November 20

Miss Waterman  having a dance with Mr. Kauffman
However one can comfortably go four months between having a happy opportunity to dance is entirely inconceivable to me.  I suppose it would be longer if I truly mean a happy opportunity, for in July my enjoyment of the ball I attended was certainly wanting.  This time, however, my heart could have burst with the happiness it contained.  I have never known such an enjoyable day as the twelfth.  Today I shall spend the time in pleasant reminiscing and recovery of perhaps a little too much merriment for the past few days.  I did not sit down but for the first two dances and found by the end of the evening I was completely exhausted.   I danced two with the Doctor, at least, I believe, once with Mr. Ramsey, once with Mr. Kauffman, once with Mr. Tumbusch, once with Mr. Cushing, and I am positive I have rudely forgotten the others I stood up with.  Despite what the Doctor often repeats, he is an utterly charming dancer.
My Masque was well received, and at once all knew what it was meant to be; a little vixen.  I fear my attire may have influenced  my behavior to a degree perhaps bordering unacceptable.  My sole savior was the level in which everyone else around me was involved in their own enjoyment.  Not a single creature noticed my inappropriate conversations and interactions, save of course the Doctor, who in his ever unwavering patience and attitudes said nothing, and only displayed a cocked brow of disapproval once or twice.  I think even he was engrossed in the evenings delights.  All in attendance looked wonderful, and the scene was that out of a fanciful painting. 
Low Tea with the very best of friends
My Aunt Elizabeth enjoyed her stay very much as well, and it was quite a treat to introduce her to the wonderful life I had cultivated in America.  Prior to the ball, Mr. Ramsey was good enough to invite the Tumbusches, the Doctor, Mr. Cushing,  Aunt Elizabeth, and myself to tea at his mother's tea room.  The fare was beyond comparison, and the company the best.  Post tea, we were away to Rock Castle, so that the Doctor may over-see the decorations for the evening, and so that I could show my aunt the beautiful grounds.  Whilst the men toiled away, she and I delighted ourselves with a tour of the grounds, and the family cemetery.  Since Gen. Smith was away we could not tour the house, but the day previous I was able to tempt a housekeeper into giving us a quick showing.  She was very charmed by the quaint house, and enchanted by the surroundings in which they were happily situated. 

To my dismay, she is to be sent back to England in just a few days time,  for she cannot be away for the entire season, and has too many pressing business matters to attend to remain gone for long.  It is unfortunate but unavoidable.  I asked her at the very start of her visit here about my family back in England, and upon the first time of my asking, she was quite furtive in her answers, and immediately engrossed herself in conversation with Mrs. Hegwood, and upon my second press for information, told me quite sharply that should I wish to know how everyone got on back home, I ought to send a letter.  I was so taken aback at the response, I dared not inform her my many letters that have gone unanswered.  It left me terribly uneasy, and I fear something is amiss, and I will never know what. 

The Covey's and the family enjoy cards
Earlier this week, the Hegwoods and myself were introduced to the Coveys, a very amusing couple who are the interested party in the property adjoining ours.  Mr. Covey is quite advanced in his years, with a second wife barely older than I.  She is a delightful creature, terribly doting and demure.  Mr. Covey is a tall balding gentleman of apparent deafness for everything he says is of an almost unacceptable volume, and you can be certain to repeat yourself two or three times if you do not speak as loud as he.  It took me only two kind questions and an observation before I wisely chose to cease communication with Mr. Covey and to converse with his little wife.  From her I have gathered they are delighted with the country lifestyle, having come from the high city living in Virginia, and Mr. Covey chooses to spend his retirement in quiet solitude. 

Post supper
They are of considerably fortune, and from Mr. Covey's first marriage will bring two daughters and a son when their house is completed and they take up residence.  One can only assume from the look of Mr. Covey that at least one of his children will provide me with a companion or some amusement.  Perhaps both or at least one of the Miss Coveys can sit one of our horses, and accompany me.  I would be surprised indeed if they could keep pace, but I suppose they can learn nonetheless.

I shall be mightily amused when they take up residence, and if nothing else I hope to find some folly of human nature to observe and make merry of to myself and Mr. Hegwood.

Miss Waterman dressed for the occasion

Miss Waterman and the Doctor enjoying a third dance together

Miss Waterman and the Doctor at yet another dance

A lively group for the last dance

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