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My esteemed Gentleman,
I am not in the habit of accepting missives from murderous farm hands. I find it blurs the lines of propriety and social standing. As we've come to know each other, however, I find myself feeling more philanthropic. What sort of Christian would I be if I couldn't forgive your past indiscretions? To lift my fellow man out of the depths of inhumanity and help him thrive in this new world?
I thank you for your assistance Friday night. How anyone could find themselves out of that coat room without falling victim to the embrace of so many arms is beyond me. I don't believe I'll ever look at another coat room the same again. I find myself replaying our conversation and am pleased you chose to write after such confusion. Even if your missive is brief, picturing you sitting at a desk with considerate words for me is stirring.
Your concern for me is heartwarming. Rest assured, I returned to my party unscathed and all members present were happy for my return. I found it difficult to concentrate on the rest of the show. I'm afraid I was thoroughly distracted and completely useless for conversation. I've decided to equate it to how very much attention is leveled upon our box. It seemed as if so many eyes were leveled upon us. I couldn't help but consider what they would see and if anything was found lacking. My desire is to ensure anyone who might look upon me may be as lost for words when I look at them.
I thank you for your concern for Mr. Dawson's enjoyment. Rest assured, he was thoroughly entertained and has every desire to continue attending the opera. I cannot say which I prefer more, however. While the opera has it's tender charms, I enjoyed dancing and the brisk air of the garden, even if the temperature was a bit biting. Both events stand as two of my favorites; if not from this season, most certainly from the last. I look forward to many more stolen moments at future social engagements. It is these memories that make every party worth attending.
I hope this letter finds you when your schedule is less taxing. I understand the life of a retired major, and Earl to an estate can be rather demanding. Do take a moment to rest or call on those you find most dear. Life is not meant for the trials of business, but pleasure with friends and family. I would hate to see you so carried away with numbers and figures that you forget why you returned to London in the first place.
P.S. I trust my staff implicitly. Any missive sent will be treated with the utmost respect and propriety.
P.P.S. I should apologize for denying you the opportunity in directing me so informally. I now find I enjoy my name on your lips.
Most peculiar Gentleman,
I found your previous letter to be quite disturbing. If you plan on overthrowing the social hierarchy and manipulating a dead man's mother, you should at least have the decency of retaining good pens and exceptional handwriting. I find myself horrified at the notion that an Earl should be writing in sub-par conditions, so I have taken the liberty of attaching a box of some of the finest writing utensils in London and ink to match. I do hope your lawyer and estate manager will find the replacements adequate, though I'm afraid I can do nothing to amend your hand-writing. That is just simply something you will have to work on bettering in your private time. I will, of course, continue to be generous by remaining on as a recipient of your letters, even if they are quite deplorable, until your business partners are satisfied with your improvement.
For all of Mr. Dawson's flaws, he is quite punctual. He visits in the mornings on Tuesday and Thursday from noon until three, and on Monday and Wednesday in the evening, if I am at home from seven until nine. Most other days my time is quite fluid and if I am home, I am always willing to attend to guests.
How funny you should mention the Garden exhibit. I'm sure you are well aware that my mother is on the board of the Pioneer Club which is sponsoring the exhibit. I have played an intricate role in fundraising for the event so, naturally, I will be in attendance. I'm sure you will be equally distraught to learn that Mr. Dawson is quite allergic to most flowering plants and has no intentions of coming to the exhibit, much to my dismay. As for what I want, I cannot say. Though I am sure your attendance will be noteworthy.
As far as my flaws, I am afraid, as with yourself, you will find me lacking. I've come to find that most people find me quite agreeable and a joy to be near. You have seen me in three of my favorite settings. I enjoy theatre and time with friends, and I enjoy dancing. I find murderous farm hands most delightful and quite thrilling so it must mean I have an open mind. There is more I could tell you, though I wouldn't wish to divulge all of my secrets in one letter when I still know so very little about you.
I do hope your dinner plans go well and that Miss Lovelace can provide you with a modicum of entertainment during her visit. Perhaps in your manipulation of Lady Braddock you may direct her to be more upwardly mobile.
Most indiscreet Gentleman,
Knowing that, as a wayward murderous farmhand, you may be less inclined to understand the intelligence of a mother. Though I am sure she has no intention of confronting you, I am quite certain she will see through your ploy of befriending my brother. I do hope you won't have to resort to murdering her as well in order to keep your contemptible secrets. A murder for pens is a murder most foul.
In the mean time, it would behoove you to appease her curiosity by informing her that my brother is an Oxford man with an inclination towards burlesque theatre, cards and simple minded females. Unless you have the same inclination towards cards and theatre, I believe you will find yourselves lacking things to talk about.
Do be careful in your ventures outside. The London air is quite damp compared to that of India. It may take some time to re-acclimate. I would hate for you to catch your death wandering aimlessly through the streets of London when you could be tucked safely in a carriage. I will of course, take you in if you should stumble upon my doorstep and serve tea to warm you up. It would be the proper thing to do.
Mr. Dawson's absence at the exhibit will be most unfortunate but I will endeavor to carry on. I'm sure I shall find something or someone to distract me. But I am most alarmed to find you aren't inclined towards pets. I recently took in the most adorable Cavalier King named Leopold who would find your apathy towards him most disagreeable. He may be predisposed as to bark at you or tug on your pant until you changed your mind.
Four months without meat, Anton? Was this during the period you exacted your murderous plot upon that unsuspecting Earl? If so I cannot fault you for your actions. We are in the habit of serving meat at every meal so do be so kind as to inform me ahead of time if you are feeling ravenous so that I might spare those in your company from your savage withdrawals. I believe it is my Christian duty to keep you from taking anyone else's life. In closing, I shall leave you with a few more frivolous details about myself. My favorite flowers are peonies. My favorite song is La Boheme from Carmen, though some may find it quite scandalous, and my favorite people are currently murderous vegetarians with terrible writing habits.
Most flattering Gentleman,
I am pleased to hear that you find my letters thoroughly entertaining. It is my goal to ensure that, while saddled with the difficult task of undertaking written pleasantries, you should do so while entertained. In my limited experience, letters are not the place to discuss such heavy topics as the weather or ones health as truly only so much can be said about London's rain. I prefer to delve deeper. Though I'm not terribly certain the shortage of animals to slaughter while in India is a topic meant to attract those of the fairer sex.
You are most fortunate to be writing someone with a more tenacious disposition. I'm certain I should only lose my appetite were the slaughter described in detail, or if I were in attendance. Thankfully, neither of those are the case.
But alas, I digress into a territory of conversation most unsavory so I shall endeavor to change the topic. I find I enjoy your letters equally as it is a stirring diversion away from the usual mundane trivialities pertaining to daily events or sonnets of adoration. However you are most welcome to detail how beautiful you find me whenever you desire. I shall do my level best to indulge such departures from intelligent conversation.
Wednesday nights would be most inconvenient for your visits. I was able to read your letter last night after dinner while Mr. Dawson entertained Leopold. He is quite a natural with entertaining lap dogs. Thankfully an evening letter or two are not uncommon. If you found that that your path lead you to my doorstep this evening, Leopold will most assuredly alert me to your presence. I cannot promise that my brother will be in attendance as he has been quite preoccupied in Cornwall. But I've been informed I'm a delightful host. And as I am not so simple minded you, I suppose, shall be spared of performing any untoward proposals. I have every intention of challenging my husband to distraction.