12th April 1912.

The engagement is off. Or at least, I'm assuming it's off. Patrick has died. I don't think even Granny can expect me to marry a dead man, (sorry Granny).

20th April 1912.

Alright, I do feel rather bad.

I've written some horrible things about Patrick in the past. I've not been quite fair to him, I know.

I hate the way that everyone is looking at me, like they expect me to burst into tears at any moment. The funny thing is, I've been betrothed to him since I was six years old, but I feel like I didn't know him at all. I don't think we've even spoken in two years. Some fiancé I've been. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react, but the reality is I feel nothing. I know I should feel something, but I can't. Sometimes I wonder if I really am as heartless as everyone thinks I am.

In contrast to this, Edith is inconsolable. Can you believe that? She's grieving over my fiancé. My glib attitude is not going over at all well. Even Sybil is starting to get cross with me. When Sybil gets cross, that's how I know I've crossed a line. Sybil almost never gets cross.

Oh, I forgot to mention – Papa's new valet started a couple of days ago. I've been trying to wring all the details out of Anna. The man has quite a severe limp, I believe. Still, Anna blushes a little when she talks about him, so I've reason to hope that maybe he's quite attractive? I hope so. God knows, we could use some cheering up around here.

I'll keep you posted about the valet – I have to go now. Granny is here and she's asking for me. No doubt she wants to talk about the entail again. Patrick's death has, rather selfishly, left Papa without an heir. I know Granny hopes we can smash the entail and then, guess who gets to inherit? (Me.)

He died on the Titanic. Honestly, that's so typical of Patrick. Only he could die on an unsinkable ship.

21st April 1912

I finally saw the new valet. He's nothing to get excited about.

I rather question Anna's taste in men.

23rd April 1912.

Oh god, I hate wearing black.

Sybil rather likes it, I think. But then, Sybil would look beautiful in a potato sack. I prefer reds and greens – I think they bring out my eyes better. When I wear black, my eyes look too dark. Like there's no colour in them at all. I hate it.

When we were getting dressed for dinner, Sybil tried to console me. "It's not for long." she said, "Mama says we can go into half-mourning next month. And back to colours for September."

"It still seems a lot for a cousin." I said.

"But not a fiancé." Edith chipped in, helpful as ever.

Sometimes I could quite happily strangle my sister.

In other news, Papa and Granny have been fighting about the entail, (or 'The Great Matter', as I have taken to calling it). There seems to be a deficit of male heirs in the Grantham Family Tree, but Papa seems unwilling to fight the entail anyway. I can't deny that I'm beginning to get quite insulted about the whole thing. This is 1912, for god's sake. I could rule Downton as well as any man. Better, actually. If it's left to Papa, the estate is going to be entailed away to some coal miner in Lancaster. Granny is furious with him. But then, I do love it when Granny gets riled up.

Something else Sybil said to me last night: "I know you're sad about Patrick. Whatever you say, I know it."

I told her she was right, but that I wasn't quite as sad as I should have been. She didn't have anything to say to that.

The thing with Sybil is, she's too nice. I wish I could be more like her sometimes.

30th April 1912.

The Duke of Crowborough has come to stay! Papa picked him up from the station this morning. Of course the entire house lined up to greet him, including the new Valet, who collapsed face-first onto the pathway and swallowed a mouth full of gravel. Carson was not at all impressed but quite simply, the whole escapade made my day. I had to excuse myself, I was laughing so hard.

"You're so childish." Edith whispered as I left the room.

Childish, yes. But at least I have a sense of humour.

2nd May 1912.

The Duke left in rather a hurry. It's a bit of a shock, I thought we were getting on rather well. I feel like such a fool. Still, you know what they say – when one door closes, another one will open.

Papa has still not found an heir for Downton, but as of yet he is still not willing to fight the entail. Things are starting to get desperate. It seems he wants anyone but his own daughter to inherit the estate. I half expect him to name Isis as his heir. Oh good god, I could actually see him doing that. He's going to leave everything to the dog. I just know it.

