Chapter 1: Letters from My Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 420


March 27th, 1840
Dear Miss Welk,
You were avoiding me last night at the ball. And by avoiding me you thought I would move onto some other young lady. Well you’re wrong Miss Welk. You only made me more interested in you. You are an intriguing American chit.
Yours, Philip C. Lowe
March 30th, 1840
Dear Mr. Lowe,
How dare you have the nerve to bother me! I don’t even know you!I don’t have anything to say to you! And do not write to me anymore. This is highly improper and rude!
~Miss Welk
April 3rd, 1840
My dear Miss Welk,
To correct you in the future, it is Lord Philip C. Lowe. I came here to America for business with your father, Mr. Welk. You see, the Marquis of Cloven is very interested in your father’s steel business. The marquis also happens to be my father. And since I am more adventurous than my older brother; my father sent me here instead. I must admit that not only am I impressed by your father’s business, but also in you as well.
Yours, Lord Philip C. Lowe
April 9th, 1840
Dear Mr. Lowe,
Well I’ll have you know that I am not interested in you. You may be handsome and wealthy but I don’t care. I don’t want to marry anyone! I never had a suitor and I am fine with it. Men like you are cocky and only think of your titles and your popularity. Go find some other girl to bother. And just so you know, I am only sixteen and I am too young to have a suitor.
Miss Welk
April 15th, 1840
Dear Miss Jane Welk,
Sixteen is no problem with me. I could wait until you are eighteen. I’m twenty-five and by today’s standards, I am still a young man. I called on your father yesterday. He gave me permission to court you. And I planned to take you on a carriage ride in the park on the 20th of April. Be sure to dress warmly because although it is spring in America, it is still quite chilly.
Yours, Lord Philip C. Lowe
P.S. You didn’t write ‘Lord’ on your previous letter to me.
April 28th, 1840
Dear Miss Jane Welk,
The carriage ride was adorable, but I wonder why you haven’t reply to my previous letters. I will write it again if you had thrown them away. I know you are afraid to face the truth but I’m still going to say it anyway. I love you Miss Jane Charlotte Welk. I loved you since the night you rejected me at the ball. I thought you were spirited, headstrong, and beautiful. And I love you even more when I am with you. I don’t think I want to let you go. If I did, where am I to find another like you? The girls back in England are so dimwitted and proper that I’d rather have a conversation with a bottle of brandy than stay in the same room with them for five minutes. Conversation with you is so exhilarating. I like a woman with a business mind…..and innocence about the world. So would you stop hiding and tell me that you like me too? I know you like me. You have no choice.
Your ‘future husband’, Philip C. Lowe
june 4th, 1840
Dear Philip,
There! I’ve written your name. I will also admit that your attentions to me these few weeks have been wonderful. I do like you Philip, but I’m afraid. We are two people from different worlds. Your father is a peer of the realm in England, while my father was the son of a butcher in New Jersey. My father worked hard all his life to earn his wealth. I’ve heard that English aristocrats frowned down upon common bloodlines, and I don’t ever want your English peers to hurt you just because you chose me.
June 9th, 1840
My innocent silly-headed Jane,
Will you forget about propriety and society? All of that means nothing to me. I did not choose you because of your father’s wealth. I chose you because I am attracted to you. Although my father is a marquis, he is not a cross old fool like those you’ve heard of. My father does not care about bloodlines. At his age, he cares only about grandchildren. And I’ve spoken to him about you. My father would like to meet you very much Jane, and include you into the family. Don’t ever doubt me when I say that I love you. I am never bored when I’m with you. So stop doubting and thinking the impossible. Because the possible is happening already.
Your ‘soon-to-be’ husband, Philip
June 14th, 1840
Dear Philip,
I love you.
Months later…………
October 25th, 1840
Savian Richard Bowell, the Earl of Harrow married the American nobody on a gloomy summer morning. He kept telling himself over and over again that this would had never happened if his ex-mistress, the very blonde and lovely Clarissa had not tempt him to go into the wrong room at the masquerade ball. Clarissa was a jealous bitch. She was jealous when he ended their affair of four years. He was now seeing a French opera singer. He told Clarissa that he didn’t want their affair to be serious. Clarissa wanted marriage and things Savian did not want. Who would marry a woman who already buried two husbands? Clarissa was a slut ever since she was sixteen. Savian liked an experienced woman but he would never marry. But this time it appears that he had no choice this time.
On the night of the masquerade, Savian was invited and dressed up in a plain black suit and domino. His appearance and masculine beauty caused a lot of stir that night. He danced with no one, chatted among his friends and ignored the young debutantes (unmarried aristocrat ladies who are out in the market for a husband) that flocked in various costumes. Savian even won five hundred pounds at the gaming tables.Later that evening a servant secretly came to inform him that a Madame Clarissa wished to discuss something with him. Savian sighed. Clarissa probably wanted more money.He had pensioned Clarissa off with a generous amount, but she always come back to leech more from him.
