Join date: Jun 15, 2022


Charlotte Kean did not read the paper until late on the Saturday evening. She had returned from Hexham about seven o’clock feeling tired, irritable and lonely. After a meal she had gone into the office with the intention of doing some work on the mass of papers that always awaited her on the desk, but after sitting down she stared in front of her for a moment before closing her eyes and letting her body slump into the depths of the leather chair

How much longer could she go on like this? She’d asked herself the same question numbers of times over the past weeks. There was a remedy, in fact two. But the cure offered by either Mr Henry Bolton or Mr George Pearson was worse, she imagined, than her present disease. Henry Bolton was forty-eight and a widower. George Pearson would never see fifty again. She wasn’t foolish enough to think that either of them had fallen in love with her. She would go as far as to say that they didn’t even like her, considering her ways too advanced by half, having heard her opinions from across a committee table. But since the death of both her father and her grandfather they had almost raced each other to the house.

No. No. Never.

She rose from the desk. She was a spinster and she’d remain a spinster. The wild fantastic dream she’d had was only that, a wild fantastic dream. She had humiliated herself because of her dream; she had been willing to be publicly humiliated because of her dream.

She went from the office and upstairs to her room, the room that until a few weeks ago had been her father’s. It was the largest bedroom in the house and faced the garden and shortly after he died she had it completely redecorated and had made it her own. She knew that the servants had been slightly shocked by such seeming lack of respect for the dead but she didn’t care what servants thought, or anyone else for that matter.

It was very odd, she mused, as she slowly took off her day clothes and got into a housegown, a new acquisition and another thing that had shocked the servants, for it wasn’t black or brown, or even grey, but a startling pink, and its material was velvet. Yes, it was very odd, but there was no one for whose opinion she cared one jot. And more sadly still, there was no one who cared one jot about what happened to her. She hadn’t a close relative left in the world, nor had she a close friend. There were those in the town who would claim her as a friend, more so now, but to her they were no more than acquaintances.


More actions