I'm sorry, I've not been updating you as well as I should. I'll try to write more often. God knows there's nothing else to do around here. Downton is as dull as it is beautiful.

Nevermind. The Duke of Crowborough was a welcome diversion, even if he didn't stay very long. I wonder if Papa said something to him?

3rd May 1912.

You won't believe this. Papa has found a male heir – a fourth cousin or something. He's middle-class. No, worse than that, he's a solicitor.

I feel sick.

14th May 1912.

I'm sorry. I'm not a very faithful correspondent, am I?

There's not much news, I'm afraid. I suspect Anna has a crush on the new Valet so I'm channelling all my energies into spying on them. There's nothing new to report. I'm rather disappointed in Anna. She's not a very exciting subject to spy on.

In other news, I think Edith has been going through my things again. So Edith, if you're reading this, you're wasting your time. There's nothing I've written in here that I wouldn't already say to your face anyway. You need a new hobby. Maybe you should take up knitting? That's what spinsters do, isn't it? Knit?

In terms of 'The Great Matter': Papa took a trip to London last week to go and meet his new 'heir'. Why he feels he has to go to London when his heir is a solicitor from Manchester, I'm not quite clear on. I still haven't forgiven him. How could he throw over his own daughter in favour of a man he hardly knows? Still, Papa is back now, and he seems very pleased with his choice.

"Such a pleasant fellow!" He said, "So polite and well-mannered! Not a single bad habit either." He looked over at me, "He's quite handsome Mary. I know you'll like him."

"Since he's supposed to be my replacement, I hardly think that's likely." I said. Papa just smiled and stroked my hair. I hate it when he does that.

"Did he bring the photograph you asked him?" Mama asked.

"He did." Papa reached inside his pocket and produced a photograph of the man who is, effectively, ruining my life. He showed it to me first.

"See, Mary? I'm not an expert, but he's quite good-looking, yes?"

Something about the desperate way Mama and Papa were looking at me made my blood run cold. So help me god, if they try to make me marry this man.

I spared a quick glance at the picture. It was of a fair-looking man. Nothing extraordinary. He was frowning in the picture and if he doesn't have a sense of humour I very much doubt we can even be friends, let alone husband and wife.

"No." I said simply and left it at that. Edith can have him. Anyway, I've not quite given up on Granny yet. She, at least, still wants to fight the entail.

You know the funny thing is, sometimes I forget that Patrick is dead. Isn't that strange?

16th May 1912.

Quick update on the Anna situation – (yes, I'm still spying on her).

I caught her humming today. Anna NEVER hums.

I will get to the bottom of this.

17th May 1912.

Tried to get some information out of Anna today. The Valet's name is Bates, but that's all I've been able to establish. I can't even get a first name out of her.

If she doesn't give up some decent information soon, I'm going to shake her. WHY WERE YOU HUMMING, ANNA?

Good god, I'm bored.

2nd June 1912.

Guess who I've just had a run-in with? Matthew Crawley, the heir apparent.

Papa has moved Mr Crawley and his widowed mother into Crawley House, in the village. He loves Matthew so much, he wants him to live as close to Downton as possible. (As opposed to Patrick, who could bloody well go and live in America for all Papa cared. I'm not Patrick's greatest champion by any stretch of the imagination but I still thought this was rather harsh).

Anyway, I had planned to go riding with Lynch this morning but Mama cornered me and asked if I'd stop by the Crawley's new house and invite them to dinner. I had no objection. Don't misunderstand me, I know full well that this is the first in a long line of match-making tactics Mama is going to make in order to throw me and Mr. Crawley together, but for once I had no objection. I was curious to see what he was like. And besides, there's nothing else to do. Anna is so boring. I've taken to harassing Sybil, but even she is starting to get annoyed with me.

So, I saddled up Diamond and rode down to the village.

