A debutante’s diary: A last walk with Mr Hutton

Monday September 14th, 1868

The whole party went off on an expedition to some forest or other: all but May, Johnny Ogle, my retriever and I, who stayed at home, with the intention of occupying ourselves in an entirely different manner. I can’t pretend to say what May did: seeing she disappeared directly after breakfast and was no more seen till luncheon, repeating the performance as soon as that meal was concluded.

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I sat over the cedar room fire, lazily discussing matrimony with Mr Morland Hutton. I put on an alpine, the weather having turned out quite cold, and we walked to Aram during the afternoon. Our last walk! How well I remember it! We sat down under a bank and an old hollow tree, he holding my hand that he had taken nominally to warm, and didn’t relinquish, looking at me with the appropriative glance I have no sort of objection to when coming from such fine eyes.

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‘It is very wearisome to have to go back to real life and work tomorrow!’ he said at last with a sigh. ‘No words can say how much I have enjoyed this holiday-thanks to you,’ to which I responded softly that I was delighted he found such pleasure in my society, and that I hoped we might meet each other again, which of course we shan’t.

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