April 10

I never like spring so well as when I am able to be out amongst the growing things and with the best of company.   This past Friday brought me the unbridled joy of seeing my dear friend Ms. Bosworth and her dear fiancĂ© arrive safely at the plantation.  I had spent my entire day in fits of anxiety, fearing every hour brought a new set of dangers, and that indeed something ill had befallen them.  Gladly, as the hour of five approached, my heart was set at ease in spying their carriage from my bedroom window approach.  I am amazed I did not do harm to myself as I ran down the stairs in my haste to greet them; all the while calling through the house “They have come! They have come! Ms. Bosworth is safely arrived!”  I caused such a commotion I suspect nearly every servant stopped what task they were conducting to observe what is was.  Mrs. Hegwood stepped from the parlor and Mr. Hegwood from his study, each looking bewildered and perturbed at my behavior.  I gave not the time for Nigel to execute his task of announcing them, for I was out of the door and to their carriage before it could even stop rightly, calling to them and projecting my well-wishing sentiments at the top of my voice.  I confess my conduct in no way reflected the state of my expensive and exhausted up-bringing. 

Our picnic company
However, at length, Ms. Bosworth and Mr. McCarty were ushered inside and attended to with every care possible, taking advantage of a well needed secure night’s sleep.  Saturday, I woke early, and paced about my room in my dressing gown, fitfully un-braiding and re-braiding my hair, watching the sun lift itself over the horizon.  My nervous anticipation was two-fold, for I so desired to be in company with Ms. Bosworth, but also after what felt like an absence that was too long to be described, I was to see the Doctor again.  One would think that after so many encounters, I would grow tired of the idea, but each time it was fresh.

Ms. Bosworth and Ms. Waterman
Once the morning began in earnest, it was gone in an instant, and we all managed to arrive at our picnic location in one piece with little fuss and bother.  I cannot say I am too innocent in regards to fuss and bother; I of course, had a moment of nothing being fit to wear in my entire wardrobe.  Is that not always the way with us as women?

Ms. Stockton takes a turn
The day progressed beautifully, the weather could not have been any more pleasant, and all of my favorite people arrive.  The Jacksons were there, Miss Jordan, Miss Stockton, Miss Haskins, Mr. Ramsey, and of course the Doctor, myself, Miss Bosworth and Mr. McCarty.  All were in their best looks, and after some light refreshments, Mr. Ramsey, the Doctor, and Mr. McCarty found a suitable clearing for a relaxed game of Cricket.  Miss Bosworth, myself, Miss Haskins and Miss Stockton all went to watch them.  The gentlemen looked dashing as always, and scandalized us all in taking off their coats, for ease of playing.  They put on a very good show of flexing and strutting, and at one point I believe the Doctor began the great crack in our Cricket bat.  After being bored of watching the gentlemen show off, I demanded they give each of us ladies a turn.  It was quite fun, and I did indeed hit the ball hard enough to allow me a quick jaunt to the other wicket, though I got arrogant and made an attempt to run back for a second point, in which Mr. Ramsey and Mr. McCarty no longer wanted to play gently and struck me out.  I was quite put out and made a show of it, but all knew I had no ill sentiments about the entire thing.  Miss Bosworth was our last to the bat, as after her second hit the bat split completely in two! Mr. McCarty claims he can repair it, and we all made great sport with Miss Bosworth, claiming she was a lion!  
"we most certainly were stuck"

The rest of the afternoon consisted of many turns about the beautiful grounds, exploring the stairways and indulging in long awaited for conversations.  Miss Bosworth and I found ourselves in the most peculiar situations more than once; at one point we climbed, very ill advisedly, atop a little stone bridge to see if the view was any more attractive from there.  We found that is most certainly was not, and that we most certainly were stuck.  Mr. McCarty was summoned to aide Miss Bosworth down and since the Doctor felt (I can only suppose) that I was HIS responsibility, came to aide me.  He very politely lifted me off of the bridge and looked at me with only a mild disapproving look, though somewhere in it I was positive I sensed a smile.  

