Oh wow, it's been awhile. I apologize guys! I started school again but I thought that I should upload a couple chapters. I got a couple lovely reviews and I thought, "I should really update." So, without further ado, Enjoy Chapter 27.
Chapter 27: A Governess
Eve gasped and sat up when she heard the floorboards creaking in the middle of night. She squinted and tried to make out who it was. One small candle was lit on the tiny writing desk and she could see the shuffle of paper and ink. She looked up and saw Sarah, pacing back and forth and biting her finger as she read a letter. Eve was aching with exhaustion but she pushed herself up and sat on the side of the bed. Sarah bent over trying to breath with the letter crumpled in one hand. Eve heard her gasping and shot up off the side of the bed. She rubbed Sarah's back and carefully took the letter from her. She read it silently and tossed it on the writing desk.
"Sarah, what are you trying to do?" Eve asked her.
"I must write my father," Sarah said, "I must explain this to him."
"He won't understand," Eve whispered. She looked behind her to see Mary rustling in the other bed.
"Then, I must write Alphonse," Sarah gasped. She quickly scuttled to the desk but Eve put her hand on top of the papers.
"You have to rest, Sarah," Eve said as she took her friend and tried to lead her back to the bed.
"You don't understand, Eve!" Sarah hissed. Mary shot up and rubbed her eyes. Eve moaned a sigh of grief.
"I am a burden," Sarah continued, "I have no prospects. My father cut me off, Eve. Do you understand?"
"No, you don't. Your father still loves you. You're not carrying the bastard child of a man who you couldn't marry then and can't marry now."
Mary gasped. Eve put her hand up in Mary's direction to keep her from saying anything further.
"I am useless," Sarah said.
"No, you're not," Eve tried to reason with her.
Sarah didn't say anything and sat down on the bed. She blew out the candle, leaving Eve and Mary in the dark, as she laid down to try and sleep.
It was severely early on a Sunday morning. Eve slowly sat up and looked about the room. She saw that Mary was gone. She got up and quickly dressed in what she could and cantered out the room quietly. She made her way downstairs and looked about to see that Mary was nowhere to be seen. She took a deep breath and rubbed her temples. "Did Mary go and tell Lady Davidson?" Eve thought. Eve found herself running out of the house. She quickly jogged down the path that would lead her to Twickencote. She had a feeling she would find Mary there. She walked for thirty minutes and suddenly saw a figure in the distance. She tried to adjust her eyes. She knew it was her cousin. She ran as fast as she could towards Mary and grabbed her by the arms.
"Why did you go to Lady Davidson?!" Eve shouted.
"Why would you think I went there?"
Eve let her go and put her hands on her hips.
"I didn't go to tell Lady Davidson anything," Mary assured her, "I went to retrieve a letter. Lady Davidson-"
"I don't believe you."
"Look!" Mary handed Eve a crumpled letter. It was Lady Davidson. Apparently she was willing to hire Sarah as a governess.
"Do you think Sarah will be angry with me?" Mary asked. Eve shook her head.
"No, but a governess is a step far below where she once was in life."
"I couldn't imagine being that rich and then lose it all."
Eve and Mary quietly walked down the path. They heard horse hooves coming from ahead of them. They stopped and shoved themselves to the side of the path but saw that the rider was Jean. He halted and caught his breath.
"Your mother is worried sick," Jean informed Mary.
"I leave almost every morning," Mary laughed. She rolled her eyes and ran ahead of them. Jean turned his horse around and looked down at Eve.
"What is that?"
Eve looked down at her hand, "Mary found Sarah a position."
Jean crumpled his eyebrows and stuck his hand out. Eve handed it to him and he read it. He looked very distraught.
"It is good pay for where she's at now."
Jean dismounted his horse and looked Eve in the eyes, "I am worried that she won't be able to go farther in life because of my nephew."
"Your nephew was not the only one at fault in this," Eve said, "Sarah loved him."
Jean paused for a moment.
"She was pressured by her father, you know this."
"It did not give Alphonse the excuse to run away from this," Jean said back to her.
"She told him to never come back," Eve informed him, "Alphonse ran away with his fortune and is doing god knows what because of a broken heart. Sarah and Alphonse are on the same ground. She's just suffering more because of her sex."
Jean looked back at her in shock. She shook her head and walked away quickly. She made her way back to the house, leaving Jean to think.
"That woman wants me to work for her as a governess?" Sarah scoffed, "Do you really believe this is a good idea?"
Eve did not say anything and Sarah looked down at the letter again. It concerned her that Sarah would probably barely be able to stand Lady Davidson on a daily basis.
"It would be a lot more pay," Sarah said quietly, "Free room and board."
Eve sat down and looked up at her. She knew it best to let her think it through.
"Well," Sarah said after a massive pause, "I will take it, I suppose. Who would I be looking after?"
"Her niece," Mary spoke up suddenly as she entered the room.
"What is her name?"
"Arabella," Mary scoffed, "The spawn of the devil if you ask me. She's fifteen but apparently her Ladyship wishes for her to become more refined."
"It would be hard to work for her," Eve laughed.
"How did I end up like this?" Sarah asked, "I should have conducted myself differently."
"What's happened has happened and there is nothing you can do to change it," Eve said as Sarah sat beside her.
