Letter 1

November 1st 1998

Dearest Mary,

Something frightful has happened. The butler, that philandering good-for-nothing has absconded with the scullery maid! I have been left butler-less and having to wash my own dirty cups, which is of course completely preposterous for a lady of my standing in civilised society.

I knew the swine was up to something, plotting some kind of betrayal. His manner had changed of late. He was always curt but these past weeks he would barely say a word to me, save to tell me when meals were ready. I had a good mind to dock his pay, but didn’t. At least I don’t think I did. Or did I? Perhaps I told the bursar to dock his pay, I cannot recall doing it but then I cannot recall not doing it either.

I feel like a kite of late, my mid is tugging and dancing in a breeze and it is hard to keep a hold of the string. I am forgetting more than I did and sometimes I do not recognise my own staff and home. Sometimes I dream that I am not in my own bed in my manor, but am in a steel cot in a small bare room. In the dreams my staff are nurses and I hear moans and cries of poor souls that are trapped in their own small, bare rooms.

Luckily the dreams to not last long and I awaken in my own grand bedroom. I ring the bell and the butler will appear with my breakfast if it is morning, or a stiff drink if I have woken during the night. I am assured that the moaning I hear is simply the wind looking for a way to get through the windows; after all this is an old house. Sometimes the dreams cling on as the butler arrives and it seems he is dressed in green overalls, not his fine suit. My half dreaming mind sees that instead of carrying a silver tray he is pushing an ugly steel trolley, full of bottles of pills and tinctures.

Do not fret dear sister for these dreams are less than they were and I don’t hear the old voices as much anymore. I think this is a good thing. I can live here in the manor as a fine lady, in peace. The butler…well that fellow has rightly messed up my serenity and comfort now with his selfish antics. Imagine, leaving an old lady butler-less, it’s quite unprofessional, nay even more than that is is downright barbaric!

Then again there is the question of wages. Did I dock them? Perhaps that is the reason he left. I suppose I would not be happy if someone docked my pay.

I will write him a letter and tell him it was a mistake, a clerical error and that he should return at once to resume his duties with full pay and a ham at Christmas.

I am sure that this will prove satisfactory to him. Indeed, why wouldn’t it? Yes, there is no reason for him not to return to my employ on these terms. I will write to him at once.

Take care sister,

Lady Jane Esme Farnsworthy

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