Before I knew it, the sun dipped below the trees, and our coaches were all brought ‘round and we each returned to our own homes, though Mr. McCarty and Ms. Bosworth came back to our estate as they were not to depart until Monday.  We were all so exhausted that we could only give Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood a brief but positive review of the charming day we all enjoyed.

Ms. Bosworth and Mr. McCarty
I never thought the departure of such a dear friend could cause such an impact on me, but I have been so dejected since they have left.  I have hardly been able to rally enough to take any turns through our property, or to see the horses.  I have spent much of my time in my room, or pacing about the house like a ghost, lethargic and melancholy.

I must bear the solitude and lack of my Ms. Bosworth until I see her again, later this summer.  It shall take all of my fortitude.

Ms. Waterman and the Doctor
Ms. Stockton ready for her turn with the hoop.

Our Dandy Gents
The General and Ms. Haskins play at Graces

March 30

What a dreadfully dull month we have had!  In terms of amusement and engagements,  I have never faced a more disagreeable time.  Though the Doctor is less than ten miles from us, we hardly see anything of him, and no other company is to be had!  The General and Mrs. Jackson spend so much time away from home; I have quite given up on having them in ours.  Though with the occupation of the General, I cannot blame them too much.  The Smiths, at Rock Castle, have too much to keep them on their own property as well.  I am in a desperate way for new company! 

I suppose, then, that is why I have been shipped off to the north, to Wickland Mansion, home of Charles Wickliffe.  Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Hegwood assumed I would find more diverting company here, but alas, it is more of the same, though instead of just bored, I am faced with also having to seem amused and polite around new people.  Thankfully for me, the weekend has also included a small festival, traders and people from all around have been using Mr. Wickliffe’s extensive grounds to set up shops and to sell and trade their wares.  Unfortunately, the weather must not have been in communication, for it is cold, overcast, and has rained.  I have not had any opportunity to explore any of the shops, and to peruse the people coming and going and to see if anyone I may know has arrived.  By now, it being nearly midnight, many of those people have gone.  I have nothing in which to say to shop-keeps, other than a query on price or product.

I have been in communication with my dear friend Ms. Bosworth, of Albany, New York, as constantly as the distance can allow, and I am excitedly anticipating her arrival in the Nashville area for the picnic and enjoyment of the spring-time weather we shall have next weekend.  The Doctor, anticipating the cobwebs and insanity that the long winter encourages, has taken all the work upon himself to set up a wonderful gathering.  I feel as though I have not seen any of my circle of acquaintance and friends in a life age, and if anything can put me into a better humor, it is them.  

To the south, back at the plantation, the weather has been so fine, perfect to my tastes.  Quite warm with mild evenings and little rain.  I have spent the majority of my time out of doors, practicing my archery when I am able, spending some time amongst the horses (much to the chagrin of Mrs. Hegwood and against the pointed advice of Mr. Hegwood), and walking the property that is fit to explore.  I have had to take care to not tread among too much tall grass, for ticks are to be found in abundance.  I live in dread of the Doctor being called to remove the engorged beasts from mortifying locations.  Should I live to be lucky enough for him to have his hands upon me in places not already touched by dancing, I would wish it to be the subsequent aftermath of marriage, not because I was careless of my surroundings.  I shall certainly have nightmares of it tonight.  

I have discovered a very overgrown path in the south pastures; it weaves about a small thicket nearby to a stream.  I walk the length of it I feel safe doing so at least once a day, and ponder what it leads to and who created it.  Mr. Hegwood suggests it is a deer path, since it is next to water, but I think he has not imagination enough.  I feel as though whenever I am upon it alone, dozens of eyes watch my progressions.  I feel no fear when I am there; however, for very near at hand is the overseer’s cabin, and should I cry for help, someone would certainly hear me.   

Tomorrow, if the weather is suitable, I shall explore the Wickland grounds, and spend some of my money.  Nothing cheers me up quite like new things.
Beautiful photo by Mark Selter