In case I haven't mentioned it before, Victorians apparently loved a good ghost story while sitting around the fire on Christmas. So I'm keeping with the times, in a way. They aren't ghosts... just, well, "other." Previous part here. We last ended at 8 maids a milking...
More of the Same
Whores! Stinking, filthy, plump, and scantily clad whores. I have no idea who could have ever dreamed up such punishment, nor why we sing this horrid song each year whilst caroling. Dancing. Pah! I've never seen such undulations, and to refer to that in the same manner as to the genteel manner in which to pass the time at a ball...
These... women slithered and slunk into our home as if they were the maid service. Scarves flown about like bits of paper. Mother clapped her hands over Cedric's eyes. Honestly. He's a young lad of 12 and to be subjected to such filth on this most hallowed Holiday? I do believe I am at my wit's end. I have completely crossed Roger off my list. It seems the only prospect for a husband that I'll have at this rate is the butcher's son, and a more spotty, wonky youth never shambled on this earth.
All of my prospects for happiness are dashed. Mother is constantly in tears. Father has been passed out on the hearth rug for several hours, the maids have quit, and none of my inner circle has been round to call since before the Froggie Hens. I'm ruined. Utterly and completely. All because of that bastard. That whey-faced, floppy-haired... POET!!
I have no idea where to house the trollops until the constable comes around. He actually laughed in Miss Maggie's face when she ran to the station. Has the whole world gone mad?
1880, December the Twenty-Third
If I thought nothing could be lower than a troupe of whores cavorting in the Conservatory, I certainly was mistaken. Actors. And they aren't even very good actors. They are dressed (quite shabbily, if truth be told) in a mockery of everything I hold dear, everything I once stood to gain, and now have had ripped from me. The house thunders with their every jump. Oh, I am well aware of the lyrical "leaping" they have been porported to do according to the Devil's Own Music, yet jumping is what I say as jumping is what I see.
I've had to place myself in front of the servants' quarters to keep the two groups of scalywags from one another. As there are ten of these flamboyant thespians about, yet only nine of the, ahem, dancers, that leaves one. One that has been panting at my heels and reaching for me since the noon hour. A good, sound slap to his cheek certainly let him know where further steps along that path would leave him.
I've arranged for my Auntie Claire to pick up the younger children and keep them at her home. She was terrified to send a cab as if the madness that lives here was catching. Mother hasn't come out of her blankets, Father is of absolutely no use. I shall take matters into my own hands. I will not be a prisoner in my own home!
The strangest thing. I took it upon myself to pay a call to the Haugh residence, rumors or no. Mistress Haugh seemed most relieved of her ealier consumption, indeed, she looked rather in the pink with a jovial gleam in her eye. Instead of outrage or shame at the actions of her son and the pain that has been heaped upon my family, she almost seemed... delighted. Can it be that her mind has finally snapped?
Never would she come out to speak to me and seemed most insistant that I should join her for tea. The very idea! When I made to turn and leave, she hissed at me! I looked at her quite sternly and asked, "I beg your pardon?" What should have put her in her place seemed to have pleased her... 'Tis most curious. I reminded her that her own tenuous standing in the community was at stake, should she choose to not correct her son.
I felt as if every hair on my neck was crawling up to reach the sun when she spoke. "I see you do not care for the gifts that have been prepared for you. Perhaps you would enjoy the presents I have planned?" The peculiarity of this statement almost made me forgot our stations. "Madam, perhaps you should recall our social standings? Shall I have to remind you that your son is acting as a poor sport and should learn to better deal with life's disappointments?"
The crone replied, "you know nothing of life's disappointments. But you will, my love. You will." I? Know nothing of disappointment? I, who have lost a Knight in good standing with the Queen as a suitor? I who have had to endure humiliation upon humiliation these past days? These... peasants shall rue the day they chose to upset the greater balance of my existence!!