An excerpt from the Curious Profession of Dr. Craven. Available at fine bookstores everywhere (Actually just Amazon). This excerpt is from about halfway through the story. Cecelia (Henrietta) has recovered her memory and has been spirited away to the Village and out of the company of the good doctor.
Impatient for the settlement, Lord Patterson insisted that the family take up residence in London as quickly as possible. Barely a week later found them ensconced in George, Baron Clearwater’s townhouse. The elegant building, which had come with his wife, had been more than large enough for the two of them. Now with Lord Patterson’s less than temperate behaviour, and Cecelia’s sulks, it seemed far too small.
“Ellen, my love,” George said one morning as they walked down the front steps for a morning perambulation, and to get away from their relatives. “As much as I love and respect my father, I wish he could be more sensible.”
“I find him amusing.”
“His singing didn’t wake you last night?”
“Was that him? I thought it was one of those balladeers or hurdy-gurdy men. He’s missed his calling in life.”
George smiled at Ellen. Her willingness to see the humorous side in his dreadful family was one of the reasons he loved her. That, and her good sense. “I’m glad you found it amusing. Still, what are we going to do about my sister? That Sharpless fellow is due any day now, and she can’t meet him with weeping eyes.”
“I wish she’d forget about that doctor. It’s a pity the season hasn’t started yet because she’d soon lose herself in balls, dancing, and officers.”
“I suppose you’re right. I’d like to get her out of the house, would you like an expedition to the orchards in Kensington?”
“Watch the harvest?”
“It’s better than staring at the walls, and the air might remind her of the country.”
“Good idea, and while we’re out, let’s stop at a bookseller and find a copy of ‘The Picture of London.’ There’s bound to be something she’d like.”
“Just like a woman, Ellen, finding an excuse to shop. We’ll look like silly noddys doing that, green fellows just up from the country, but it’s all for a good cause.”
A few minutes after George and Ellen left the townhouse on their mission of mercy, or at least on their mission of relief, Cecelia dashed down the steps. She carried a folded and sealed letter. It was addressed to Mary Bridges in Streatham, but intended for someone else’s eyes. She walked until she found a red-coated postman who was ringing his bell. Giving him a penny, she quickly kissed the letter and handed it to him. Always pleased to bear missives from young ladies, he smiled at her, nodded, and put it into his satchel. The letter was on its way, first to the General Post Office in Lombard Street, and from there to the mail coach, and eventually the Pied Bull in Streatham. There it would be picked up and taken to Dr. Craven’s house where Mary would pay for it and deliver it to him. It expressed sentiments that were dramatically different from the last letter she wrote.
She returned to the townhouse and quietly slipped up the steps. Her caution was in vain, she met her father, Lord Patterson, standing in the open doorway. He was waiting for her, clearly annoyed with her digression.
“What was that about, girl?”
“Are you disobeying me and sending that doctor a letter?”
“It wasn’t addressed to the doctor.”
“No. Rather, it was to a friend of mine, Mary Bridges.”
“Oh, not that doctor then?”
“Absolutely not. Now I should like to come in and finish my breakfast.”
Lord Patterson moved to the side of the doorway to let his daughter enter. He noticed that she had a touch of spring in her step, a spring that had not been there before. “If you’re lying to me girl, it will go badly for you.”
Cecelia thought that it couldn’t go much worse than it had been. She hadn’t exactly been lying, just not telling the entire truth.
“I’ll send you to stay with your Aunt Augusta, in far off Glossop, if you’re not mindful of my strictures. After a few months with her, out in the wilds where a month seems like a year, you’ll be begging me to bring you back.”
“I like the country.”
“Morning prayers my dear. I never could stand my sister’s strident piety. I doubt you’d find it enjoyable.”
“It doesn’t matter; I’ve lived with that before. Now if you’ll excuse me, I should like to finish my meal and then my book.”
Dr Craven is on Choosy Bookworms Read and Review program. It’s buried, which is somewhat appropriate given the subject matter, about half-way down the page. If you’re willing to review it, you can get a free copy.You can read the first chapter here.