To view Tragedy Awaits: The Diary of Elizabeth Hope Kebble–Part 1 by E.J. Aire, click here.
Ghastly news. The ship Queen Anne, funnily enough, had already taken off, and would not be back, unless trouble arose close to our shores. Perhaps she is doing what Mother did, willingly walking–or sailing– to death. I shall pray to the patron saint of traveling, Saint Christophe-de-Valains, and to the patron saint of England, Saint George. I shall pray for Anne’s health, and for a home in England.
Yours most faithfully, E. Hope K.
I was seen walking to church by myself by none other than the nosy Mrs. Fisgon. She of course asked why I was alone, and I politely yet curtly said, “ Tis none of your business as to why I am alone. Perhaps I am the first to voice it, but many others think of it, or say it when you, thankfully, are not around. Perhaps you being the biggest snoop in New England is the reason why many people turn mute around you. Thank you, and have a nice, snoop-free day.” Well, that really got to Mrs. Fisgon. She spluttered and stuttered and her face was bright red (she is a Bunyanesque woman) until she ran off, jiggling like the gelatin Mother used to make from old bones of the butcher’s. Twas a sight to see, as half the town was silently doubling over with laughter on their porches. I almost felt bad for her. Almost.
Today Mrs. Fisgon came out when I was walking to the Saturday Fishmonger’s Market to buy some cod. That Brobdingnagian excuse for a woman was standing outside, shaking her fist at me. ‘Twas a sight to see, as she was wearing a rather tight ballgown so poofy with frills and shirring that it made her look like the pom-pom tassels on our old winter hats. She was wearing the matching hat, and had just washed herself, so she was a wet, shaking, red pom-pom. I nearly cried with laughter, and bought some salmon to go with the rye bread and half-butter half-cream mixture that was the butter, as we scarcely had enough time to milk the cows, let alone churn the butter. I took a piece of hot wood from the dying embers and roasted the salmon on that, then put it on a slab of bread and poured butter over it all, which promptly melted. Tis the first real meal since Anne left; till now we had been surviving on the occasional piece of bread, and lots of Cambric tea, tea with milk added. It helps to save tea, as nearly three quarters of Cambric tea is actually milk. So it should be called Cambric milk. Katherine is calling for me to go to sleep now, her actual words being “Time to set off to the sweet Shores of Sleep, Ella. Good night.” Oh, my candle stub is nearly out! Tomorrow I shall scrape the wax off of the dish I use to hold the candle, and melt it down into a new candle. This way nothing is wasted.
Your Laughing Friend, Elizabeth
I am in a rush today. We are all to go out for a treat: the town green! We can play hoops there, and laugh and have a good time, like before the Great Tragedy. That is what I am calling the series of death. Oh, I chuckle at the fact that Katherine is threatening to leave without me! Anyone know a baby could walk there by herself!
Goodbye now, Ella
We had a most joyous time rolling the hoops about. Lillian is growing, but she can still fit through the little hoops. It reminds me of how she will never truly know Mother, Father, or Anne. It makes me sad to think of never knowing your parents or your eldest sister. At least I knew them for eleven years, Lillian only knew them for two years. She is but a little, wailing, moaning toddler, and lest I remind her of the deceased when she is older she will only look at me strangely. Tis sad indeed.
Yours forever, Elizabeth
Today there was a mysterious package at our doorstep. It was fastidiously yet tightly wrapped. It smelled of day old milk. When at last the last bit of wax and string was broken, there was a surprise like never before. Inside the package was a tiny baby! Whimpering like it had never had food, Katherine’s heart relaxed, and she took the baby inside, then placed a rag wet with milk in it’s mouth. We are to take it to the orphanage tomorrow.
The matron of the orphanage has joined Mother, Father, and Anne with the angels. Ergo, she died. Her daughter has taken over, and rumor has it that she is just as sour as her mother, the late Mrs. Surion. The nameless baby is out of our care.