July 14, 1815
Burton Park, West Sussex
Dear Mr. Rensalaer,
I am writing to invite you to spend several weeks with our family in West Sussex next month. Baron Ware and myself would be most pleased to meet you as we feel we learned to know you through the letters of our son, Richard. We want to thank you most sincerely for the ways in which you eased his time on the peninsula and we feel a most sincere regard for you as a result.
We live quietly, so do not fear that you would be expected to meet the entire neighborhood and be feted about. There is a decent trout stream if you like fishing and many lovely walks about the country side. Our daughter Delia will be in residence and I know she will as well want to add her thanks to our own for your care of Richard as they were very close.
Please let us know if you accept our invitation and the date of your expected arrival.
July 18, 1815
Dear Miss Tibbets,
Please inform Miss Abbingdon that the captain has accepted the invitation to the Ware family home, Burton Park. We will travel the first two days of August and the captain plans on remaining for a fortnight.
Miss Tibbets, I am sure the captain is improving however, I cannot see him budging on his stance regarding communications with Miss Abbingdon. He does not want to compromise her chances with some lordly buck and feels she deserves quite a different man than him. I think perhaps it is time for Miss Abbingdon to accept this. I would not want her to miss her chances at marriage because of a misplaced hope that the captain will ever change his mind.
Sgt. C. Rountree, ret.
July 25, 1815
Dear Sergeant Rountree,
I respect your thoughts and opinions regarding the erstwhile correspondence between Miss Abbingdon and your employer. I have long wondered if it was mistaken in me to have encouraged her to begin to write to Mr. Rensalaer so many years ago. You see, she was such a lonely, forgotten child and she needed someone beyond me and those at Greystone to think she mattered. She became a different child, indeed a different person, after starting their correspondence and subsequent friendship.
I understand that you feel she should give up her aspirations to his heart and hand. Believe me when I tell you she will not do so. She has determined while she is in London for her season she will cease writing to him. I have guided Miss Abingdon her entire life, but it is not since she began to put her hair up that I have told her what to do. She has a bright and capable mind and a heart that cares deeply and fiercely. Mr. Rensalaer will count himself very fortunate that this heart can be called his. She will not be deterred from her purpose and I would feel it presumptuous of me to tell her to do so.
Miss J. Tibbets
July 27, 1815
Your Mr. Rensalaer will be arriving on August 5th and plans to stay a fortnight with us. I will keep you informed of everything that transpires. Shall I speak to him of you? I feel that I should since it is through him and Richard’s friendship that you and I have become friends.
I promised to tell you of my own plans and schemes. You see, I have fallen in love myself. Not so dramatically and interestingly as your own story, however just as deeply. He is the doctor for the surrounding area. I wanted to be sure of his regard for me before I let anyone know as I have a disgust of being the source of anyone’s pity.
His name is Justin Reynolds. He feels his status is much below mine as I am the daughter of the baron, however I care nothing for that. He is honorable and kind, and I am giving him no quarter. We shall be betrothed by the end of September if I have anything to say about it.
Please be happy for me. And please, let me know what I shall invest in so that I too may help improve the fortunes of what will soon be my new circumstances.
I adored your drawing. I feel as if I should frame it and hang it in my hallway to let all know that pretense and conceit are unacceptable in any walk of life.
I shall write to you often when Mr. Rensalaer arrives.