A debutante’s diary: Alice gets a visitor from India

Tuesday September 15th, 1868

John Metcalfe, the great Indian hero, has just arrived à point to divert my thoughts from my retriever’s merits, about which, being past, I need no longer occupy myself.

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We have all had our curiosity sufficiently excited about the baronet by the stories which preceded him: as far as I can make out at present he has the good taste to be, or feign to be, immensely smitten by my beaux yeux, against which indeed, as far as he’s concerned, not the shadow of an accusation can be lodged, as they were entirely differently occupied. That occupation however having taken its departure simultaneously with my handsome friend, I don’t see the smallest inconvenience in promoting to his place this by no means unwilling Indian hero.

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It will be a contrast to Morland certainly, as he looks about forty-six, and has only one eye, otherwise il n’est pas mal and then contrast is so piquant! Besides it’s morally impossible that I can do without someone to run messages, carry my flowers, and otherwise be at my entire disposal.

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