She was nearing twenty-eight, and she was a two years older he was. Why can’t she realize he have no interest in her anymore. Savian was dreadfully tired of her. A good mistress would understand and not object but Clarissa was like a wild rabid cat that won’t stop spitting and scratching until she gets her way. Determined to end this once and for all, Savian went to the upstairs room where the servant instructed. The lively talk of aristocrats and lilting ballroom music faded as he walks farther away from the festivity. Savian opened the door to the guestroom. He went inside and slammed the door shut, wanting to confront the ex-mistress. To his mistake, the person occupying the room was not Clarissa, but a young woman…and she screamed at him.
Thus the stupid girl’s outrageous shock brought not only the servants, but the host Lord Dan, her father Mr. Welk running into the room, and the gossiping matrons too. At that moment it was a daze. Savian found out that the young woman was an American named Jane Welk, who came to England with her father to see some aristocrats. Apparently her father was the owner of a steel company. He started out as a poor low-class worker only to become one of the wealthiest men in Connecticut. So now that Welk made his fortune, he decided to take his daughter on a tour around the world. Savian could not believe he had to marry this American nobody. This Jane was a seventeen year old twig with dirt brown hair and a puffy face. Her father could not stop bellowing into Savian’s face about dishonoring his poor Jane. And Jane was protesting to be left alone. She said that it was all just a big mistake. She was just frightened by the stranger (Savian) who entered the quiet guest room without a proper knock. But it was too late, no one would listen, all the matrons pointed the finger at Savian, saying that a scandal has started and now he had to do his duty. Duty meant marriage and that was the very last thing Savian wanted.
“Think of your mother! What would she think about this! She would not live it!” One of the uppity matrons chastised Savian. True, his mother had always told him to avoid scandals but only this was an accident and he did not cause it. Clarissa did, and that witch would pay dearly.
“And to think that my poor Bessie was not caught with him! They would’ve been a match! One elderly lady complained. She gave one look at Jane Welk and turned her head away. The cruel remarks make Jane angry and more upset; so in the end she fainted and had to be taken to another room. Her father was livid with Savian for the next three hours.
The next day……..
He married her with a wedding that lasted no longer than fifteen minutes with the vicar, the solicitor, and a handful of people including Mr. Welk, who was wiping his happy tears. Jane kept glancing at Savian when she thought he was not looking. Savian hated her already. The American nobody must be proud of herself. Perhaps maybe this was what Clarissa intended. The bitch set this ugly twig to snare him into marriage. This was probably Clarissa’s revenge!
“Treat her with the utmost care Harrow. She’s my only girl and I want her to be happy.” Welk had warned him. Savian rolled his eyes at having to listen to the peasant blood American.“Yes sir.” He said in his best calm voice. They had a long talk the night before and Welk gave him hell. Saying that his daughter went through so much and this and that and she didn’t need another bad event to come into her life. But the father was glad now that his daughter was marrying an earl. Damn it, Welk was a title hunter. With that amount of money he wanted his daughter to marry into English aristocracy. Savian wasn’t even paying attention. He was too focused on how to deal with the burden given to him. He did not like Jane Welk. He planned to drop her off in one of his estates and return to London for the rest of the season. The girl would just embarrass him. He would be the laughingstock once everyone finds out he married a plain pink face American twig.
The earl Harrow and his new wife, Countess Harrow both sat opposite of each other inside the moving carriage. Savian stared out of the window with a bored expression. He was ignoring the wide sunken eyed girl. She had started a conversation but he did not reply at all. This caused her to shut up completely. Savian did not want to hear from her or look at her. She was a disgrace to him. He will acknowledge her as his wife in name only.