I actually caught Matthew Crawley as he pulled up in front of the house. Molesley was there waiting for them, of course. I saw Mr Crawley and his mother step out of the car and I immediately recognised him from the photograph Papa showed me. But, do you want to know something funny? I actually thought to myself, 'oh, he is quite handsome'. He has very blue eyes, I don't think the photograph quite did them justice. And for one small moment, as I was riding up to the house, I thought I was actually quite willing to set aside 'The Great Matter' and the entail, and everything that went with it. Hell, I thought I might even try to be neighbourly. It's amazing what a handsome face can do to a girl's attitude. Didn't I say that Downton needed a handsome face to brighten it up?

Mr Crawley and his mother disappeared into the house and I wasn't far behind them. It took a moment or two to dismount, and then another minute or so to locate Molesley so he could introduce me properly. I had steadied myself, and I was ready to make a fair and (reasonably) unbiased assessment.

Molesley showed me through the front door and escorted me straight to the parlour where the great Mr Crawley appeared to be having an argument with his mother. I didn't catch exactly what it was that he was saying, only the tail-end of it.

"... obviously going to push one of the daughters at me." he was saying, "They would've fixed on that when they heard I was a batchelor."

My blood ran cold. I don't think I've ever been quite so angry in all my life. Can you imagine? I rode up there, on my best behaviour, to welcome him into the village and I catch him in the midst of saying something so rude? Not to mention ungrateful. It was a good thing I left my whip with Lynch, because I wouldn't have trusted myself not to strike him across his pretty little face. For heaven's sake, my father is leaving you his entire estate, you wretch. God knows, you've done nothing to deserve it.

'Push one of the daughters' at him? Ha.

I could tell the exact second he realised I was standing there. I managed to keep a rather civilised conversation with his mother going, but I wouldn't stay for tea and by the time I excused myself, he was still gawping at me like a goldfish.

So, Matthew Crawley is coming to dinner tonight. I hope he chokes on it.

3rd June 1912.

Dinner with the Heir Apparent last night. I refuse to talk about it. Needless to say, he didn't choke.

9th June 1912.

I went riding again today. I left Lynch behind at the stables, holding my hat. I needed to clear my head and he rides too slow for me.

It started to rain quite heavily and by the time I reached the village I was soaked through. I don't mind the rain though. I rather like it, actually. It helps me think.

As I rode past Crawley House, I saw Cousin Matthew on a bicycle, heading towards the train station. Of course, it makes perfect sense that the solicitor would ride a bicycle. I watched as he cycled down the street. I watched as the bus to Ripon overtook him. I watched as the bus drove through a rather large puddle and drenched him from head to toe.

I watched as he fell off his bike, and I did nothing. Dear diary, I cannot tell you how happy that made me.

11th June 1912.

The plot thickens!

Mama warned me this morning that Cousin Matthew was coming to see Papa, so naturally I did what any sane person would do – I went into the garden and hid behind the rose bushes.

I know how that sounds. You probably think I'm rather mad, but I'm not. The Heir Apparent has not even been here for one week, but it seems like I keep running into him wherever I go. If I go to the village, he's there. If I stay at the house, he comes to see Papa. I have seen Matthew Crawley nearly every day this week and I do mean that quite literally. I'm sick of the sight of him. And to think, I actually thought he might 'brighten the place up'.

So, there I was, hiding behind the rose bushes. I'd bought a book with me to keep me company, as I anticipated I would have to stay there for sometime. So, sitting in the grass, I managed to make myself comfortable and what did I hear...?

Anna's voice. Anna with a gentleman.

I couldn't resist a quick peek. They were walking down the pathway towards the servant's entrance and luckily, they couldn't see me. I rose to a crouch and tried to follow them as best as I could, keeping myself hidden behind the bushes at all times. The gentleman, I recognised, was Mr Bates. Their conversation went something like this.

