So much has happened! As I intimated in my previous entry, Mr. MacBeth has assisted me in re-acquiring my family’s estate. I thought it lost to me forever, but the law was on my side. With the help of my solicitors and from my new land partner, I have discharged the last of my father’s debts without requiring the loss of my estate. Of course, the estate is in ill repair. The tenants who occupied it while it was in the possession of the courts left many renovations incomplete. With a store, Joyus Living, and Mr. MacBeth as tenants, I shall hardly live privately, but a fine house on fine land is a far cry from a sad little room. It is especially gratifying to be able to finally provide a proper home for Mary.
With so much time and money spent recovering my family home, however, I have been forced to put off my store’s grand opening. This led to the necessity of asking Mr. Plutonian for an extension so that I may generate sufficient profit with which to repay him for his loan. Mr. Plutonian granted this extension, but it did not come without a terrible price. My mind is no longer my own. Now, Gordon may fiddle about in it whenever she chooses — and all of this because of some damned enchanted ring!
I really can’t explain it. I never knew such a thing was possible! Mr. Plutonian wishes to monitor my actions through Gordon. I suppose he wishes to be kept informed of any further delays or distractions. His methods, however, are most deplorable! Gordon is a kind creature, but she remains an unwelcome guest in the most private of places. The moment she handed me Mr. Plutonian’s ring and I placed it on my finger, I felt an eerie jolt not unlike that caused by that newfangled electricity. Moments later, Gordon’s voice resounded not in my ears, but between them, in the intimate darkness in which my own thoughts and feelings are formed. The link is sporadic at best, but still entirely too invasive.
As I am discovering is common with Mr. Plutonian, he is all too often keen to neglect to mention certain parts of arrangements that one must make with him. Gordon found me ill prepared for her entrance into my thoughts. I am afraid the shock caused me to behave very poorly. I yelled, I paced the room, I tugged at the evil bauble until my finger swelled most appallingly, and I even availed myself of my handkerchief in a public setting. When Gordon came to offer her assistance I, in my distress, batted her well-intentioned hands away in a manner most violent. She then gave way to her tears, finally disgusting Mr. Plutonian by our joint hysterics. I feel most sincerely mortified by my behavior to Gordon. I wish I had struck Mr. Plutonian, instead — but that would require him to have enough human feeling to reach out to a fellow creature in her time of need. I cannot for my life determine why this demon is so determined to ruin me. What can be possibly want from a poor and friendless creature such as myself? It feels as though he does not want my business to succeed; how can it, when I am at any moment distracted by whatever silly thought happens to be flitting through Gordon’s mind?
Were it not for my friends in Dee, I think I might sever my finger. As it is, I have frequent recourse to alcohol, laudanum, and ether. My aim is to render my thoughts shallow and murky so that Gordon cannot penetrate them or, at least, so nothing of value can be gleaned from said penetration. I am fortunate that Captain Wytchwood and Miss Dragonash have agreed to help me. The Captain vows most fiercely that no demon shall harm me. Miss Dragonash takes a more reasoned approach and, I think, begins to look into methods of removing the ring. I am so glad to have confided in them, and so grateful to have made such powerful friends.
Miss Dragonash also gifted me with some lovely sort of potion that rendered most of my evening with them a pleasant blur of sensation and activity. I seemed to float through the heavens until the stars and our vessel all sort of melted into one. The music pounded in my chest. The captain’s shirt seemed to glow as we danced. My memories are not very clear, I confess, but I seem to recall the taste of metal and the softness of silk. I must obtain more of this potion from Miss Dragonash. It lacked the more unfortunate effects of alcohol or of my other methods — methods which render me bound to my bed and bath in sickness today.
My head aches terribly, my mouth feels stuffed with cotton, and my stomach roils at the mere thought of food. Worst of all, my contingency plans in case I need to hide from Mr. Plutonian are, with this new design of his, utterly ruined. He knows about my estate. He knows about my secret room in Babbage. He knows the identity of my tenants. For all I can tell, he may even know about my appeal to my friends in Dee or my training with Mr. MacBeth! Oh, Diary, what ever am I to do?
Perhaps I will sell the store. If I sell the store, I can use the money to pay back Mr. Plutonian and then be free of him. I could set up a newer, smaller store on my private land, and then all would be well.
I think that will be my last resort. I truly do wish to keep my store, you know. I just want to develop it at my own pace. I should have been wiser than to go into business with a horned tiger. Had I not gone into business in the first place, I could have lived modestly, yet comfortably, in my little room in New Babbage. Why did I let my pride outweigh my reason? Why did I think I needed more?
Oh, Diary…. how my head throbs! I think I must return to my bed. Until my next entry, then, I bid you good day.
Your Very Stupid,
–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–