Thursday, October 31, 2013

Before I twitter on about the latest occurrences in my life, it has come to my attention that the Shire is taking part in some lurid competition with the rest of England to portray the smuttiest inhabitants! I have no want nor need to know any more, but there is a tinkling of interest to find out whether or not anyone I know shall take part... Yes, I can admit here that I am a little disappointed (which is too strong a word) to have vacated the area in time, but no doubt it is for the best. That sort of pressure never works well with the messes I get myself into!

Bohemia is far from experiencing the same sort of sordid escapades that I revelled in during my time in the Shire; I am enjoying the time to relax and learn of cultures different to my own, and it is most pleasurable to now have someone to show me everything before me that I did not see.

The 'most courteous servant' has dropped the act at long last and rightfully acknowledged his ancestry and graciously whispered his name, 'the Duke of Albany' in my ear. I dare not mention the tingles that crept up my spine as I felt his breath on my neck, but though it seemed his intentions were obvious, a volatile friendship has arisen. 

I am doing my utmost to smother the regret that I can taste, because while I do value the Duke's friendship, his arrogance is sickening, his intelligence is frustrating and his knowledge of me is slightly disconcerting. We fight every other time we meet, Jeeves accompanying me on every occasion, and yet on days when I am escorted by some other member of the Bohemian court I cannot help but long for the Duke's patronising comments. God forbid he ever finds out; I would never hear the end of it!

Prague again for the weekend as the nights draw colder and winter whistles at our heels. I know the Duke of Albany shall be there. And I hate that this excites me somewhat.

D. S.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What a fool I was to think I could figure out a man who let my mind wander into the land of gullibility with such ease. 

Ah, the ball. It was a delight; everything I could have imagined had I dared, and so much more than had ever crossed my mind before. The scurrilous and wily messenger laughed at my perplexed expression for some time as it took me longer than I care to admit to realise he had no master, nor was he some lowly messenger. 

As he held my waist and we danced to the vibrant sound of a string quartet I floundered most ungracefully for words to admonish the man before me. I fought my conscience against apologising for my behaviour as I couldn't believe I'd been hoodwinked so obviously. Now that I thought about it, it vexed me somewhat to think I'd been such a fool, especially in regards to my replies

Soon after several dances without uttering a word, the messenger, or indeed my most courteous servant, (whom Jeeves was abashed to admit he'd thought they were one and the same) took my hand and led me round his gardens, talking of the beauty of Bohemia, but divulging nothing more about the letter's of the last month.

I do have to admit I too was rather at a loss for words. I wanted to know more about this Bohemian grandchild, yet I could not declare my ignorance without exacerbating my foolhardy behaviour. And there was something about his blue eyes that made me wither inside, as if I were victim of more than just a misunderstanding or a hoax. It was as if he was biding his time to tell me a deep, dark secret that he'd been living with his whole life.

Honestly, the entire escapade was exhausting, yet despite my errors I relished the entertainment and the laughing and cajoling from the lords and ladies of Bohemia. Certainly, some things are as pleasurable in any country and I felt quite at home by the end of the night.

We hunted together the following day. The forests already turning an embarrassed shade of amber, and here I waited expectantly for the secrets to be divulged. Unfortunately, no such luck. His blue eyes tease me, and I am never relaxed in his company, but if he does not attend a ball or a hunt, I enjoy myself less! I do not understand what has happened. I am confused and wait impatiently to find out more.

D. S.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I feel the need to recap everything that has occurred since I travelled across the Continent to start a new life in Bohemia. There is much to tell since I last wrote, but I want to be clear that I had no control over the latest developments; it was as if my fate had already been decided. 

Six weeks prior to this date I was harassed by an unruly messenger who made it his mission in life to create the most awkward of situations betweens us, all the while promoting his master's intentions to meet with me. I'm sure it will come of no surprise to hear that I acted somewhat discourteously despite my intrigue, and my responses held thinly veiled threats. But the day came when I was unceremoniously summoned to meet the author of the indigestible letters and this is where my courage has faltered somewhat and I have been wrestling with what to write ever since. 

The evening darkened as the October sun dipped behind the castle and still I was pacing the floor of my humble abode. I had heard nothing to confirm the appearance of the messenger who had been a thorn in my side for the last month, but I would not and could not believe it had all been a hoax. It was at this moment, as I raised my voice to summon Jeeves to remove me from my tower of humiliation that I heard an overzealous fanfare in the distance.

Before I even had the time to argue, a retinue of handmaids and footmen bundled into my chambers and collected various hats, dresses, gloves and shoes. Quite taken aback, and looking earnestly for the familiar face of the messenger, I gave permission for the strangers to take me as their hostage, nay, guest, as was expected. I never had the chance to put up a fight, though I did request for the company of Jeeves in my carriage.

We pulled up to this gorgeous palace in what felt like no time at all, and I was quickly bustled into my own private chambers. My clothes were already hanging in various closets, waiting expectantly, each vying for my attention, and at last I was alone. There was a single letter folded on the chair in the room, the seal easily recognisable as my 'most courteous servant's'. Despite the adrenaline coursing through my body I remained calm, sliding a fingernail underneath the blood red wax and read what I hoped would be an explanation. 

