September 26th, 1899

 

Dear Rachel,

 

I do hope you and Thomas are doing well. It has been an age since we last spoke, and I believe it is crucial to keep in touch with our neighbours. I still berate myself over my folly with Mary Lacroix, and the horrible way I treated her until she was on her deathbed. I should not want to repeat such dreadful behaviour. Not that you are anywhere close to your grave, of course, dear Rachel. Why, you are quite the lively lady, so I am sure you understand my sentiments.

 

I would like to host a tea party for some of the ladies in Avonlea. We received a rather large shipment from England a couple of days ago, and it would only be good-naturedly to share some of the excess with everyone. As you know, I can never find my perfect cup of black tea here on the island, and so I must turn to my homeland to fulfill my craving. English tea is, after all, second to none. Anyway, I am writing to invite you to the party, hoping to catch up over some refreshments. 

 

I would come over and personally invite you, but, you see, my days are frightfully busy. I have taken it upon myself to redecorate Diana's room, and oh, what a task I have shouldered! It is near impossible to find the perfect shade of periwinkle blue in Charlottetown, and I am sure I have doubled on the greys in my hair. Nevertheless, I shall persevere in tracking down the elusive colour, and have requested that William include a fair amount of the paint in our next shipment from England. 

 

As you can imagine, this keeps me on my toes. And then, the better part of my days are spent fretting over Diana. The girl has given me a fair share of headaches, and continues to do so even miles away! I've always been apprehensive of the company Diana keeps, and after hearing some very concerning news recently from William, I do hope she doesn't fall off the rails. Now I understand Anne has always been a bit more...forward, I should say, but I shall be astonished if Diana takes after her! I sent the girl off to Charlottetown with a very steady mindset⁠—she is to finish up her studies as soon as possible and then come right back to Avonlea, whereupon her father and I shall find her a suitable match.  Heaven forbid she takes up these romantic notions from Anne and goes about trying to find her own suitor! 

 

Dear me, I have rambled on quite enough. As the case may be, while I do worry about Diana, my worries are entirely doubled when I think of poor Marilla. Oh, I do fret about indeed. I shall invite her to the party as well as a way for us to ensure her well-being, and to inquire about how she intends to handle the situation with Anne and her wild frolics. As residents of Avonlea, it is vital to ensure the youth are not led astray. I have half a mind to invite Sebastian Lacroix as well, for he needs to understand the repercussions of Gilbert's actions. 

 

I hope to hear from you soon, Rachel. There will be much to discuss at the tea party.

Eliza Barry

 

 

P.S. While I do understand such infatuations are exciting, jumping off a moving train is highly irresponsible, no matter the urgency of the situation. When William recounted the incident, I was appalled! I have always imagined Gilbert to be a very composed figure, and to hear of his antics has been shocking, to say the least. I wonder what spell Anne has cast on him, for I am sure he is spoilt for choice with all the suitable young girls in Avonlea.

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