Excerpt from The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

October 25th, 1814, Marsh House, London

Miss Anna Marsh was in her parlor reading, when her maid, Lizzy, entered and held out a grubby piece of paper.

“Came from my brother, Kev, this morning,” Lizzy said.

Anna nodded, took the note, and opened it. She perused the contents, then closed her eyes. “I’m going to have to find a way to convince Mama to allow me to remove to Marsh Hill before the Little Season has ended. Though I cannot do anything until after Lady Phoebe’s wedding.”

“That bad, miss?” Her maid screwed up her face. “You might have a time of it. I heard Lady Marsh was planning to go to some country house next week.”

Anna sighed. Every since her brother Harry’s death, Mama had become difficult. “She probably expects me to go with her.” Anna shrugged. “Well, I cannot. Someone has been sniffing around Thanport. I don’t like the sound of it.” Anna rose and walked over to her mahogany writing desk. She opened a drawer. Eschewing the neat stack of elegant pressed paper, she pulled out a piece of the distinctly rougher type. “I’ll write Kev and tell him to lay low until I can get there.”

K

No information exchanged or meetings scheduled until I arrive.

Mr. A

She sealed the message and handed it to Lizzy. “Make sure this goes out today, even if you have to take it yourself.”

“Yes, miss.”

Anna pinched her upper nose. “I do hope this is not going to make our lives even more complicated.”

“What do you think that other man wants?” Lizzy asked.

“I wish I did.” Anna shook her head. “But I have a feeling whatever it is will do us no good. I’m going to Mama and try to talk her around. I do wish she and Papa could settle their differences.”

Lizzy nodded. “It does make things a bit more difficult.”

“That it does.” Anna smiled grimly.

 

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