I had no idea how to respond and fortunately I had little time to dwell on the letter as a handmaid soon returned, and with a a little bob of a curtsey she helped choose me a dress of green muslin and pink lace; an acknowledgement to the summer just gone.

Even through the corridors that I had to traipse to make my way to the ballroom I could hear the agreeable laughter of firm friends. I was nervous; for once I would be the outsider, and completely caught off guard. My steps slowed the louder the raucous ballroom became, and I knew I could outrun the slight handmaid if I needed to. Jeeves was no where to be found, but I was duly informed he was waiting for me in the ballroom.

Though I hate to admit it, I was relieved when I saw the messenger lurking in the corridor ahead of me. I would recognise him anywhere after the few incidents that we'd shared. I wished I had asked him more questions about his master, or indeed given myself more preparation time before throwing myself head first into this social gathering. The messenger turned to leave through another door, but gave me a reassuring wink as he left me once again to my own devices. 

The handmaid had slowed to a halt, explaining that she was unable to enter the ballroom with me, but through the door I would arrive at the top of some stairs and a herald would announce my arrival. I felt like one of those princesses I had read about as a child, but rather than excited to meet prince charming, I was nervous.

As the doors opened and I heard my name read out to the throngs of people below, I scanned the room for Jeeves and the messenger, the only two people I had as allies in the roomful of strangers. I wondered who it was I was supposed to meet and hoped he would not leave me to flounder for too long. Step by step I lowered myself to the spider's nest, and noted the beautiful drapes and delightful chandeliers that lit up the room. 

I blame my inability to guess what would happen next on the intoxication of my surroundings. I'm sure by now it might be possible for you to imagine who it was who had personally been sending me the letters, but I was enraptured with the situation and completely put at ease by my Bohemian courtiers. I had enjoyed several dances with both ladies and gentlemen, and laughed gallantly at our miscommunication due to the difficulty in language, but when I felt a calloused hand on my shoulder, I too sensed that the answer to my impending question was near. 

The messenger's blue eyes met mine with a grin, and he bowed sarcastically as my mouth formed an astonished 'O'. We danced without uttering a single word, neither of us wanting to admit the emotions hidden beneath our conventional façades. 

D. S.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The weekend is nigh and I have but a few hours to make my decision. All week I have been fretting about what course of action to take, and as the sunrise draws nearer I am still no closer to making a decision.

Secretly I long to meet this courtier, I want to know exactly who I am dealing with, but I feel that not only does he have the upper hand, but the whole body and soul to his advantage. No doubt it shall be the messenger who will single-handedly deliver me to this 'most courteous servant' and I dread the smirk that shall sit amongst his stubbled chin as I am carted like a peasant through the realm of Bohemia.

I am never summoned. I am invited (and I know the catalyst to this whole fiasco was an invitation) but my hand is never forced to make a decision. I am a Duchess and I do not care for some foreign courtier to treat me like anything lesser. This is my main argument against appearing later today. It is all very romantic to be whisked away by an anonymous suitor if that is what you want. To be ordered around after insults that I refuse to repeat is not only beneath me as a Duchess, but beneath any woman. It is my pride that I am finding more difficult to quell than my curiosity...


I packed a suitcase and was prepared to leave. But now it seems I keep finding excuses to stay. My servants have asked what time will the messenger be arriving to take me to the Ball, and Jeeves has questioned whether or not I will be returning home this weekend (and even more quietly he whispered if I wanted accompanying).

Butterflies are making appearances in my stomach and I cannot for the life of me keep still and concentrate on anything else. I feel foolhardy and naive, I have no expectations, yet I do keep rehearsing an indignant speech in my head. The messenger should arrive this evening, so I have nothing more to do than wait.

A lack of patience is another one of my flaws to add to the list.

D. S.

Monday, October 07, 2013

I have not known what to write after I opened the second letter from my 'most courteous servant'. It was nothing so shocking that my speech was lost, but rather it was diminished to a humbled whisper and I needed the time to think of an eloquent response before throwing myself into an egotistical tirade (which we all know I am prone to do).

This is not the first time I have been pursued by an anonymous stranger, (already the ego appears) and I know my reputation often precedes me, so this contact shouldn't be of any surprise. Nevertheless, as far as I am aware, this 'most courteous servant' knows more about me than I thought possible; especially as he resides here in deepest Bohemia. I dread to think how my reputation has scaled an entire continent!

It worries me slightly that he seems to have the entire measure of me, whereas I know nothing, save that he employs rather unrefined characters to deliver his messages. His latest letter left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth:

I'm sure there is a polite way to refuse attending a ball in my honour, but I am torn between disappearing for the weekend (which is only four days away now!) or doing as I'm told ~ but only because my curiosity will no doubt get the better of me. Being overtly polite to someone who has openly called me 'condescending' is not something I can handle. There is no being 'the bigger person' when I may as well give this gentleman his dues and act accordingly. If that's what he wants and who he is expecting, then who am I to deny him? Especially as I am so generous.

Sarcasm is my only saving grace against an egotistical tirade, and I know I am still not doing myself any justice by proving my flaws. I know my flaws. I do not need them pointed out to me by a man I have never met. There is hardly any time to pen a reply to his letter. So I shall just wait for the weekend and make a spur of the moment decision. 

D. S.