Anna: "The roses are nice enough. A bit fussy for me, though."

Mr Bates: "Why, what would you prefer?"

Anna: "Hydrangeas."

Mr Bates: (Nearly dies laughing)

Anna: "I beg your pardon? What's so funny?"

Mr Bates: "Nothing. I think it's sweet, actually. Hydrangeas, indeed!"

Anna: "What's wrong with hydrangeas?"

Very well, it's not exactly a passionate love affair, but it was rather sweet to witness and I'm sure the conversation would have been more daring if I managed to hear the rest of it. As it happened I crashed into something and fell over. My immediate concern was that Anna and Bates might have heard me and realised I was spying on them, but as I looked up, I realised that was the least of my problems. Guess who I crashed in to?

Go on, guess. Bear in mind how appalling my luck has been lately.

That's right. It was Matthew Crawley.

"What on earth are you doing?" He said.

"None of your business." I told him.

He did his goldfish trick again, his mouth opening and closing uselessly like I'm supposed to mystically guess what it is he's trying to say. Meanwhile, there was I, sitting flat on the grass. A real gentleman would have offered me a hand.

"The thing is," he said, "I was hoping to catch you. I think we started off on the wrong foot. I know dinner was rather a wash the other night, but I was hoping you and I could start again. I'm not quite the sea-monster you think I am. And the fact is we're going to be in each other's lives for a very long time and I was thinking that ma-... I say, what are you doing?"

What I was doing was trying to peer through the bushes. It was no good. Anna and Bates were gone.

"If you must know," I said, "I'm on a very important mission and you're ruining it."

His mouth twitched. "Oh?"

"Yes. Now go away, I'm very busy."

He crouched beside me, "Can't I join you? I'm good at missions."

"No." I said.

He did the goldfish thing a couple more times and then said, "Please?"

"Look," I explained, "it's no use pretending we're going to be friends, because we're not. I'm sorry to be blunt, but that's the way it is. You're the man that stole my inheritance."

I kept my eyes firmly fixed on the bushes. From behind me, I could hear him say, "We could just... give it time? Get to know each other?"

"I don't think so." I said to the bushes.

There was a moment of silence, and by the time I looked over at Cousin Matthew, he had gone.

And Edith, if you're still reading this, you're putting on weight.

14th June 1912.

Well, this is a surprise. I've received a letter from an old family friend, Evelyn Napier, son and heir to Viscount Branksome. I do rather like Mr Napier. I've known him for a few years and he's always been a good friend to me, (although truth be told he's not very exciting). He likes to talk about hunting a lot. And I do mean a lot.

The last time I saw him was last season, at Constance Waverley's ball. We danced a little and he seemed to be quite interested in me. Following Mama's advice, I had to intimate to him in the subtlest way possible that I was actually engaged to Patrick and wouldn't be free to dally with other gentlemen in the foreseeable future. At least, I thought I was being subtle. He looked rather hurt at the time and I was beginning to suspect he might never talk to me again. But lo and behold! A letter! He has heard about Patrick passing and he wanted to offer his condolences and inform me he was going to be visiting our part of the country. So, there we are. If I play this right, I could very well be a Viscountess one day. Granny would be ecstatic!

I've taken great pains to hide my diary because I know if Edith gets wind of my little scheme, she'll find some way to ruin it. She's such a sneak. When I was eight, I made friends with a boy in the village and she was the first one to rat me out whenever I tried to go out and play with him. Not that I want to play with Mr Napier, you understand.

Anna is avoiding me. She dresses me in silence and then flees the room. I suspect she knows I've been spying on her. Whether this is because Edith has ratted me out or my own lack of subtley, I don't know.

19th June 1912.

Matthew Crawley seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. I haven't seen him since our little 'run-in' in the garden last week. I think he's finally taken the hint, and is leaving me alone.

20th June 1912.

Urgh! No such luck. Papa invited him to dinner last night. He was so sullen and moody. I feel like slapping him. Why is HE upset?

