September 19, 1812

ast night proved just as cold as the first, and just as uncomfortable, but again I would not change my situation for the world. Exhausted as I was, though, I slept little; my mind continuing to chase these new thoughts in circles around and around and I could get no peace. I willed morning to come quicker, desirous to see the Doctor again, and to speak to him, despite my better judgement.

When finally the sun did rise I rose with it, trying to will my aching body to move more comfortably. I dressed today in my dark blue gown with lighter blue muslin jumper. It was not my finest frock, but I was not in the mood to be in discomfort today, as I knew in the evening I would be traveling back to New York, and would likely have no time to change. I dug out my favorite gold and black shawl, donned my new straw hat for I was seeing more sun than I would have liked upon my face, and ventured out in the dull morning air. I was to discover that the Doctor had not risen yet so I sat with Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Mudd and conversed about clothing and fashion. I found the time with them was very enjoyable and passed very quickly, and I am missing it considerably now.

Before too long, the doctor appeared walking beside the very amiable Mr. Minnis who was shuffling a deck of cards as he walked. They joined us at our table and suggested a few games to pass the morning until the day's activities could begin. Mr. Mudd who also joined us attempted to teach our little group how to play a game which I cannot recall the name of, but shortly after he began he came to the realization that he had lost us in his explanation, so he gave the cards to the Doctor who taught us to play Speculation which I delighted in. We played through a few rounds before the rest of the camp finally began to rise, and at eleven it was decided the weather was perfect for a walk of the grounds we had not yet explored. We started with a large group but as we ventured further from the house the vast majority of the ladies dropped off and returned to camp.

As we made our way through the small wooded area behind the house gardens, we were suddenly greeted by an abrupt end of the trees and a wide green field lay before us. My heart leapt in my breast and my breath caught upon seeing it and I slowed to properly take in the beauty of it, my eyes wide with wonder. The grass blew across the field in waves of silver and green and in that moment I felt so at peace. I could tell the Doctor was watching me. We had not spoken much at all that morning other than a short morning greeting and now I looked at him and I could not contain my smile. I confided in him quietly when the rest were out of earshot that the field before me made me want to just run across it and feel the wind upon my face. He looked at me with raised brows and I swear I could tell he was forcing himself not to smile at my childlike wonder. "Miss Waterman," said he; "That would be most improper..", my face fell as I knew this and had hoped he would not mention it, but he continued upon seeing my eyes; "but I will tell no one if you choose to do so."

Given that slight permission I immediately gathered up my skirts and took off as fast as my legs would take me. Such delicious freedom! Such unbound joy! I felt as if I were a fawn, leaping through the tall grass as swift as the wind, my hat falling off my head to hang about my neck from the ribbons. I was certain I could just fly away.

All too soon, however, I had caught up with the rest of our group and slowed before they became any the wiser to my dash through the grass. Mrs. Mudd turned to me when I caught up with her and began to say something; but stopped short upon seeing my heaving breast, shining eyes, and flushed cheeks. She laughed at me and I put my finger to my lips, she had figured me out but would keep my secret.

By this time we had walked a considerable distance from the house and could see across the field a small brick chapel standing alone amongst overgrown trees. All that was left of our group was Mrs. Mudd, Capt. Cushing, Mrs. Dubbeld, the Doctor, and myself, and they stated they would go no further for the heat. I was very keen on seeing the small chapel up close, and with no objection from the rest of the group, the Doctor and I carried on alone.

For much of the way he and I walked in silence, looking everywhere but at the present company. Occasionally he would stop to observe some manner of plant or insect and I would patiently wait whilst he mumbled to himself about its properties. Finally, I could bear it no longer, and after a few false starts I spoke what was on my mind since the day prior. To him I said "Doctor, I hope that you realize that my Aunt is so prone to exaggeration and, dare I even say it, falsehoods regardless of the feelings of whatever party involved, and hope that you can understand that there are two sides to this tale she has told." I watched my feet parting the long grass and we carried on in silence for a bit longer before finally he replied "My dear Miss Waterman, I hope that you realize that I am an experienced adult and perfectly capable of formulating my own opinions of people from my own observations." No more on the topic was mentioned and I felt I had been given a sufficient answer to my many questions, albeit short.

