A debutante’s diary: A flirtatious train journey

Thursday October 1st, 1868

My retriever alluded to our last scene in the cedar room, which I for my part had almost forgotten. ‘Do you remember that thick gold bracelet of yours falling off, and my picking it up and clasping it for you? Looking back I wonder how my self-possession ever carried me through.’ He then went on to tell me the sort of reputation Kelham bears in the county, as being a house no woman under forty should venture into. Poor Kelham! Its morals were certainly d’occasion but still it didn’t strike me as being as bad as all that. Of course, Morland interspersed his conversation with several of those pretty little nothings which coming from a man of his stamp mean so much, to all of which I listened with downcast eyes, smiling mouth, and the general air of soft contentment you may remark on the countenance of a cat when she is being petted. The train meanwhile rushed along with the most unnecessary speed, and was in London before we thought we were halfway. He stayed till the very last, only leaving us at the Paddington Hotel, and I declare I could have cried with vexation when we said goodbye. Alas! Alas! With my last glimpse of his handsome face, fades away my last English flirtation, and I may make up my mind now to Paris and those insupportable Frenchmen for the next six months, to say nothing of an indefinite period beyond!

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