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A shock

Posted on 5/22/10 at 06:40 pm
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Saturday July 11th

Today I began my project to improve Louisa. I decided it best to begin by talking to her, instead of hearing this or that story from her sister. I first explained to Julia that I mean no slight to her, but that I felt Louisa needed a friend other than Miss Lucy Morton. Julia agreed and informed me that her sister wanted to go into Devington. I undertook to walk with her and found her very pleased with this suggestion.

We walked at first in silence. I was trying to think what I could say when Louisa spoke first.

"Daphne says you are very angry with me."

I said that I had been very upset with her a few days ago, but that I had since calmed down.

"Well I am very sorry," Louisa went on. "I did not mean to embarrass you."

"Then I forgive you," I told her. "But you should apologise to James too, for you embarrassed him as well."

Louisa shook her head and laughed. "But he is in love with you, Kathy. He told me so."

I was very much taken aback by this. I stopped walking for a full minute before I could recover from my surprise. I told Louisa that she was mistaken. After all, James and I had barely met before and we have only been in the same house a month. That is not nearly long enough to be in love with someone. Louisa only repeated that that's what James had said.

I am sure she was telling the truth, for there was no lie in her manner. I only hope she mistook James' meaning in some way, for it would be terribly unkind of him to tease his sister with such silly lies. I should not like to think ill of James, for he is a good sort, despite his boisterousness.

In Devington, we called on the Kings and bought a few odds and ends. I watched James closely at dinner and he was kind as always, but I saw nothing to suggest that he is in love with me.

Why ever did he tell Louisa he is?


Poor Louisa

Posted on 5/22/10 at 12:38 pm
Miss Wood Feels: determineddetermined
Friday, July 10

Today was all about the party. Who danced with who and don't the Mortons have fine china and Lucy says this and Lucy says that. Daphne looked as if she were ready to shake some sense into Louisa.

Julia says that Louisa feels that Daphne has no business telling her what to do, as she is not their real mother and besides which is not much more than thirty herself and can hardly claim wisdom of years. I tried to be angry, but I feel sorry for Louisa. Her mother died just as she was entering her most trying years. (Lady Louisa died nine years ago, when her eldest daughter was just eight. Eight is such a dreadful age and life seems terrible hard for another six or seven years until you finally come out). The children had no mother at all for three years until Daphne married their father. Not having a female presence to guide her for those vital years appears to have done Louisa something of a harm.

"We were both such dreadful little madams," said Julia, telling me how Sir James spoiled his poor motherless girls.

Apparently, Julia took to Daphne right away and was so impressed by her ladylike way, that she wanted to be just like her. Louisa doesn't dislike Daphne (indeed, how could anyone?) but is not guided by her as Julia is.

Poor Louisa. Daphne is Julia's role model. Louisa needs someone of her own to look up to. She needs someone not to tell her how to behave, but to show her and to show her why it is best.

I have determined to be that someone. I know that Louisa loves my clothes and wants to look like me. Perhaps this is a way into her heart.

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