Letter 20 - First Night in Ambleside

Miss Adeline Westley
23 rue Saint Paul

2 December 1902

Dearest Addie,

Having spent one full day with the Hills at Ambleside, I have undergone quite a change of perspective from my previous outlook for the holiday. As it turns out, Richard Hill is not in the least homely or unfortunate, and hasn't an ounce of trouble securing a dance partner for himself. In fact, he was so well supplied with female admirers for the gathering last night that I was obliged to take Stuart as my partner in the dances. I began to suspect one of two things. Either Stuart Hill is so well versed in the most effective ways to fluster me that he arranged things on purpose to befuddle me, or (and I knew I should hardly let myself hope) Stuart harbours a rather well-hidden affection for me. These two alternatives I pondered as I danced the forms, in and out of Stuart's capable arms. As we parted for the evening, he kissed my hand and held it for a moment longer than was strictly necessary before letting it slip from his. My inner conflict and confusion must have shown on my face, Addie, because he was smiling slightly as he said, "I tried to tell you at Carnival, I honestly did." After which he tapped one finger on the end of my nose and then turned to leave. I ask you, Addie, what was I supposed to make of that?


Maitland Bristow

Nook End Farm
Ambleside, Westmorland

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