22nd June 1912.

Another letter from Mr Napier! This one's actually quite romantic – or at least, romantic for Evelyn. He says he 'missed the sound of my voice' and hoped that I would be able to see him when he was in the area. I might mention this to Mama. She'd be the perfect ally in this. If she finds out I'm willing to marry someone – ANYONE – she'll do backflips round the courtyard.

I could be a Viscountess one day. Imagine that!

23rd June 1912

The strangest thing just happened.

This morning I went to the village to post my response to Mr Napier. It was as good an excuse as any to leave the house. The weather has finally improved and it feels like I haven't seen the sun in months. So, as I was strolling through the village and enjoying the feel of sunlight on my face and guess who rounded the corner and nearly knocked me off my feet?

"Oh god," said Matthew Crawley, doffing his hat, "I'm so sorry! I always seem to be knocking you over, aren't I?"

I hadn't been thinking about Matthew Crawley that day. I was thinking about Mr Napier's Viscountcy and a town house the size of the British Museum. And it was so sunny outside and I was in such a good mood that for a minute there I almost forgot how very much I hated Matthew. Today, I was apt to dwell on how everything was finally going my way.

"That's alright, Cousin Matthew." I said, "It doesn't matter."

"It... doesn't?"

"No, not a bit." I walked past him and continued on my mission towards the post office. I was lost in my own thoughts as I rounded the corner and started walking down the hill, and I wasn't even aware that Cousin Matthew was trying to catch me up until I was halfway down.

"You mean..." he said breathlessly, "...you don't hate me?"

"Of c-..." I was going to say 'Of course I hate you', (because obviously I do), but it seemed like a mean-spirited thing to say, even by my standards. I looked at Cousin Matthew and for the first time I realised how tired he looked. So yes, I admit it, I capitulated.

"I don't hate you." I said, "I hate that my home is getting taken away from me." His eyes were bleary and bloodshot, and it occurred to me that this man was two hundred miles from the place that he called home. He managed a weak smile.

"Well, that's an improvement I suppose. But you must know I would never take your home away from you, you have to believe me."

"And how would I know that? I hardly know you." I said.

Matthew Crawley stopped walking and jumped in front of me, blocking my path. He extended his hand and I looked at it, uncertain what he wanted me to do. After a moment, I extended my hand too and he shook it vigorously.

"Nice to meet you. My name is Matthew Crawley. My favourite colour is red, my favourite poet is Keats, I can't stand the taste of aniseed and I would never, ever try to take your home away from you. Those are the most important things you need to know about me."

"That, and the fact that you're completely mad." I said.

Matthew Crawley laughed. "Yes." he said, "I suppose I am."

I stepped around him and walked a few steps to the Post Office door.

"Green." I said.


"My favourite colour is green. Red is also nice, but green brings out my eyes better."

"So, does that mean we're friends then?" he said, dubiously.

"I doubt it."

"But it means we're not necessarily enemies?"

I thought about it for a moment.

"Hm. Not necessarily enemies, no."

Cousin Matthew's face lit up. I rather think the whole thing had been playing on his mind.

"Good." he said, "then that's definitely an improvement."

See what I mean? The man is completely mad.

25th June 1912

I wish I had not got Mama involved in my scheme for Evelyn Napier. She was practically salivating when she suspected I might be willing to marry someone. Now I fear she's lost the plot completely.

My first cause for alarm was when she actually made the effort to join us at the breakfast table yesterday morning. Normally, she takes breakfast in bed. The fact that she was up and dressed before I was sent a cold chill down my spine.

"You did write to Mr Napier yesterday, didn't you Mary?" she said, buttering her toast, "And you invited him to come and hunt with us whilst he was visiting the area?"

I told her I did. Papa didn't even look up from behind his newspaper.

"I sent him a note too." Mama said, "I really must insist he stays here. Errol has been a good friend to this family and I'd hate to see him stay in some dirty country pub. We could look after him so much better."

