happened to her. And strangers became family instead. 'It is always a matter of luck, but nevertheless, you are an amiable person, Lady C, and his Lordship's aunt will surely be delighted to make your acquaintance! I have met her two years ago and she was very gracious to everyone around. You have nothing to fear. Your housekeeper will take care of everything and you will learn what pleases the aunt and make sure it will be more than acceptable for her to visit again. Nobody expects you to know the ways of people you have never met before. And you're newly-wed, my dear! You need time to learn about a new household and to change it to your wishes... I'm positively sure, Ms. Cartwright knows that and will in no way disregard your efforts so far.' - Dear Ms. B! I wish there were more efforts on my part so far, but she is right: it will take some time and as long as Lord C doesn't complain about my slow progress, I shall not fear anyone's contempt!!!

But my friend had other news for me. The old Sir Atherfold expects his heir to visit and the whole village is in an uproar; or rather the female inhabitants of it... Ms. B told me, the baronet's heir is a young bachelor from London, roguish but the most handsome and charming buck anyone has ever seen. Mrs. Higgenbotham seems to prepare her daughter to catch him and his future baronetcy of course, but as rumours have it, the young gentleman has more than one heart to break in the neighbourhood.

After taking Ms. B to her home, I went back to Leyland, much more composed and a little bit light-hearted.


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