A.F. Stewart is the author of the vampire novella, ‘Chronicles of the Undead’, as well as a dogged writer of speculative short fiction and poetry.
Here is part 1.
Samuel Harrington’s Diaries
April 26, 1793.
A rather uneventful day.
I accomplished some profitable business at the Exchange; trade was excellent, a rare thing these days. Owen’s coffeehouse was livelier than usual, very spirited with political debate and talk of the war. It was quite enjoyable.
The vicar stopped in for a late afternoon visit. He was brimming with accounts of our new neighbours, Henri Forain, and the cousin, Eleanor de Burgh. The vicar seems to think they are foreign, of French origin he believes. I do hope they are not Catholic; the vicar did not seem to think they were. I know such things are not taken into much account these days, but one does have to have standards.
I wearily listened to Eliza at dinner, as she complained about the household accounts. She never ceases to beg for more money. I cannot reason why she has such trouble keeping expenses to a minimum. She is the one who insisted we hire
a cook, and staff. She must make do on the money that has been allowed.
April 30, 1793.
Eliza has invited those foreign neighbours to her card party tomorrow. They are to be her honoured guests and she plans to make the proper introductions into our little neighbourhood community. She is all aflutter over the details, and the household is in a domestic uproar.
I do wish Eliza would not carry on so about her parties. It is so tedious and annoying.
May 2, 1793.
Eliza’s little card party was quite the success; even I enjoyed myself. Our favoured guests were witty and charming, utterly delightful. Henri was particularly well versed in all manner of subjects. It made for fine conversation. He also has good taste in port, bringing an excellent vintage as a gift. The cousin, Miss de Burgh, was likewise well mannered and poised, a proper lady.
Both were excellent whist players; several of the other guests remarked on their skill. I had the privilege of being partnered with Henri during the evening and the fortune to have the winning hands as a result. I do enjoy a lively card game with a good partner.
I fear our neighbours may be in slightly ill health, though, as both were of rather a pale complexion. In addition, they did not seem to partake much of the cheese and wine that was served.
I may suggest a good elixir to restore their vigour.
May 7, 1793.
I talked to Henri again this day.
He kindly thanked me for the invitation, and remarked on the fine time he had enjoyed. I replied it had been our pleasure to have him as a guest, and would happily extend another invitation. He seemed quite pleased.
As such, I informed Eliza to make a point of inviting both Henri and Eleanor to her next card party; she was ecstatic. Eliza so lives for her entertainments and it does keep her quite occupied, for which I am thankful.
Stay tuned for part 2.