"His name's Evelyn, Mama." Sybil pointed out, "And we don't want to force him to stay here if he doesn't want to." Sybil looked at me, "It would be horrible if he felt obligated to stay here because we wouldn't leave him alone."

"No it wouldn't. He absolutely should feel obligated. We're his friends." I said.

Sybil shook her head.

"Yes, but we wouldn't be very good friends if we bullied him into staying here. You're not going to bully him, are you Mama?"

Mama was suspiciously quiet.

"Mama?" said Sybil, desperately.

"Sybil," I said, "he obviously wants to stay here. Otherwise he wouldn't have written to me in the first place and told me he was visiting the area."

"Besides which," Edith chipped in, "it's not Mama you have to worry about. It's Mary. Writing to a gentleman is a bit fast, don't you think?"

"Oh, please." I said, "This is 1912, Edith."

"That's not an excuse."

"Girls." Mama said, "Don't start, please. Edith, leave your sister be. She's allowed to write to her friends if she wants to. And no Sybil, I wouldn't say I was planning to bully him, per say. I'll leave that to your charming grandmother."

Oh god. Leave it to Granny and I'll be married in under a week. What a terrifying prospect.

Papa stuck his head up from behind the newspaper just long enough to poke his eggs with a fork and feign interest in our female conversation.

"What are we talking about?" he said.

"Viscount Branksome's son." Mama said, "We're trying to persuade him to come here. He's a very good friend of Mary's." This last bit of the sentence was said with such intonation of voice, that I half expected her to finish it with a dramatic wink. Subtle, mother. Very subtle.

"Oh? But what about Matthew?" Papa said, "I thought..."

Mama laughed very loudly, trying to cover whatever it was that Papa was saying. As if I didn't know they were trying to set us up. Mama, you seat us next to each other at every single meal. Did you really think I wasn't going to notice that you were trying to match me with Cousin Matthew?

"I'm not sure how interested Matthew is in Mary anyway." Edith said, "Besides which, they have very different interests. I think Cousin Isobelle said Matthew was interested in seeing some of the local churches? I thought I might take him. It certainly wouldn't appeal to Mary."

No, it certainly wouldn't. Mama looked surprised but not terribly convinced.

"That's... very kind of you, Edith. I'm sure Matthew would love that."

I had to resist the urge to throw my plate in Edith's face.

"Since when were you interested in churches?" I said.

"I have always had an appreciation for architecture."

"Appreciation, my foot."

"Girls, please. This is why I normally take my breakfast in bed."

And so on, and so forth until Edith eventually stormed out in a huff.

So, how about that, dear diary? Edith and Cousin Matthew, going to view churches together. I suppose I can expect a happy announcement by the end of the month. Excuse me while I vomit.

Edith and Cousin Matthew. A match made in hell.

30th June 1912.

I'm on Anna and Bates patrol! I caught them whispering in the hallway this morning.

First Edith and Matthew, now Anna and Bates! Love is in the air, dear diary.

2nd July 1912

It's settled. Mr Napier is coming to visit and he's bringing with him a friend called something with a 'K'. A turkish chap, I think. A diplomat or something, apparently. All in all, the whole thing is settled and it promises to be very dull, so it seems if I'm planning to marry Napier, a certain amount of tolerance for boredom is required.

Oh dear. Do I really want to go ahead with this? It's a bit late to ask that now, I suppose. Mama's acting like she's already booked the church. It wouldn't surprise me if she had.

Matthew Crawley came to visit today, after work. It was a very quick visit, just to ask Papa something about the village.

"Are you all ready for Edith?" I asked him.

He looked taken aback. "Are y-you coming with us? To see the churches?"

"Oh god, no." I said, "There's a hunting expedition on that day. Besides which, Edith would kill me. She's got big plans for you."

He looked a little irritated. Good. I love the idea that I can irritate Cousin Matthew.