Jane did not want this marriage either. She had no idea that this would happen. She regretted her actions. If she had never screamed in the first place; there would’ve been no marriage.Jane was one of most straightforward and sensible girl, she was afraid of nothing. That night, Jane was masquerading as a princess but she torn her costume and had to fix it. She was directed to the guestroom by a maid where Jane mended the torn sleeve. Unfortunately ten minutes after, she heard the door slammed and in came the masked man (Savian). She thought he was a thief or a murderer. Jane had read too many heroic novels and thought that thieves and killers wear masks. The incident was so sudden that she instinctively screamed like a ninny. It looked like he was going to kill her in that very moment. She cannot believe her scream altered this marriage. This wasn’t supposed to happen at all! She was supposed to visit London and then return to America. Then she planned to live the rest of her life alone as a spinster. But now everything had changed dramatically. She was a wife, a very unwanted wife of an angry aristocrat. And her father was preening so happily on his way home to America. Jane sighed. Her papa always wanted her to settle down with a man of aristocracy. And she almost did with Philip. Again tears welled down Jane’s face. Philip was……here in England. At least she could still see him sometimes. Her heart could not stop aching from the misfortune of being here. England was so different from Virginia. She wished to be back home and not here in this country, in this carriage with this man. She didn’t even know his name until the wedding. Savian Richard Bowell, the 6th Earl of Harrow, age 26. He had black hair and green eyes and was taller than the average man. He was handsome, stylish, and considered a prized bachelor of the season. Aside from that, the Earl Harrow was known for keeping beautiful mistresses. Jane had heard tidbits about the man while attending balls and socials with her father. She had never seen him until that night of the masquerade. Oh she did not wish to see him anyways. He was nothing like Philip. Jane already confirmed that. She remembered Harrow’s thirty second assessment of her from head to toe. Jane didn’t like his eyes, the way they look at her like she was worthless. She knew he didn’t want this marriage. But how can she convince him that she didn’t plan to trap him and she wasn’t looking to snare a husband at all. That this was just an honest accident. She tried to reason with him inside the carriage but he just glared frostily and ignored her. Jane couldn’t stand it. This man was very rude.
The carriage ride continued for another hour. Around one o’clock, they’ve reached the destination. Rose Heather was one of the five estates that Savian owned. It was the only estate closest to London. He had originally planned to drop his new countess off in his farthest estate, which was in Scotland. But then again, he never visited it because he did not like Scotland. So he decided to keep her at Rose Heather for now.
Upon their arrival, the butler, three footmen and the housekeeper rushed out to greet their master. Jane watched as the earl Harrow gave them directions and walked into the mansion. He didn’t even escort her with him. The butler and staff all looked at her in confusion. There was an awkward silence in the atmosphere. Jane bit her lip to keep from crying. He didn’t even introduce her to the house staff. And in return, the house staff didn’t know she was the new countess, their mistress. This was so humiliating and it burned inside Jane. He meant to embarrass and belittle her. More tears were threatening to slosh down her face. But she brushed it aside as a she pictured a vision of Philip smiling at her. “Show them what you can do old girl. Knock them dead.” Jane took a deep breath. She straightened her spine and nodded towards the staff members in a clear and calm voice.
“Greetings, I am the new countess of Harrow. Your master married me this morning in London. My belongings are very small and they are at the back of the carriage. I would like my things to be moved into a chamber please. “She addressed this to the footmen. The house staff quickly bowed and welcomed their new countess. If anyone noticed the separateness between the earl and his countess, no one interfered or lingered on it. They were all trained to serve, not to have opinions. But they do notice and observed their new countess. She was young probably around seventeen, and she was thin and sickly-looking. It looked like she had spent a long time crying. Her face was all pink and puffy. No one wanted to ask, but they wondered if she was forced to marry their master, the earl of Harrow. And they know it did not make sense because their master always preferred beautiful women. His last mistress, the widow Clarissa was a spoiled and selfish pig head. The staff didn’t like Clarissa; she would order the servants around like she owned the place.
The butler introduced himself as Wistel and the house keeper was Mrs. Peg. They told Jane about their duties and other working members inside the mansion. Jane temporarily felt a little at ease when Mrs. Peg offered her some tea. “You looked tired from the ride my lady, sit here in the Day parlor and I will be back with refreshments.”Jane sat in an armchair and looked around the room. The Day parlor was a big room with beautiful curtains, rugs, and furniture. The Rose Heather mansion was very elegant and beautiful on the outside as well as inside. But none of its beauty could cheer Jane. She did not to be in this place with her so called husband. She belonged in America with her books and her memories of Philip. Her father had told her so many times to move on and forget about Philip, but Jane couldn’t. She loved Philip too much to let him go. She was so heartbroken over the man that she had lost weight and gotten ill. For three months, Jane had suffered and sometimes she had thought of taking her own life. But she kept rereading Philip’s letters and thought of him in England. She thought to see him one last time and so she begged her father to take her to London. Her father had delayed the trip because he was afraid for her health, but Jane insisted that she would die anyway if she didn’t see Philip. And so they went to London by ship. The masquerade happened on the night that they came to London and Mr. Welk thought Jane would be happy if they went to the masquerade. The old man longed to see his daughter smile. But the result of the masquerade proved disastrous as Jane soon found herself compromised and shortly wed afterwards.
Mrs. Peg sent Molly the maid into the parlor with a tray of tea and neatly cut sandwiches. Jane thanked the girl and tried to enjoy the refreshments. Molly was very respectful and shyly asked the new countess if she would like anything else. Jane declined and kindly dismissed the girl.
Being alone in the room again, Jane stared down at her half full cup of tea. She was contemplating on how to work out the marriage. She did not want the earl to loathe her forever. He must come to realize that things are not as bad as they seem. And that she is willing to work things out.

Submitted: October 07, 2010

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