At last, my patient colleagues, I have found the 3rd and final page of (drum roll…) Miss Anna Roisin O’Hare’s letter! We mustn’t leave her waiting for an answer from the charming young man any longer…
He looked at me for a long moment, then looked to his mother, his father, and finally the young woman standing next to him through all this chaos. (I recognized her as the daughter of another fairly local aristocratic family, but not one that held any particular animosity toward me.) He took her hand in his and spoke.
“Elaine, it seems I won’t be marrying you after all. I sincerely hope you find someone who makes you truly happy, and I don’t think that person was ever going to be me… No matter what our parents thought about it.” He looked into her eyes for a moment, and seemed to be willing her to understand. She laughed, and squeezed his hand as she answered. “Kristoff, my friend, thank you. I have known you long enough to understand that we would have been a terrible match.” She kissed him on the cheek and gestured toward me. “Now quickly. I think your future is waiting.”
He ran to me across the ruined lawn, the voices of his parents blending together into an incomprehensible garble of anger. He took my hand with joy in his eyes, and I pulled him up onto the horse behind me and let him settle in. As I urged Belinda into action, he slipped and nearly fell before stabilizing himself with an arm around my waist. I winked back at him. “So familiar and you don’t even know my name yet!” He cocked his head at me as Belinda cantered away from his parents and his old life.
“I suppose I don’t,” he said. “I’m Kristoff von Boltenstein, but you may have figured that out.” He grinned at me, his face alive with humor and curiosity.
“Indeed I had.” I grinned back, quite enjoying being entirely improper. “I’m Anna. Anna Roisin O’Hare. Pleased to meet you.”
He looked behind us on the road, back toward his arranged marriage and what was surely chaos. “I think I can say with all truth, Miss Anna, that the pleasure is all mine.”
And that, dear friends, is how we met! We’re leaving immediately for Mongolia on my dirigible. I thought it a good idea to be well out of the country for a bit, and I have been meaning to purchase some cashmere goats from the wonderful nomads in the East for quite some time. I’m dropping this in the post just before we leave, as I was simply bursting to tell someone and Belinda was there for the whole of it already.
I wish you all the best of luck, my adventuring sisters in mischief!
With great joy,
Anna Roisin O’Hare
Mischief indeed! But highly successful mischief at that. Image what excitement those two must have found on their journey to Mongolia. Mongolia in a dirigible with newfound love! I sincerely hope we haven’t heard the last of them – only time and the trunk will tell, and we’ve many, many more tales yet to discover…