I cannot account for the sudden, dire change in her today,
Upon picking up the letter, not even reading it. <And her aunt
Is a vulgar, cruel, poison toadstool of a woman.> I had her man
Drive us back to Lightcliffe, sent Eugenie with the sad news
And had her collect my night things and bring them back.
But I know, whatever it is, it's very bad. When an Englishwoman
Refuses a cup of tea, well, it's. That's. It simply doesn't. I take
My own cup, try to collect my thoughts. I ask, "Do you want
To talk about Mrs. Ainsworth?" Through her still drizzling tears
She says, "She was... kind." "You must have been very close."
"Why do you say that?" "Because you're so upset." "No!
Not close like we are, if that's what you're thinking." Something
Is there I can't decipher, so I sit back in my chair, sip tea, wait.
Finally, she says, "It's death. Anything to do with death terrifies
Me..." And yes, thought I, but I remembered the Ann of ten years
Ago, both of whose parents had passed in such a short time,
Yet the girl had run down the Lightcliffe road, run after me,
Calling me and inviting me to tea. This feels... different. People
Suffer differently, but external pain presents with less power
Than internal torment, and that is what it looks like to me.