As we approached the chapel we discovered that our original path was disrupted by a deep ravine which I could not have crossed. The Doctor, after observing our surroundings, quickly discovered an alternate and less treacherous route and finally we made it to the chapel. Such a sad and rather decrepit little building it was! Entirely shut up and boarded. To think I had risked my muslin on the blackberry brambles and my ankles on mole hills for it.

Disappointed though I was, I still felt the walk had not been a waste, for the Doctor and I were able to be in one another's company without other eyes, and it put me more at ease, though I cannot say why.

The alternate route we chose leading away proved more difficult than leading to it, and once or twice my footing and balance was at a risk so the Doctor obligingly offered me his hand for support and I gratefully took it. Out of harms way, though, the Doctor still held my gloved hand in his, and I politely said nothing but I could feel my heart begin to race and my cheeks flush as I walked just behind him, seeing my small hand buried in his. He seemed to realize the situation shortly after I did , and cleared his throat before saying to me "I do not believe it is necessary for us to still be holding hands." and released it. I could not fully hide my smile and looked away so that he would not see it either. How my heart fluttered! I only wish I could understand it and his behaviors.

We continued to walk in silence and the Doctor abruptly stopped before a small sprig of bright yellow wild flowers, crouching before them to examine their appearance before plucking them up from the ground. He looked at the sprig from all angles before handing them to me saying "If you would, Miss Waterman, I seem to have forgotten my vasculum". I obliged and took them, stating perhaps they might have been more lovely in their proper place in the ground. He looked at me with a frank expression and said to me in response "No, I think they are even lovelier where they are right now", and gave me a brief smile before turning on to walk further. I was grateful for his back being turned to me as I am positive I was blushing furiously. The flowers never did find their way into the vasculum, and I hold them in my lap this moment in the coach.

Before long we had arrived back at the house and took the opportunity to cool ourselves and take a bit of refreshment as the day was warming quickly. We toured all through the house and I fear I fell madly in love with it.

We had almost lost track of the time entirely and realized that we had better make hate to Lady Rockhold's camp for another afternoon tea. There was another splendid arrangement of things to eat ad the flavors of tea were spectacular. Lady Rockhold loaned me a copy of 'Pamela' to read whilst everyone was speaking amongst themselves and within moments I was entranced and found it difficult to put it down, but as the Doctor was called upon to read a piece from Henry V, I was obliged to redirect my attention. He did the speech much justice indeed and I was most impressed with the feeling in which he read. Perhaps if our paths ever cross again I shall ask him to read more Shakespeare.

After tea, the Doctor was once again requested to make another demonstration, and since I found myself unoccupied that day I accompanied him to watch and be informed. I was joined shortly thereafter by Mr. and Mrs. Houston, Mr. and Mrs. Mudd, and Mr. Minnis. It was a most enjoyable performance, and the crowed continued to grow so that the room was full and every seat taken. At one point, he even called upon me to assist him in showing how to use one of his instruments to listen to one's heartbeat, and as he laid it on my chest and put his ear to it felt as though my heart would beat right out of my chest. He noticed it immediately and to the crowd made a comment on it. I could not tell him when he asked that having him so close to me would cause my heart to make such movements at any time, but only smiled and went quickly back to my seat.

His presentation ended, and he collected his things whilst I waited silently by. The hour was getting late and my coach back to New York would be arriving soon. A new silence had descended over the Doctor, and I could only suspect it matched mine in purpose. Why, I was loath to leave! I discovered I had enjoyed myself with the new friends I had gained more than I had ever expected or hoped, and did not want to part their company for all the world.

Before I was ready against it, my things were packed in the coach to take me away, and the Doctor helped me in, pressing my hand gently in his and wished me safe journey back to the Hegwoods. He told me he would write me soon. It has already been an hour since last I felt his hand upon mine, but I swear I can feel it still. It has made me realize, just this moment, that I have not given Mr. Brennan a single though at all today. What is this that I am now experiencing? It is all so new. Perhaps I will write Mama and Kathryn when I arrive back in New York and ask advice.

I miss the Doctor's company already.

The point in which Miss Waterman falls for the house.

A snuck glance provides Miss Waterman with a memory of the
Doctor that will remain with her forever.

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