Miss Maitland Bristow
14 Bathurst Mews
23 July 1902
I should like nothing more than to switch places with you. I should be quite pleased to argue with Peter in the park. Why, arguing with Peter is one of my most favourite pastimes! Remember our school days, not so many years removed? Peter always had the answers to all the world's questions, didn't he? My fondest memories are of the summers when we were just girls and of the time I spent with you and your family. I remember one warm day when the three of us (you, Peter and I) lay on the lawn daydreaming of what the future would hold as we laughed at the folly of our own whimsical ideas. I daresay Peter has grown into himself since those days--the two of us have, as well, haven't we? You are much too harsh to compare Peter to an arthropod! Peter can be quite dashing. I'm quite certain Miss Highmore does not challenge the all-knowing Peter, and it tickles me to think of their lacking conversations. She no doubt fills his head with mindless gossip and talk of tea parties and such. I hate her for taking him from us!
I'm really not meant for this life in Paris, Maisie. You would be much better suited to attending balls and being adorned in fine things. I can see you now, dancing with Julien, coyly reprimanding his casual advances, and thereby making him chase you all the more! I, on the other hand, ran off like a silly child. Should you ever come to France I would make arrangements for the two of you to meet. I'm sure the passionate Julien would be quite charmed with your fairness and allure, all cleverness aside!
Also, I wrote to my mother concerning the child. 'Twas a difficult letter to write, indeed; full of apologies for my leaving, and begging her forgiveness in the matter. I casually inquired if she knew anything about the portrait of the young child in Mr. Westley's home. I asked how father was, if he was very much enraged by my leaving (although I feel sure I already know the answer to this). We shall see.
I am ever so anxious to hear of your visit with Mr. Rothschild. For now, I shall continue to explore Paris and try to find some happiness in this summer without you. And lastly, do make sure to tell Peter that I stand squarely on the side of his mother concerning the Australians.
23 rue Saint Paul