Miss Charlotte Smith's Diary - Part 13
This is a Regency satire of Bridget Jones's Diary.
For parts 1-12 see the links on the sidebar to your left.
Melissa and I celebrated me getting the job by sneaking down to the kitchen and retiring to my room with a bottle of cooking sherry.
Half past 1
‘That’s strange,’ said Aunt Jane when we joined her in the dining-room for lunch. ‘Eliza’s safely in the country, but the cook tells me she’s missing a bottle of cooking sherry.’
Melissa and I said, ‘Really?’ politely.
‘It must be the new footman,’ said Aunt Jane. ‘I will have to tell Cook to keep an eye on him.’
Mouth watered as white soup, baked fish, roast beef, roast potatoes and three different kinds of vegetables were brought in. Was hungry after a morning of strain and took an enormous plateful.
‘Charlotte!’ said Aunt Jane, shocked.
Looked guiltily at my plate. Was enough for three people on it.
‘What about your tooth?’
‘It wasn’t bad at all,’ said Melissa. ‘Just a . . . ’
‘Yes, just a . . . ’ I said, taking over from Melissa.
‘A . . . ’ she helpfully chimed in.
‘A sore gum?’ said Aunt Jane.
‘Yes. A sore gum,’ I said. ‘Very painful but will soon heal, as long as I eat plenty of sustaining food. I’ve been doing the wrong thing over the last few days, starving myself. I should have been feeding myself instead.’
‘Oh, well, if Mr Prindle says so,’ said Aunt Jane.
Helped myself to gravy and said firmly, ‘He does.’
Climbed aboard stage coach for journey home. Was long and uncomfortable but did not care. Am escaping Mama and Susan.
Spirits fell. How am I going to tell them?
‘Mama. Susan. We have not seen eye to eye lately, and I think it is better that I leave. I have got a job as a companion. It has an attractive salary and other benefits, and I do not intend to return.’
‘What . . . leaving us?’ asked Mama, her hand flying to her chest. ‘Never to return?’
She started to cry. Then I saw Susan’s shocked countenance and knew that Susan had suddenly realized she was going to be tied to a couch for the next six months and I was going to be out Exploring Life, Having a Good Time and Finding a Husband Better than Hers . . .
‘Charlotte. Charlotte!’ Mama’s voice cut into my reverie. ‘Stop daydreaming, and finish hemming that handkerchief.’
Looked at the handkerchief in my lap and put it aside.
‘I’m sorry, Mama, but no more hemming handkerchiefs for me. I’m going to be a companion.’
‘You’re going to do no such thing.’
‘It’s all arranged.’
‘No daughter of mind is going to be a servant,’ said Mama.
‘Oh, let her,’ said Susan. ‘Once she finds out how awful it is to run around after an old woman all day, she’ll be glad of my attic.’