274

Upon pondering the sad events regarding Miss Margaret Evans, I have only myself to blame.  The illusion presented to me was one of physicality, only.  Had I been wiser, I would have scrutinized the personal qualities of Miss Evans.  Had I done so, I would have instantly known that she had none of Josette’s gentility and bearing.  Such is another dimension of Angelique’s trap for me.  However, Angelique did not take into account my capacity to judge character as well as countenance.

Ever since I met Miss Victoria Winters, however, I have been drawn to her, and now I understand why; she possesses the inner beauty of Josette (and I might hasten to add that the outer beauty is a more than adequate substitution).  The question before me is, “Is she Josette or is she simply emblematic of all those marvelous qualities possessed by her?”

I lean toward the former conclusion, and I believe that the subtleties of Josette’s personality may be drawn out from Miss Winters given time and care.  I was so impetuous and overly enthusiastic with Miss Evans.  I ruined her, and that is another one of my punishments… another black mark against me.

The elements intrinsic to Josette were and are effervescent, lively, and effortless.  Looking back upon the attempted conversion of Miss Evans, I had rendered a serviceable serving girl into a slack-jawed dullard, lifelessly repeating phrases sans meaning or intent.  This is the opposite of Josette, who brought zest and insightful kindness to all things.

Drawing out Josette’s essence is not only a subtle campaign, it is ultimately an invitation to grace.  Miss Winters is the clear vessel.  Her actions, her bravery, her inquisitiveness, and her other qualities (too subtle to catalogue with mere words) create a mosaic that is the spirit of Josette. If I can only create the proper opportunities for her to realize that herself, that spirit will be liberated and emerge anew.

I have found you, Josette, and I can be patient.  If anyone in this world can be patient, it is I.

BC

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Chapters


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