Regular blog readers will know that this is a Regency satire of Bridget Jones's Diary. Parts 1-8 can be found by following links on the sidebar.
Hooray! Had a letter from Lord Winters.
Dear Miss Smith, Please call on me on January 23rd at 12 o’clock so that I can see if you would be suitable for the position of a companion.
Wonder what he’ll look like. Will he be tall, dark and handsome like Dominic Longburn in The Baron’s Promise, or will he be golden-haired and blue-eyed like Alistair Worth in The Governess’s Dream?
Had a major panic as I realized I don’t have a thing to wear. The white muslin’s too demure, the pink spot makes me look like an overgrown baby, and the yellow silk makes me look like I have green skin.
Raided Susan’s wardrobe.
Had a lot of good feelings as I realized her dresses are all too big, because Susan’s bottom is ten times the size of mine. Then had a lot of bad feelings because that means her red silk dress is too big, so I can’t borrow it.
Had lunch. Could not eat because I was so excited.
‘Are you ill, Charlotte?’ enquired Mama.
1 minute past 1
Had another major panic as I realized I will have to go to London next week and I will have to think up an excuse for Susan and Mama. Oh no, am a sad moron who doesn’t think things through.
2 minutes past 1
Had a major brainwave. Am not a sad moron at all. Am an undiscovered genius who doesn’t need to think things through.
‘It’s my tooth,’ I told Mama.
‘Your tooth?’ enquired Mama.
Was touched to hear the concerned note in her voice and nodded sadly.
‘I’m not surprised,’ she said. ‘You eat far too many sweet things. Susan and I were saying so only this morning.’
‘Too right,’ mumbled Susan, between mouthfuls of syllabub. ‘The way you eat, you’re lucky you have any teeth left.’
‘Susan’s right, darling,’ said Mama.
Realized it had not been a concerned note in her voice to begin with, but a critical note. Felt less guilty about deceiving Susan and Mama.
‘I’ll give it a couple of days, but if it’s no better by Tuesday, I think I’d better go down to London and see the dentist,’ I said, putting my hand to my cheek in an anguished manner.
‘Why not see Mr Sanderson? He’s a good man.’
Thought of the local horse doctor and shuddered.
‘No, I think I’d better see Mr Prindle. He won’t like it if I go to someone else.’
‘Oh, very well, I suppose I can do some shopping whilst I wait,’ said Mama. ‘I need some new sheets. Even so, it’s very inconvenient having to go all that way just because you’ve eaten too many cakes.’
‘No!’ I shouted.
Mama and Susan both looked at me.
‘No . . . no need for you to come,’ I finished. ‘Like you said, it will be very inconvenient, and I don’t want to put you to all that trouble.’
‘Charlotte, you can’t go down to London on your own. You might be an old maid, but the social conventions still have to be observed. We can’t have you bringing disgrace to the family, not when Susan has a new baby on the way.’
Mama directed loving look at Susan. Susan directed loving look at syllabub.
‘I’ll take Ruby,’ I said. Ruby is our maid and is utterly devoted to me. She won’t say a word about the detour to Winters House. ‘And I’ll take Melissa,’ I said, on a sudden inspiration. ‘Then we can do your shopping for you and save you a trip.’
‘Well, I don’t know . . . ‘ said Mama doubtfully.
‘It means you can stay here and look after Susan. I wouldn’t like to think I’d taken you away from her just because of a rotten tooth.’
‘All right, you can go with Ruby, but straight there and back, mind. No going to the theatre or anything else.’
‘Don’t worry, I won’t have any fun,’ I promised her.
She shot me a suspicious look but I replied with a look of angelic innocence. Then my face fell as I realized I will have to spend the next few days eating next to nothing and clutching my face. Wish I had said I had a bad leg instead.