"No, it's not like that. She's just being kind."

"Is she?" I said, "That's strange. She's never shown any interest in churches before..."

I swear, I saw Matthew blush.

"No, but... I mean, she... it's not..."

" Don't be so coy, Cousin Matthew. I think you and Edith would make a lovely couple."

"We're not a couple!"

"Don't be so defensive."

"I'm not being defensive, I just... Cousin Edith offered to show me around the churches and I accepted. There is nothing untoward going on. I don't want you getting the wrong impression about your sister and I. She's not in the least bit interesting to me. She means nothing."

For some reason, what he said irked me. I don't know why. Everything Matthew Crawley says seems to irk me.

"Don't talk about her that way." I said.

"Oh, I didn't mean it like that and you know it. Besides, I've heard you say far worse about her."

"That's quite different." I said, "She's my sister."

5th July 1912.

When I said 'love was in the air', I had been referring to Edith and Matthew. I never thought that romance might blossom between Matthew and somebody else. Edith is in for some competition it seems... or maybe not. Matthew seems to have acquired an admirer, and despite the constant raptures from said admirer, Matthew seems to be completely immune to her charms. In fact, he's rather horrified. Perhaps I should explain?

Isis adores Matthew. Matthew does not adore Isis.

I'm not sure how this came about. I know that Matthew often accompanies Papa on his morning walks when they have business to discuss, and from what I can understand, Matthew being a lot younger and more energetic than Papa, Isis found she had a more willing playmate. I never thought of Isis as being starved for attention, but in many ways she still thinks like a puppy and I think a few idle games of 'fetch' may have excited her more tender feelings. Now she positively bounces off the walls whenever Matthew walks through the door. She jumps all over him.

Matthew thought it was sweet at first, but he started to think it was less sweet when she jumped up on him at dinner last week and left two giant paw prints on his dress shirt. He thought it less sweet again when Sybil went to show Matthew a pamphlet she was reading on a liberal candidate, and Isis growled at her when she got too close him. I'm serious, she actually growled. It's so out of character for Isis, and I'm the only person in the entire house who finds this hysterical.

Papa has taken to locking Isis in the library if he knows Matthew is coming over, but she pines so pitifully and scratches at the door. I almost feel sorry for the wretched animal. I've taken to teasing Matthew mercilessly about this, which he seems to be taking in good humour. He plays along and he acts exasperated, but he can't help but laugh too. It is all rather ridiculous.

"I hope Edith doesn't start pining for you as well." I said, "We'd have a great deal more trouble keeping her locked in the library."

Matthew smiled but said, "I wish you'd let that go. Nothing is going to happen between Edith and me."

"No." I said, "Not if Isis has anything to say about it."

6th July 1912.

Evelyn Napier arrives tomorrow, as does his turkish friend, the diplomat. Mama says she's going to invite Matthew to join us all for dinner, to which Papa positively paled because Isis is worse than ever.

Mary Crawley's List of Things That Could Potentially Cause a Diplomatic Incident:


I must say, I'm not really looking forward to this at all. I thought that getting involved with Mr Napier would be the ideal solution to losing Downton but now, as the hour draws near, I find myself remembering how very dull he was last season. All he talks about is hunting. And now Mama has ordered that I have to ride out with them tomorrow, which is horrific because I haven't ridden in weeks and truth be told, I'm not quite as fond as hunting as I sometimes like to make out. In fact, I find it rather gruesome. Maybe I'm just exaggerating. I'm sure it won't be so bad.

Good lord, I wish I didn't have to be so picky.

7th July 1912.

Early morning start – no sign of Mr Napier yet. I'm going to head downstairs now and join the rest of the hunting party. I'm sure it won't be as bad as I'm expecting.

A Viscountcy is very good, but not much use if you have to gnaw off your own hands with boredom.

CHAPTER TWO COMING SOON... (probably whether you want it to or not).