Mrs. Meriweather poked her head in and entered the room with a letter for Eve. She looked at it, knowing the handwriting instantly. She sighed and took it unhappily.
"Oh what a joyful occasion," Eve said sarcastically.
"From your father?" Sarah smirked.
"And my mother, and my brother," Eve said as she unraveled the thick packet of letters.
"At least they shouldn't be too terrible," Sarah joked.
Eve shook her head as she read the letter from her father.
"My dearest Eve,
It has come to my understanding that your friend Miss Sarah is a fallen woman. You must return to Blois immediately and leave her behind. she is not a good influence on your character and the whole town is talking. Your name will be tarnished and your marriageability will take a massive blow. Your younger sister is already marrying before you, and we wouldn't want more issues. Your twenty three, Eve, and I would suggest that you begin to seriously work upon securing a match. I only write you these things because I do not want to see you an old maid. Being mocked at as a spinster is not a happy life style. I know you wish to marry so why do you stall?"
Sarah stood up. She had been reading the letter from over Eve's shoulder. She cleared her throat but couldn't bring herself to speak. The severity of what was happening in Blois had suddenly hit her. She left the room and Eve had no idea that it was because Sarah had read it without her knowledge.
I am sure you have received father's letters. I don't wish to see you marry because of pressure. As your brother, I don't wish to see you sacrifice your happiness. I have heard of Sarah's situation. To hear what everyone is whispering is unnerving. I have heard father speak about how concerned he is about you. No one has said anything against your character, however they have began to question why you left with her to England in the first place. I will tell you that I fear many people are on the verge of accusing you guilty because of your association with her. I know dear Sarah is not who they try to say she is. It is not known who the young man is. I'm sure if Sarah's father knew, there would have been a quickly patched marriage. Since her father does not know, he cannot control the damage that this has done to his family reputation. Sarah's father has informed me they plan to move from Blois and return to England. Please be sure that no one from our social circle in England discovers this. I hope this will change soon and that Sarah can live a normal life. Please tell her I care."
Eve smiled. Her brother was always an understand young man. She placed his letter aside, planning to read it to Sarah that night. She opened her mother's letter and began to read it.
Your father has been a bit unhappy for you lately. I must admit, I am not in the slightest worried for you. You are still young, despite what your father says. I don't wish to pry, though. Have you given Mr. Villeneuve a thought? He was quit keen on you, I must say. He has written a few letters to his niece, whom I have had the pleasure of having over for tea a few times. She is a lovely young woman. Her brother has gone off to God knows where. She is worried for him and hopes her uncle will return soon but I hope he stays in England a bit longer. If you could, try to show him an ounce of interest. He would be a fine man to marry. He is not rapping at death's door, as you once said. He may be older than you but I do not think that a young rake would suit you. Young husbands are restless and never spend time with you. Take it from me, my dear. I married your father when we were young. He was barely home and I was always alone in that great big house we had in Surrey. I hope you do what your heart leads you to. Of course you are twenty three but that is not too old. Do not worry. However, I would like to see you happy soon. Remember I love you and I am keeping your father from having a nervous attack. I hope you return soon, you were always able to calm your father. I need you here. Your sister has been flighty and I can barely speak to her. I miss conversing with you. You kept me sane but I have a found a good friend in Miss Adele in your absence. Please return home soon, we dearly miss you."
Eve sighed in relief. Why her mother did not mention what was happening with Sarah, was beyond her. Her mother, though, was never one to gossip. She always cut women short at tea whenever they would try to gossip with her. She only spoke about meaningful things with others.
The next morning, Eve sat up in her bed to see Sarah dressing quickly. She groggily flipped the blankets off herself. Sarah was very quiet and didn't say a word. She walked out of the room quickly and Eve decided to get dressed herself. She sensed something was wrong. She quickly cantered down the stairs and watched Sarah leave. The maid stopped sweeping for a moment when she saw Eve on the stairs.
"She went to Lady Davidson's, God bless her," she said.
Eve quickly left out the door after Sarah and caught up with her down the path. Sarah still didn't say anything to her. Eve cantered along beside her, knowing her friend was quite bothered.
"Are you still not going to say a single word to me?" Eve scoffed, "I've been walking alongside you for quite some time."
Sarah looked at her, "You should go back to France very soon, Eve."
"Why would I want to do that?"
"Because it would be best for your reputation," Sarah said sarcastically.
"You read my father's letter didn't you?" Eve responded immediately.
"I glanced at it."
"You read it."
Sarah looked away and kept walking.
"You know, what my father believes is not what I do. I am a bit offended you would take your feelings about his reaction and throw them upon me."
Sarah stopped walking and looked back at Eve. She didn't know what to say to her. She was tired of everything. She felt like giving up.
"I'm exhausted, Eve," Sarah said, "I'm going to Lady Davidson to accept a position as governess. I'm nothing now."
"You're still my friend," Eve explained, "Despite what every person in Blois thinks or says, I'm not going to just abandon you."
Sarah paused for a few moments, "Thank you."
"You don't need to thank me, this is what friends do. Now, let's get you to Lady Davidson's," Eve said as she continued walking with Sarah, "I hope she is in a good mood today."