The Anthrope Bride
It did not take me long to discover what had sent Gideon to his bed. I had been filled with an unexplainable dread for weeks, jumping at shadows, seeing things out of the corner of my eye. Even the dreams, which had finally ceased to plague me, were back with a vengeance. Now I understood why.
In bold type the headline of the society page read, ANTHORPE HEIR TO WED. The Colonies might have declared their independence, but they still seemed fascinated by all the Lords and Ladies they had rejected. It was a lucky thing for me that they were. I had made my living these past fifteen years as I had hoped from my typewriter, tapping out tales that would have made Catherine Morland shiver with delight.
My work, though it would scarcely grant me the immortality of Shakespeare, had given me the independence that I had always craved. One of the consequences of that I suppose is that Gideon and I had never wed, but we were bound together as tightly as any couple who had ever taken vows.
I picked up Gideon’s carefully folded copy of the paper and looked at it again. This time the smaller title underneath the headline caught my eye, WILL HE ESCAPE THE CURSE? It was disconcerting to see the very question that had haunted us both there in print. I scanned the article for more information, but it was sadly lacking in anything but sensationalist speculation. Still, I gathered a few bits and pieces. The unfortunate creature’s name was Sophia Granville. The only address given was a hotel on the edge of what was considered the respectable part of Kensington, though I am sure the paper’s American readership would have no knowledge of that fact.
After tending to Gideon I scoured the streets in search of other newspapers. While the other papers did mention Jasper’s upcoming nuptials, none of them provided what I was really seeking-a picture of the bride.
I had always avoided telling the tale that inspired all the others, but I knew it was the only way that I could do what I had to do. Hoping it was not to late in the day, I went to the offices of the editor who was kind enough to publish some of my early work.
Fortunately, Mr. Dunkirk was able to see me.
“Do you think your readers would be interested in a first person insider account of the Anthorpe wedding?”
“You can do that?”
“I used to work for the family.”
Dunkirk’s eyebrows shot up and he reached for his ledger.
I hoped Gideon would forgive me, but someone had to warn the bride and I was the only one who could.