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Nearby the Priestley’s House —
With a sharp crack, my walking stick meets the ground as I leave the ashen clergyman, Thomas Ainsworth behind. Perhaps, he is more reverent on the days he is not a blackmailer. I could not say. But he should fear me because he has made me livid.
What else is there to call his molestation of Miss Walker but rape? And does it not fall to me, as the gentlemanly woman courting her, to punish her rapist? Let him believe he has escaped me. He doesn’t know I’ve been in want of a strong horsewhip in my hand ever since driving in the team on the Highflyer.
I suspect at around four o’clock the carriage carrying Mr. Ainsworth will travel down the Leeds Road. There’s a small cave under the tree roots. I know exactly where to set up.
Three hours later —
Love and sex have so many mysteries. I am no fool, ask anyone, and yet I believe each time something will be different and that it’ll break my way for a change. I am always wrong. How is it possible that I can calculate everything else but this?
I am a walking library of erotic poetry, so much so that I have my blushing down on cue. I can recite every romantic downfall in Shakespeare, and yet, somehow I foolishly believe, over and over again, that I will escape the fated reckoning of heartbreak.
Yesterday, she was the sweetest lover I’d ever had. Today, I’m grateful, dare I say it and speak it out loud, to escape the madness that has overtaken her.
What’s happened? I find myself asking this question all too often when I see her crumpled and crying or in some other fit of near hysteria. She can have all my strength. I’ll surround her with it. But what’s to be done about the disturbance inside her mind?
Quite suddenly we are on treacherous ground. Today, something rather big between us broke, and I’m no longer sure I can save this good thing that’s been happening between us.
I’ve questioned myself over and over in my diaries. Where did I go wrong that time, or the time before that, or that one, or her, or her? It’s madness for me to keep looking for a pattern because the one I do see is all too immense for me to ever hope for a clear sail through it.