To Miss Beryl Cavendish, From: Mister John Cavendish
My dearest sister,
I hope this letter finds you well. I was pleased to hear of your safe arrival in Tyrehampton. Charlotte sends her regards to Mrs. Hatch, who she assures me was quite kind to her when she was a girl in school. I hope the change of scenery agrees with you.
How strange it is, to pen such letters to you! It is an odd feeling, being safe and sound in a familiar home, while you are off on your adventures! It was not too long ago that our positions were reversed, with me off at sea and you caring for father at home!
Father is still angry with me, I think, but then, he is always angry with me. If I gave him nothing to be angry about, surely he would become enraged at the fact that I have given him nothing to work with! Mrs. Brown tells me that he stomps about the house, growling like a great bear, and finds fault in everything the household staff does. "That is not how Beryl did it!" He complains (even though Mrs. Brown assures me that they have been following your instructions to the letter). He does seem to miss you, in his way. But then, he has no one to blame for his current situation but himself. I have told him that, in all likelyhood, when we next see you you shall have found a husband, and will have to manage his household. So he'd best get used to getting by without you!
Really, I don't know why he complains so much. The repairs on the house are going well, and it is quickly growing much more pleasant. Charlotte has insisted on decorating the rooms, and she is terribly excited to install the latest trends.
Charlotte and I are settling well into married life, I think. We sit and read by the fire, her with her poetry and me with my philosophy. Harold has taken to wedging himself between us, the silly dog. He seems to think himself a lady's lapdog! But Charlotte is taken with him, and dotes on him as if he were a human child!
We continue to be blissfully, unreasonably happy. A part of me still expects that I will wake up one day and find this was all a wonderful dream, and things have gone back to exactly how they once were. I have nightmares of it, in fact. But they are growing less and less by the day.
It is my fondest wish, my darling sister, to see you as settled and happy and content as I am. I know that you have only been in Tyrehampton a short time, but I do hope you are making friends. Surely there are plenty of interesting people, even in the countryside. Do tell me of them! Charlotte has even offered to accept any letters concerning promising gentlemen, and offer advice accordingly. She worries you might be uncomfortable divulging such secrets to your silly, prying brother! As meddling as I am, I must admit that she has a point. Just address any letters of such nature to Charlotte, and I swear on my good name that I shall not read a single word of it!
All the same, I do hope you will find SOME subjects to write me about. I do miss you terribly, gentle Beryl, even if I am glad you are off on this journey of yours.
Your doting brother,
It is so wonderfully quiet here. That is what strikes me most about Tyrehampton-- the glorious silence, all sound cushioned by snow. The sky stretches on forever and ever, the horizon unmarred by anything save trees. It is as quaint and lovely as your Charlotte promised, and I find I am quite content.
That is not to say that the people here are anything but lively. I have had the pleasure of meeting several spirited ladies who I do hope I shall be able to call friends. Yes, I have met several charming gentlemen, and no, you should no better than to ask if any of them have shown interest. They have all been cordial and welcoming and I should hope that I might find friendship among them, and be blissfully happy with that alone.
I find, in the absence of chores and other such duties, I have had ample time to read. I recently finished a delightfully macabre novel, the Horrors of Northanger Abbey, by a Mrs. Hatch. The heroine was quite refreshing. I have also, at the recommendation of a new acquaintance, begun reading Plato's Laches. It is quite thought-provoking, and I shall no doubt write to you with a more detailed report when I have finished.
Mrs. Hatch sends her regards to Charlotte.
Father can, respectfully, shove it.