You left in such a hurry the other night, I felt it my duty to write and enquire whether all is well. I had barely turned my back for a moment when Silas informed me that you had asked Granville to bring the car round. As far I hear it, Jonathan Lyon had said something to insult you again. I hope that wasn't the case; it will be an awful bother to smooth over, if it is, but of course you know I will.
I trust you arrived back home safely? I cannot say you have missed much by cutting short your stay. The Duke and Duchess of Casterton are arriving next week, and I must admit to dreading it - they're dreadfully ostentatious people. But the Duke has some business to talk over with Silas, so it can't be helped.
In other news, we plan on spending Christmas at Chisworth, which is not far from Elmwood Gardens, so perhaps we shall be seeing you sooner than you'd thought. Silas has business with Misters Partridge and Pear - yes, really - in that neck of the woods, you see. Business at Christmas - well, Silas will be Silas, I suppose.
Do write soon,
You really oughtn't have worried! We only left early because Mother felt quite ill - you know how she is; her constitution is so delicate. Father is quite convinced she is with child (I do hope not - she won't shut up about nurseries and nannies if that's the case, and I think I shall end up throwing something at her). As for Jonathan Lyon...well, you and I both know the man's ridiculous; I'd never let him bother me. Matthew says he's all style and no substance, and I quite agree. He does love to pontificate so, but nothing he says is of real value, everyone knows that. At any rate, you can rest easily, now - I did laugh at your letter, you know; it's so very like you to worry.
You must tell me all about your visit from the Duke and Duchess. I imagine you'll find it terribly tedious, but I insist. I'm certain the Duke will make a dreadful fool of himself - he always does! He summered with us the year before last, before he married the Duchess, and you should have seen the untoward and unsubtle advances he was making on Susan Stoneley! I would warn you that he might try something with you, but I fear my letter will arrive too late for such a warning to be of use, and in any case, I know you can hold your own.
It would be wonderful to see you all at Christmas! I think Matthew quite enjoyed discussing Conan Doyle with your Silas, you know. (Myself, I rather prefer Dickens - his characters are so much more colourful - but I suppose Doyle is all right). Anyway, I think you will like Chisworth - you must look for the bookshop on Hatham Road; I'm sure you'll find something to your taste in there.
Write and tell me all about the Duke as soon as you can.
Hope you're all keeping well
SOPHIE: BtN's resident whimsical insomniac fairytale-junkie!
“Hope is the thing with feathers"