July 5, 1812

received today a response from the mysterious Doctor, so he must actually exist outside of paper. Of course, I was not the first nor even the second set of eyes to see the contents, and though I expected as much, I confess I was agitated by my Aunt and parent's conduct. Aunt Elizabeth, as if she predicted the very day of the arrival, paced to and fro before the floor all morning long. When the post did arrive, she snatched it from Abigail's hand as she was bringing it to me faster than a cat snatching a falling baby bird from the air, and took it away immediately to mama and papa, once more proceeding to barricade themselves in papa's study for hours. When I finally did get to read the letter for myself, I was at liberty to enjoy its contents in peace.

I found it very enjoyable, despite my expectations otherwise. The Doctor has a wonderful hand, fluid and easy to read, though his letter was cramped in the margins with sketches and notes, which I found at times more interesting than the contents. What a fascinating and interesting person! Not at all dull and dry as I had imagined and prepared for. Though I was allowed some information Aunt Elizabeth sparingly doles out, she was so kind as to neglect to inform me that the poor Doctor is a widower! With four daughters! The poor soul must find himself occasionally out of his senses, but I admire him greatly for his dedication. A singularly magnificent person he must be fore it.

I wonder how in the wild and untamed continent of America he has any society at all, but he assured me there is plenty to be had, I get the feeling more than he desires at times. I must admit, now that there are words to follow this mysterious person, he has become in a sense more tangible, and my curiosity grows.

After another unfortunate bout of dreary weather, yesterday provided with better conditions, and I was able to enjoy some hours outside again without the aid of a coat or shawl. The sun in the morning was very fine, and since I was alone I even hazarded the removal of my hat so as to better absorb the morning beams.

Of course this was the perfect moment for Madeline and Mr. Brennan to ride up our front walk and there was I, sitting upon my favorite bench with my legs stretched before me and my face turned skyward like some overgrown muslin clad lizard. What a sight I must have been in their eyes! Graciously, neither of them made a
single mention of it, and I was invited even to accompany them on a short morning ride before the heat of the day became unfit to be in. Papa permitted me to go very readily, as I was to discover on our departure,
Aunt Elizabeth was to be calling again, and Papa felt enough mercy in his heart to spare me her company this time.

What freedom I was awarded that day! Oliver, my sweet-natured gelding was in his usual gentle state, and nothing short of an angel and joy to be atop. Poor Madeline suffered many slights and agitations from her miserable and boorish little mare, so much that we oft had to stop so that Mr. Brennan could put her right again. When noon finally did cross the sky, the heat became so much that we made with as much haste as suitable to Madeline’s home, where we were kindly supplied with tea and a reprieve from the heat. I found it the most charming way to spend the morning and early part of the afternoon, and Mr. Brennan looked especially fine on his newest mount.

Again, though, I found myself at a complete lack of things to converse with him about, as my normal topics of discussion posed no interest to him. In the end, it seemed he was most content to talk of his business and of this account or another, and of all of his success. Madeline and I were no addition to this line of talk, as if we would know how to contribute in the first place, but he seemed perfectly content with the sound of his own voice and I confess I tolerated is quite well myself.

As I was returning and handing Oliver to the stable hands, Aunt Elizabeth passed by me on her departure from the house. She passed a look between myself and Mr. Brennan,who had accompanied me to the stables. I could plainly read the calculations on her face and it made my heart tremble. She knows obviously of my feelings, and I fear to think upon what works behind those suspicious eyes, and I shan’t think anymore upon it if I need not.

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