Post-dated: Wednesday, September 21st, 1870

My Dear Diary:

Do excuse my absence. I have been convalescing, as it were, and unable to enjoy your company in the discreet circumstances to which I have become accustomed. Between the dear, yet hovering, attentions of Matilda, Dr. Hyde, and even the (thankfully) less frequent visits from Nurse Rose, I find my social calendar quite full. Some of my friends from the club even came calling from time to time in order to wish me a speedy recovery.

My accident was quite remarkable. At least that is what I am told. One moment, the good doctor beamed as he conducted me on a tour of his pride and joy: his airship. No mere cloud hopper or boomslang, his is a stately affair fit for the court of a king. Indeed, Dr. Hyde assures me that his vessel did once host such a gathering. Several levels of living space join with the impressive control bridge and the cavernous hull to create the impression of a flying manor house. Unfortunately, for all of its glinting metallic wonder, the ship does show its age. I fear I experienced the worst of these ill effects when I lost my footing upon the stairs.

Yes, that must be it. I remember the stairs. The events that followed still seem shrouded in a rather dense haze.I must have lost consciousness. I recall finding myself, damp and sore, in the greenhouse below the ship. I wore a stranger’s clothes. My hair dripped. My throat and lungs burned. I recall a headache, bruised knuckles, and a sharp pain in my knee. When I came to, I found Matilda by my side. Even his hair and clothing looked uncharacteristically frazzled.

Really, Diary, it is all so very vexing! Some of it must be a dream. For instance, I cannot fathom how a younger looking Mr. Bluebird found his way to the accident. He had regained a limb, but lost his marbles as the cost of doing business. Certainly, such a thing is impossible.

Besides, I dreamed about Hanzai, as well. The doctor says I walloped him but good, landing a smart blow to his now-swollen nose. I do hope it doesn’t heal crookedly; he has such a handsome profile. Fineshit, himself, appeared to be a fine specimen of a man until he opened his mouth – or, heaven forbid, unsheathed his baton. And Hax, his little lackey, she was so diminutive! Such a small little crony she was, and with so deceptive a mien. She looked angelic; she acted a devil. I must have confused my friends for my enemies, for I am told I behaved like an absolute banshee. I fear for what I might have said or done.

My recollection is so foggy that I hardly trust it. As for the others, well… Matilda is the soul of discretion. Dr. Hyde barely mentions the incident except as medically necessary. Oh, Diary! What does he know?

For now, he waits on me hand and foot. He sings. He plays. He recites Shakespeare with the greatest of ease and ability. Were he to pull out a sewing basket, I might think him a woman. No – I jest. He is the most affable gentleman. I think he must feel very guilty for allowing me to fall from his ship. He hardly leaves my side, the poor man. I cannot blame him for the accident, however much Matilda may doubt him. He did not mean for me to fall. No, I give myself leave to like him very much. His considerable talents are wasted on that insipid Rose.

But that is all I shall say on the matter. Footsteps approach. I must make ready for my examination.

Your Injured,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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