The Journal of A Regency Lady 15
I have heard nothing from Harry since he left and I am worried that something has happened to him. I have very little money and I do not know what to do. Most of the English wives have moved on, and the local people are not as friendly as they were. If Harry does not write or send me some money soon I do not know how I shall manage.
Some English soldiers came through the village today with their wives. They say that the fighting was all over more than a month ago. Wellington entered Madrid even before Harry left me. I do not understand what has happened. If there has been no large battles since then how can Harry have simply deserted me?
I asked one of the ladies if she had heard any news but she said that I should have gone with my husband when he moved on. I did not like to ask for money, but I am desperate. I have sold some of my jewellery, but the money was not one tenth of its worth. I have taken to picking fruit from the trees that grow along the road but the local people look at me angrily. Why has Harry abandoned me? Why have I heard nothing from him in weeks – and why did he not take me with him when other wives went with their husbands?
I have not eaten for three days. I do know what I should do. I would beg for work but I cannot make myself understood. Why has Harry abandoned me?
I was walking in the village and I fainted for lack of food. When I came to myself a woman was tending me. She gave me some soup and tried to talk to me, but I only understood a few words. If I have enough strength I must try to get to the coast. I can sell what I have left of my jewellery and perhaps purchase a passage home. Harry must be dead for no one has news of him and he has not written or returned for me. I must make some effort to help myself or I shall die here, far away from my home.
Why has Harry not written? He must surely have been killed. There were no more large battles, but I have heard of some skirmishes. Why has no one told me?
I wish I knew what to do for the best….