A neat and measured scrawl drifts along the parchment in easy strokes--well-practiced, it is a hand fond of written correspondence. At times, it's perfection gives way to a touch of carelessness, as the thoughts relayed grow in their intensity. Pinned to the entry is a cluster of three dried violets.
Dear journal of mine, I at last have some point of interest to confide in you.
Ever since I first left the estate for town, I have been overcome by boredom. Lost is the Bree of strange news and adventure, of which my companions once spoke so frequently. The heat of summer has tamed its wild nature, and late I have arrived, my own wilderness utterly in tact!
I know, it would do me much good to tame myself in kind. If I am ever to inherit a cent, there are things which I must do. Few gentleman seek a wild woman to take for a wife, and I must play the role until my vows are spoken, and name exchanged for another’s. But, dear journal, it pains me so! There is much freedom to be found within these hedge-walls, and yet my brother is a shadow at my heels. My few moments of freedom are found on my afternoon rides, to the northern Bree fields. There is a trio of small lakes there, in which I long to swim.
Not yet a week ago, I was riding north of town with such intent on a bright afternoon (such as the one during which I am writing in you, dear journal), but just as I approached the lakes, there came a crack of thunder, and rain came crashing down upon myself and my poor mare!
I raced back to town, but by the time I reached the Prancing Pony in search of shelter, my lovely white gown was scandalously soaked through, and my poor blue cloak—better meant for decoration than any sort of warmth—was hanging wet and unseemly about my shoulders.
As I sought to dry myself by the fire, whom should come to my aid but Mr. Arthur Hazelwood! I would be fool not to recognize him. I know as well as any the prestige of his family, but it appears none are quite so aware of it as he. Mr. Hazelwood lent me his cloak for the evening, until my dress could dry enough to mask my shape once more.
But, dear journal, I find him most appalling. One would expect good breeding to imply good manners, and yet his blood seems to only have an ill effect! I have often heard of his skill with a blade, but I was disappointed to hear rumors of his fighting the poor folk of Bree more often than not. It should not matter if the poor offer criticism, or even insult! Why should the opinion of rats trouble a lion? And yet he is bothered by them, even as he parades himself about town like a cock with full feathers, touting his family’s wealth and mocking even those who should be his peers!
The most infuriating thing of all, dear journal, is that he is the only interesting thing I have yet to come upon in town! Our every conversation is laced with his mockery of me, and yet I prefer it to my dealings in the city home. He makes sport of me, and it rouses such a temper in my breast yet I dare not show it, for fear of his family’s influence. His behavior and manner are most vexing and yet there is a craving deep within me to win his favor—although I know I never shall. I cannot age my family’s fortune centuries’ worth within my lifetime. Perhaps, were I less prideful, less bitter and wayward-bent, I could win his friendship. But to be so “tace and dumb” (as he has said of gentler women) should only render me all the more common. I fear there is no true victory in this town, nor in such an arrogant mind as his. Alone, I suffer.
Farewell for now, my dear journal. But fear not—I am never long without woes to confide.