November 5, 1812

have been most spoiled by the affectionate and dearly sympathetic Mr. Hegwood whilst he has watched my daily decline in spirits and heart since receipt of the Doctor’s letter. He has taken a keen interest in rectifying my melancholy state and has offered and provided such a fatherly tenderness that I have warmed to him as much as to my own dear Papa. My rather spacious bedroom has most recently been furnished to my surprise with a very lovely and charming globe, which Mr. Hegwood informs me, is to be used to track the weekly progress of the Doctor’s travel. He, familiar with the course I am told, will assist me in where to place the marker every Sunday evening before I sleep. I am utterly delighted by this handsome and meaningful gift, and have spent long hours tracing the distance with my fingertips, memorizing, and yet despairing in it.

Since the rain has ceased for a spell and the roads have dried back to safe traveling conditions, The Vincent’s have resumed their nearly daily calls. Mr. Vincent has been less and less in attendance with Mrs. Vincent, but I am too suspicious to feel I am freed of him just yet. He has sent me notes in his absence from the Hegwood Estate, most of which I have tossed into the fire without opening, fearing reading the words would somehow allow for him to continue his hold over me without his presence. I can find nothing else to report of them since they have provided nothing extraordinary in their behaviors short of Mrs. Vincent’s usual effusive ways, and Mr. Vincent’s continued false sense of possession over me, so I shall spend no more time upon them.

I have written hastily to Georgiana to inform her of what has recently come to my knowledge about the Doctor, both his change of situation and my change of feelings, and have begged her if able to make a trip to London to report to me first hand in his safety and welfare, for she is most expedient in writing to me, and would be the first to inform me if anything was the matter. It seems foolish, but it has put my heart and mind at some rest knowing there will be a pair of very trusted eyes upon him.

I fear my time riding for the season may be at a close. Mrs. Hegwood has very excitedly expressed concern for me catching a chill riding out in the mornings where the frost is thick upon everything. I find it rather stifling that I must be kept indoors now all day even if the afternoons are fine, but I am too meek of late to argue the point. The instrument in the second parlor has provided me enough entertainment, though I am growing bored of the pianoforte in my excessive use of it. Mr. Hegwood finds great pleasure, though, during the evenings in listening to me play, and has boasted that ‘he will grow quite vain of his little charge’s talent if I continue to progress so charmingly’. I fear he will soon open the Estate for small concerts to all the neighbors, as he has oft suggested the idea to Mrs. Hegwood. It has been a great luck that the weather has proved fickle and unpredictable, preventing most from making any sort of trips too far from their homes. I do not wish to be made a spectacle of, only to use the music as a sort of salve for my wounded heart.

As winter is approaching, I am feeling the dullness of the season to accompany it. The grayness of the sky hanging over our heads and the abrupt end to the colors of Autumn have left my spirits equally dull, and I am forced to find more things within the walls of the Estate to occupy my time and my mind. I have spent some time writing poetry that frustrates me in its unwillingness to cooperate in making sense or stirring anything within anyone present (I pity Abigail immensely), I have drawn nearly everything and everyone within immediate vicinity to me, and have played until my fingers ached, and it seems to only dismiss half of the day. Mrs. Hegwood has recently invited me in her weekly visits to the less fortunate that reside around the property of the Hegwood Estate, ensuring their collective health and happiness. These visits have a talent for disrupting my mind’s stubborn orbit of the Doctor and my sorrow, and give me new focus and purpose. In the quiet hours of my home bound days, I have mended old clothes to give to them, made for them blankets, and have written up lessons for the children in arithmetic and language. I cannot feel sorry for my own unfortunate circumstances whilst so surrounded with theirs, yet they seem not to feel their situations, and it gives me strength. Perhaps I should increase the number of my visits during the week, and better fulfill my Christian duty, as certainly it will provide within me a peace and solace.

As each day passes, though, I am finding myself more and more able to tolerate the knowledge that the Doctor is every day growing more distant from me, and that our paths may never cross again. Who is to say how long I am to reside in America now, since it seems I have failed in my ‘duty’. I am no fool, and I know why Aunt Elizabeth sent me here, for more reason than her disregard for Mr. B--- for what other reason had she to dislike him so, than as competition for where HER heart desired for my future? She has won in the regard that I have placed all my hope and affections on the Doctor, but now he is quite gone, and I have succeeded in nothing but causing injury to myself, once more. I have started to write to her many times, but each time the letter has begun I have ended it by throwing it into the fire before the ink has even dried. I cannot bring myself to tell her what has happened, as I am not ready to tear myself from this place. Though Mrs. Hegwood oft exasperates me to no end, and the Vincents constantly plague me, my heart is still too attached to this continent, and my hope that the Doctor will return to America too strong. If I were to leave here now and return to England, and he were to return to America after all, we would be divided for certain, and whilst a spark of hope is still kindled in my breast, it must remain alive only in America.

I still every day stir from whatever it is that I am doing when I hear one of the footmen respond to the bell, or when I hear the approach of a horse’s hooves, though I know it is by far too soon to expect any letter. I count down each day to the prediction when Mr. Hegwood suggests the Doctor will arrive in England, and will place a new marker in my globe each Sunday evening, and pray with all my soul that he arrives safely, and will choose to return to me.

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