Tuesday, May 25, 1869

Dear Diary,

Today, I write to you yet again from the confines of my sick bed as well as from my bath. How my head aches! I have procured a pill from the druggist, but thus far, it has had no effect. I do wish there were some standard of efficacy in these matters, as so many of the remedies advertised in the papers so rarely produce the promised effects. This pill, it seems, serves only to add to my discomfort; my stomach has felt decidedly unsettled ever since I swallowed the supposed medication.

More promising is the removal of the remains of that awful intruder. Danyell did as he promised and removed of the wretch; he also used his connections in the RCAF to smooth over the matter so that word might not get out. His timely interference was most fortunate. Mr. Plutonian’s infernal ring, courtesy of Gordon, had tipped him off and he had come sniffing about for yet another thing to hold over my unfortunate head. He brought with him, for the purposes of intimidation, I suppose, another of his servants. This was Miss Merricks, a cat lady whose presence I found most irritating. Later, Gordon made an appearance, as well, and this Merricks woman was even so bold as to admit a guest into my house — without my permission! Nasty, nasty beast of a woman! With Danyell’s assistance, I was able to drive the unwanted guests out of my home without availing myself of their eager “help” with regard to the intruder. All signs of the man are now gone except, of course, my feelings of guilt and remorse.

I know I acted in self-defense. I know that I was fortunate to have had my weapon nearby. A vagrant madman could have odious designs on a lady alone, especially one so unfortunate as to be caught unawares whilst scantily clad and in her bedroom. He might have raped or murdered me. With no method of calling for the catgirls or even the crimson pirates for speedy assistance, I was left to my own devices. In the moment, I did what was necessary to preserve my life and my honor. Knowing this and feeling this, however, are two very different things. It did not help that Mr. Plutonian and his assistant kept insinuating the most horrible things. They feared for Mr. Plutonian’s reputation, they said, should he be known to do business with a murderess. And they dared cast suspicion on why I had a weapon so close at hand! Oh, those wretched cat people! I don’t think I shall ever be able to look upon a cat again, even a tiny house cat, without disgust.

I rang for Danyell, who was late owing to some business with his lady, but he did come to my aid, as I said. Danyell is a kind man. I do love him, in a way. He is quite loyal to me and very protective. He stood up to the cat people without changing form or resorting to violence. Ever a true friend, he backed my point and remained faithful to his word, hastily disposing of the body evidence once the cat people had gone. I do not think I shall ever be able to repay him or his family for the kindness they have shown me. Why, even Miss Spearsong is improving upon acquaintance.

Later, Danyell told me there was some animal kingdom sort of maneuvering going on, which I found intriguing as well as a bit off-putting. He said that Mr. Plutonian was using the awful Merricks woman to test him. Mr. Plutonian wanted to see if Danyell is an “alpha” and whether or not he would defend me. If Danyell flamed out and gutted the woman, it would be no terrible loss to her master, which he figured was why she kept crossing every possible boundary of respect and decorum. I am not at all certain that Danyell’s interpretation was correct, but I do find the possibility interesting. I must read more about the behavior of big cats in the wild; perhaps such reading will give me insight into methods by which I might outwit, frighten off, or distract such creatures.

As sad as it is, I am a little grateful for Mary’s recent illness. She is little aware of her surroundings and fades in and out of consciousness, although the doctor assures us that her condition is not fatal. These childhood illnesses are never pleasant. I do hope it does not leave her forever altered, as is sometimes the case. I see no evidence of the pox as yet, but some sufferers are left horribly pitted and scarred, an outcome which I know would be devastating to my dear Mary. Still worse, these things can often forever weaken one’s constitution, leaving one permanently susceptible to any illness that comes along. In such cases, an early death is not uncommon. Of course, I would worry myself into a fit it I allowed my thoughts to continue along this course. It is a mere fever, one that the doctor assures me is not fatal. It shall soon pass and all will be well. Perhaps my own head aches with the same fever, and I am nowhere near death’s door. My dear girl will recover; I am sure of it — and she will be none the wiser for the violence perpetrated in her new home, her illness confining her to her bed for the duration of the unpleasantness.

The news is not all bad, Diary. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending Mr. Brentano’s usual Monday night presentation aboard the Empress of the Aethers. I invited both Captain Wytchwood and Mr. Gray, and so I passed the time pleasantly enough. And I do always enjoy the company of Mr. Brentano. Later, I enjoyed a bit of rum (the song selection seemed to call for it) and then, still later, I took a turn about the dance floor with Mr. Plutonian. He is far from my favorite person at the moment, but it is important to keep up appearances. While part of my yearns to expose his scandalous secrets, I am prevented from doing so in order to preserve my own reputation. I would not have it known that I am indebted to such a creature, nor that any animosity exists between us should Danyell or any of my other friends choose to… dispense with his services in this realm.

Speaking of those friends, I have told you that my relationship with Miss Spearsong has been on the mend. For Danyell’s sake, I suppose, she reached out to me in the spirit of friendship. I reached back, and we have had tolerable success at forging a relationship. I assisted her in choosing a wardrobe that might impress Mr. Wellesley. At a later date, she attended me at a social event. She even confided in me about the success of her relationship with Mr. Wellesley. Last night, then, Danyell informed me that the two have become engaged. In their circle, I think that entails the completion of some sort of metaphysical bonding process. This has been quite painful for Miss Spearsong, according to her cousin, so I hope that all has ended favorably for her. I eagerly await my next meeting with the pair so that I might offer my congratulations. They are a curious family, to be sure, but also a happy one. Sometimes, I feel jealous to be ever the outsider. At other times, I am grateful for my independence. I hope Miss Spearsong does not come to regret losing hers.

Well, Diary, I have rambled long enough. My head begins to clear, and so I think I must go and take care of some business at the store.

Your Exhausted,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

For Mr. Plutonian’s vague, highly biased, and not at all accurate account of the event, please see his journal.

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3 Responses to Tuesday, May 25, 1869

  1. Pingback: In Which I Call Upon Miss Puddlegum At Her Home (RP) « The Plutonian Letters

  2. I’m speachles(ish). How can two events differ so much? Oooo, who to believe?!

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