May 5th

After nearly a month of searching, I was entirely ready to give up my diary for lost. In the utter bedlam of relocating, nearly a quarter of my belongings have ended up somewhere between Albany, the Inn in which we stayed, and our new home, to my complete frustration and distress. In the time that we have been here, I have received packages and parcels from all quarters with things that have been lost along the way, to my mortification. sketches, notes, letters, books, music, even my stitching has arrived with a sarcastic note included, bestowing me with more care for my things. I cannot lay blame to a single participant in this excursion rightly, but it leans most often towards Jones, Mr. Hegwood's steward, who was left in charge of making sure our things were secure.

Thankfully, in short, my Diary was recovered in fine condition, not by a stranger discovering it upon the road, but accidentally hidden in with Mr. Hegwood's books in his library. My relief was profound and I could not help but embrace Abigail, Mr. Hegwood, and Mrs. Hegwood in turns, nearly weeping.

My peace was, sadly, not allowed to endure for any extended time, for Mr. Hegwood, who is always true and good to his word, decided immediate additions and repairs to the house must begin. In the future, if I am found in a similar situation of having residence in a small home, I shall be certain to leave it in the condition in which I came into it, so as not to suffer these inconveniences ever again. With little care for anyone's private space, belongings, or state of mind, men of all sorts are in, out, and above the house with even less care of their mouths and language. At least once a day Mrs. Hegwood, Abigail, and myself, being seated quietly at work, will all be startled soundly by a gruff, not to mention loud, curse being shouted at another hired hand upon the ground. It is enough to turn any well civilized lady into a course sailor, and has caused ruination to more than one sketching or writing task started moments before. I have heard more profane words in a fortnight than I had ever previously heard in my life, and I am going to take to stopping up my ears with rather large quantities of jeweler's cotton if the behavior persists. Mr. Hegwood reminds us daily that the additions and repairs will not be long in nature, and that we will be able to look forward to the future state of our new abode. He has great and ambitious plans for the property, naming it 'Novus Praedum Plantation', and swearing he will now employ his free time in the breeding of Race-Horses for the gentlemen to our north; in Kentucky, and locally.

Though with the wretched conditions at home, I have not been without my pleasant diversions when they come about. I was invited by a couple I have a general acquaintance with through the Doctor to use my riding skills in a general demonstration of ladies' horsemanship. It was such a fine thing to don my riding habit once more and sit atop a horse. I was obliged to leave Jack behind in Albany until a suitable stable could be had, which will not be long given Mr. Hegwoods plans. By that time I am sure to have my hands full of horses, and I confess, I cannot wait. I digress, however, from the event at hand. Despite a fleeting mid-day rainstorm (something I am coming to discover is common in the south during the spring-time), the event carried on without any more disruptions. The Doctor was also present, giving medical lectures to any of the public that was interested as they perused the festival, and vendors of all sorts were scattered through the park hawking their wares, as well as a few other demonstrative participants, including (much to my chagrin) a tent that allowed public to throw hatchets at a wooden target. More than once in my passage between our station and where the other horses were tied, I was obliged to call out in a rather cross tone to Hold, lest they do me some sort of harm.

Whilst I was not atop a horse, which when I could manage it was very few and far between, I spent my time sitting underneath the Doctor's tent, for the heat was at times oppressive and there was shade to be had under it. I could not tell whether or not he was pleased with my general appearance, for after our relocation due to the heat, I was compelled to cut my hair quite close, and adopt the 'Titus Coiffure'. After was all said and done, my hair could hardly have been any longer than his, and whilst I noticed many comments behind hands and sideways looks at my rather daring fashion choice, I confess I was much cooler and more comfortable than the rest present. Mrs. Hegwood suggested a choice of wigs to wear as well, to avoid any unfavorable stares, if it could be helped. I attempt not to wear them as much as I can, but I cannot feel satisfied in it when Mrs. Hegwood looks so terribly disapproving at me.

I have also received note from the Doctor, in three weeks time I shall be joining him and a few friends and acquaintances for a naturalist walk to the north of us. I have never heard nor previously been to the location, but I am informed it will be lovely and much will be seen. I am excitedly in the preparation of clothing suitable for an invigorating walk, and suitable for the theme. I confess, notwithstanding the general disarray of our home life, I would take it all ten times more again to be so close to the Doctor as we are. I have seen more of him in the past threemonth than I have seen him in the time I have been in America, and the secret pleasure and joy it gives me to be in his company is no small thing. Even if his demeanor never changes towards me in his quiet, reserved way, I could easily spend all the hours of a day with him.