Chapter LXXIII

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The engagement to Mr

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The engagement to Mr. Henry was announced in the papers and soon many letters of house calls made their way to me, society has opened its arms for me. Except tonight I would be dining with the newlyweds Joseph and Lilly's for their first dinner at home in London, the former place of residence Mr. Howard used to live in when I was hired as his maid years ago.

"You look beautiful milady," Edna was done putting a jeweled necklace around my neck and it reminded there was still something unanswered, the attempt against my life.

"Thank you Edna, I hope you have a pleasant night," I got up to put on the coat.

"Thank you milady."

It was not right for me to go out unaccompanied but I was short of a lady companion and since there was not much I could do about it I was glad it would not please Lady Walker and I was sure at dinner Martha would not deny me her aid in my time of need.

"Oh wait one more thing, I found this at the bottom of your things when I was unpacking what do I do with it?" Edna showed me Mr. Howard's book.

"Oh..." I was caught off guard by the strong memory of his tears when I announced my engagement.

"Milady?"

"Uh here, I will have it please."

"As you wish," she placed the book on my hand and I opened it to take a look at what I had lost.

Dear Alice,
This book is yours and I do not want it if I cannot have you, for it only drives me to the distraction of memories of you that I may never relive.

Yours.

Every word like the audible sounds of Mr. Howard's baritone voice, and I knew the chances that I would hear them again were like passing a camel through the eye of the needle. Still for a lady who had discovered she was nothing but a bag of gold coins in the hands of others these were much needed words to keep a fire near my dying heart.

"What have I done God? I have built my own prison and only you can rescue me..." I shut the book and left to the dinner party.

Joseph and Lilly had arrived from their honeymoon and were happily hosting their first dinner as a married couple to which most of our friends were invited. As I arrived my eyes went to the one whom locked me away with a ring, Mr. Henry smiled the same way as the other times, with the same ease of unguilty conscience.

"I am so happy to see you Lady Alice."

"Mr. Henry please pretend no more about your feelings for me, I know the truth of how sordid you are," I smiled without giving him my hand.

"You mistake me milady I never had to pretend about you, you were without a doubt the best entertainment I have had in so long. It was a well played game, I was beginning to think it was impossible to win you over but at last I won and I can hardly wait to savor what you have to offer." He bowed taking my hand to kiss and my chest rose in anger right then Martha approached us.

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