Monday, July 5th, 1869

Dear Diary,

This week has been one of revelry and celebration. Many Caledonians originally hail from the United States and Canada, both of which celebrated their origins this week. Many balls and parties were held. At Prop Spinners,’ a great deal of fireworks and the shooting off of various firearms ensued!

I earned roughly $250L from teaching my courses with the Victorian Ladies’ Training Association, so that is a nice addition to my personal income. My dear land partner also paid his month’s rent in full. To add yet another revenue stream, I invested in a 7Seas system, which I have opened to the public. I am still more in the red than not, but I see signs of promise, especially now that my tiny store is housed along with my home instead of all by itself in Victoria City. I shall miss those tunnels, though!

I also had the opportunity to join Mr. Creighton on another of his delightful air tours. This time, the Captain flew us to a magical garden in the sky. This garden contained a hedge maze. I arrived rather late. Almost immediately, I was startled to learn that Miss Jonson had become trapped within the maze and had issued a call for assistance. Joined by Mr. Creighton, I bravely forged ahead in order to locate my lost friend. At first, the maze appeared quite small and simple. I soon learned otherwise. You see, concealed from view within one of the hedges was a secret door. This door led one down into a dank, twisted labyrinth. Miss Jonson had become lost. After much calling out and much turning around wrong corners, we eventually located Miss Johnson and made our way to safety. All parties were safely accounted for by the end, but a few lost souls caused the rest of us to speculate for a moment on the possible presence of a minotaur. All in all, the experience proved as exciting and as edifying at the rest of Mr. Creighton’s tours. If only you were human instead of a book, dear diary, I would gladly recommend them.

In other news, the portion of my estate which holds the observatory has escaped litigation at last. I already posted an ad in the Steamlander in order to notify the public of the change. It is my great hope that this wonder of Caledon continue to attract visitors and admiration for some time to come.

Last, but certainly not least, I purchased a number of black garments. While black is not suitable for all occasions, I find it a fitting tribute (and a reminder) of the life that I took. My soul will not be calm. I know I cannot risk exposing the truth to the public at large, especially since it was self defense and certainly not worth a hanging. Still, I continue to mourn the young madman. I cannot visit his grave. I cannot inform his nearest and dearest. I can only pray for him and remember him and honor that memory to the best of my ability. I think I shall try to wear the color of mourning at least once per week.  Such a gesture is but a poor salve to my tender soul, but perhaps a soul so sullied should suffer a remorse like mine.

And so, dear Diary, life forges on despite my crime. I fish, I sail, I ride. I teach my courses. I manage my estate. I attend social events and carry on adventures whenever I can. Best of all, that blackguard Mr. Plutonian has remained quietly out of my life for nearly a week complete! I believe he is abroad at present. I still fear his reaction when I pay him and go on my way, of course, but I find that this brief reprieve has provided me with… perspective, shall we say? I endeavor to temper my fear of this demon with reason. Whatever his designs upon me may be, Mr. Plutonian is a businessman. I am certain that he will see the benefit of accepting his loan back with interest rather than remaining tied to a risky investment such as myself… won’t he?

Your humble and hopeful confidante,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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