A Letter from London

My dearest Mabel

I simply had to put pen to page and fulfil my promise to you. Yes, dear friend, I have news to report, Lord Tristain has proposed!

But not to me.

No, he had to go down on one knee, in the middle of the Duchess of Southerton’s ball and beg for the hand of Lady Sophia Forestfell.

And she said no!

My dearest, I’m sure you can imagine, the question caused every fan in the room to flutter. The answer left more than one proper society matron swooning in horror.

There she was, the horrible girl, with her glossy brown curls, I’m sure she pads them, hair is simply not that thick, one hand to her throat.

‘Oh Your Lordship’ she twittered ‘you are too bold and I simply cannot marry you.’

She covered her face and ran from the room, straight past me if you will and I can tell you for certain, her eyes were dry as Egypt in summer for all she was pretending to sob.

Lord Tristain was left, abandoned, still on one knee, in the middle of the dance floor. It was agonising, Dearest, my heart was simply breaking over his distraught expression.

Then the Duke of Avonmore had to rub salt into the wound didn’t he, walked over and hauled the poor man to his feet, saying. ‘Really old fellow, public proposals are not the done thing, terribly uncouth, especially when you’re not certain of the answer.’

He herded him off towards the card room and I hear that every man in the room proceeded to conspire to get him incredibly drunk. They had to carry him out, then hang him half out of the carriage all the way home so he didn’t spoil the insides.’

How do I know this? For once, my irritating brother proved both useful and communicative. I believe Lord Tristain is to dine with us tomorrow evening and Mother says men suffering from disappointment always respond well to comforting women.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and write soon with your news.

Affectionate regards

Eloisa

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