Chapter XLIII

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It would be days until I saw anyone again, until Martha paid me a house call, though I had forgotten of her calling card when she was at my door

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It would be days until I saw anyone again, until Martha paid me a house call, though I had forgotten of her calling card when she was at my door.

"Martha, good afternoon," I said unwillingly going into the drawing room to receive her company.

"Good afternoon... Were you sleeping?" She looked at my face and the truth was I had been sleeping, I drank chamomile tea like it was water and it relaxed me so much I slept more than I was awake.


"Alice do you need me to call you my doctor? You are looking dreadful, much like the way your mama did when we first arrived to London."

"Oh dear then I must look horrible," I thought how mother had gotten used to London finally, she was always out and about with Mrs. Campbell, Lady Scott and Lady Thomas.

"Well yes as a matter of fact, you really need to get yourself together," Martha said and I chuckled for she spared no truth for anyone's ego.

"Enough of me, why have you come?"

"First I am insulted you are asking me such a question since it has been too long since we last saw each other and second because it should be obvious."

"You came to talk of your wedding," I had lost track of life outside the house and it would not do to be a bad friend to Martha no matter what was happening to me.

"Yes, if you remember I am engaged to Arthur and my mother's taste is not really the kind of wedding input I would like."

"Of course, have you looked at dresses?" I sat by her and she gave me the latest designs arrived in London from Lady Thomas's dressmaker who was the best one we knew.

"I refuse to be covered up to my neck like mama wants it, I want something a little more like this, what do you think?" She showed me a tight corset with too many ruffles to count and breasts overflowing from the top.

"I think you may wish the bottom of the dress to be bigger," I refreshed myself with some water and went through every picture with her.

"Yes much bigger, so big I will barely fit through the church door," she joked.

"Well I am sure Sir Arthur will appreciate your dislike of high necked dresses."

"Yes but will his mother? I do not want to get on the wrong side of my future family before I am even married."

"Lady Scott should be the least of your worries, she is as amiable as Sir Arthur it is only his father you must win over."

"Ah good, you have noticed at least one thing then," Martha teased my lack of discernment of the subdued clues of Victorian society.

"Back to your wedding, where will it be?"

Martha stayed for two hours and I amused her for so long she even got me to eat more food than I had eaten in a while, it was a good distraction for a little, when she left I was exhausted again and climbed back into the unmade bed to read some more. The beautiful piano was abandoned unless Mrs. Miller insisted on giving me lessons but since she was a paid subordinate sometimes I won and stayed in my bed chambers for the entirety of the day.

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