Soon it was July of 1891, and the only thing I heard of were my wedding preparations, Lady Walker had no agreed with Mr. Henry trying to use the money in the venture but she came up with her own set of demands before the marriage was to take place. The first demand being the sale of my London home to buy one closer to the Duke where the crème de la crème were located for a better chance of dinner parties and a firmer foot in society.
"Such beauty, such refinement, this is definitely worth the trade," Lady Walker said excited while Henry was nowhere near in sight to say yes or no.
"Lady Walker first I have to see if I am allowed to sell it for it will belong to my brother once I am married."
"Then talk to Mr. Lawdon at once and if you cannot convince him then I shall, I expect an answer no later than this week"
"I will talk to Mr. Lawdon then," I nodded though I had no intentions of lifting a finger for such a waste of money.
"Good now about your dresses for the Summer Dinner, I hear Mr. Howard has invited a couple of very rich buyers for the last night of the dinner, and a journalist will be there to take pictures so I hope you are better suited for this dinner than the previous ones for this one will not be a holiday like the others."
Lady Walker had the dresses I ordered sent back for alterations and made me pack more jewelry than I ever traveled with anywhere for this dinner and once again while her and Mr. Henry attended the dinner Sir Walker went away abroad, I was starting to believe he did this every year on purpose.
Edna came along as my companion since Brielle had been sent back to Scotland for some unknown reason Lady Walker would not discuss with me so she had no choice but to accept Edna go with as my companion or I would not be able to attend, and once Stanley Hall was seen through the window just like every other time the impact of bittersweet joy overcame my spirit when I saw Mr. Bert waiting.
"Are you alright milady?" Edna asked as my eyes got watery but I let no tear drop because I knew a river could very well burst out.
"Oh quite alright," I smiled and someone opened the door of the carriage.
"Lady Alice, how lovely to have you back, we are so relieved for your well-being," Mr. Bert said and I nodded giving him my hand.
"As I am of yours and everyone else here," I asked him to lead me inside holding his arm with no sign of Mr. Howard.
Mr. Bert carried me off to the same room and Edna went off with Mary to a room adjoined with mine instead of the maid's wing and since it was still not night I thought of going for a ride with William before dinner was served. The stable was unattended so I looked for William alone though there was no sign of him and when the stable boy came by I began to question him about William's whereabouts.
"Hi do you remember me?" I said giving the boy my hand.
"Yes I do Lady Alice, the tamer of horses right?"
"Ah well maybe only the tamer of William, I am actually searching for him, where is he?"
"Ohh uh well William was sold off a couple of months ago, I even thought you were the buyer."
"No, I was not," I placed my hand against my torso to hold how upsetting the news was.
"Do you need me to help you inside."
"No thank you, so Mr. Howard sold him William? Why? Why would he sell him?"
"Why did he not ask me to buy him? I would have taken him in..." The stable boy was disconcerted by my questions but I was in disbelief Mr. Howard had done such a thing.
"William threw the master off his back and then he did the same with the future Lady of Bridgeston so they had him sold..."
Of course everything wrong had to have Cynthia's finger on it, by God this horse was mine, he even knew the people I disliked.
"Alice? What are you doing here?" Mr. Howard entered the stable coming back from a ride and I went up to shove him off for being so stupid as to listen to Cynthia.
"You sold William! How could you do that?" I shouted at Mr. Howard instead of patiently asking him about his response to the letter which was how I hoped our first encounter would be like instead here I was beside myself with anger and the stable boy made himself scarce.
"He was my horse to sell as I pleased!" Mr. Howard pointed it out.
"Exactly!" I slapped his chest ready for a fight and he lifted the hand I hit him with up in the air.
"He threw me off his back and then he did it to Lady Cynthia as well, I could not keep him when he was endangering the life of those around him!"
"So you sold him to some stranger! Without a second thought to ask me if I wanted William! Oh God if I could hate you I would do it at this moment! I would hate you right now!" I smacked him again and he let go of me.
"I will not fight with you Alice, especially after I am the one to blame for what happened to you, I should have realized the threat she was yet I let her get close to you and for that I shall never forgive myself so please calm down I do not want you getting hurt because of your anger at me."
"As if it was possible!" I spit out the truth instead of holding back although it disturbed him to hear me be so clear and he stood there frozen so I shook my head and decided to walk out.
"Why? Clearly you hate me, it is why you have not responded to my letter right? But to not let me have William? You knew, you knew how upset this would make me, I loved William, if you did not then the least you could have done was let me love him! Yet you sold him to some stranger!"
"I do not hate you!"
"Then how do we always end up here? Will we never find a truce? And if you do not hate me then was this your way of saying how little regard you have towards me? If it is then fine, you should understand I am done apologizing to you, I have nothing else to apologize for, I am done with you so have a good night Mr. Howard!" I left the stable stomping the grass furiously and I heard him groan and kick one of the barn doors.
At dinner Joseph escorted me to the dining room, Mr. Henry escorted Cynthia, and Sir Arthur escorted Lady Lilly as I watched Cynthia try her hardest to not be too friendly with Mr. Henry. Though I watched closely hoping Mr. Howard would catch them being too intimate and fight with her like he did with me I had no luck every time they gave each other looks or Cynthia brushed her elbow or arms on Mr. Henry, Mr. Howard was focused elsewhere. As the night went on Cynthia's manners were impeccable in front of Mr. Howard which could have only led him to believe I was everything bad she ever said of me but again I would not apologize any longer.
Copyright: All Rights Reserved to A. Sena Gomes.
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The Greatest JourneyHistorical Fiction
Miss Alice Stewart is a poor girl, recently fatherless with a mother and two younger siblings to take care when she finds a job in service as a maid with her aunt Mrs. Green. Soon the family she works for loses money and lets go of her, in need of w...