Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Diaries of Sir Arthur McKinsey, pt. III

Diary Entry on the evening of September the First, the year Eighteen Seventy-Four Anno Domini.

Dear Diary,

I apologize for leaving you untouched for so long. I have meant to write of my latest meeting with the lady of whom I wrote earlier - surely you recall! - yet I have been distracted by minor, piddling things, and left you with but the scantest note to satisfy you - and such a strange and pointless thing it was! Still, that is enough bemoaning what has been - I now write of what occurred on the day of my last meeting, nearly one week ago today.

It had been arranged that we should meet as we had the time before - on a Wednesday, on the third strike past the hour. Another friend of mine, the gentleman D. Z., had arranged to meet her at the same time, at my town-house, and so arrived early. We spoke briefly, but I am afraid I was somewhat preoccupied at the time, and offended him somewhat - a thing always to be regretted when it comes to friends! - and he dismissed myself when the lady arrived at the appointed hour. It was an ill omen for the beginning of our meeting - thankfully, it did not last.

The lady first greeted the family hound, in whose company she found as much delight as she had before. (Myself, I find no great affection for the beast - nor hatred, mind - but she seemed, as much as the dog's owner, to be greatly fond of him.) We let him loose to hunt for apples, which he finds curious delight in devouring, and spoke of possible diversions with which to spend our time. I suggested a number of things, including the 'Yoghurtland' at which we had met previously, but when I mentioned the game of blocks which we had played before, the choice was clear - her eyes seemed almost to light up! (Truth in fiction, perhaps?) We at once retired to the drawing-room to play together.

For several hours we amused ourself in this fashion - time seemed to fly by, such that, upon my glancing at my pocket-watch (for the first time since we had begun) and inquiring of her if she could guess the time, the lady was quite surprised to learn that no less than one hour and a quarter had passed since we had begun to play - indeed, it seemed to us like no time at all. Fully, we played for twice that time, enjoying many of the scenarios devised for the game. The lady grew more competent as we progressed - at no time was she incompetent, mind, but I swear that at the end she was more skilled in the defensive arts then am I myself! (My brother ventured in on a few occasions for his own inscrutiable instances; upon hearing this last remark, he suggested derisively that surpassing my skill at defense is no great task - there being too much truth there to outright deny.)

At last, we somewhat reluctantly adjourned from our play. It was half past five, I recall, and the lady informed me that she must leave before six so that she might arrive at her scheduled train before it departed, thus prompting the aforementioned cessation. We talked somewhat more - most especially regarding the literature which I had lent her previously, she being pleased with some of it, though not all. I lent her another book, the following volume to another which she had fully enjoyed, she spent a moment more with the hound, then it was time for her to leave.

Before she left, we agreed that we must surely meet again - when she has finished everything I have lent her, if not sooner. If our next meeting is like the last (save for Mr. Z.'s departure, of course), then it is an event which I fervently wish will come soon.

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