A House of Lies
England, March 3rd, 1712
My name is Jannet Lynn Kellen. I am a lady of considerable quality and significance; having just reached the age of one and twenty(might I say I am rather perplexed at not being married yet). My father: Mr. John Kellen, and my mum: Mrs. John Ana Kellen, are parents of four sons and I being the only feminine offspring! The eldest son and heir of the sumptuous estate: John || Kellen, tall and with dark hair and a miniature mustache; Is a man who is very much proud of himself, being the named heir of the largest estate in Bath, and sought out by the feminine nobilities. The second son: James Kellen, is the tallest and most sober minded out of my brothers, reads The Bible continually throughout the day and unlike his other brothers, is more clean shaven and knowledgeable. I will not trouble you with the specifics of the two other brothers (Winston and Windsor); For they are the carbon copies of John || and just as arrogantly superior.
Having scheduled a ball for tomorrow evening at 7:00, I began to search out among my brochures and among the many shops seeking a ball gown fit for a queen and a lady of my appearance. I knew I must bring a most amorous display to the gentleman courting me: Churchill Jones, and to all the OTHER very handsome gentlemen in society who I know greatly admire me and seek my attention. Having decided my apparel for the ball, I joined my brothers in the large Parlor who were at last, making a decision what they would wear. “No, Windsor, it must be blue and with golden accoutrements,” said John ||. “As you please sir, answered Windsor, “But what shall I wear?” “Indeed, you must not have all the ladies gazing upon your radiant complexion. For I am one, who would very much enjoy the attention of a beautiful and high lady of my choice; Might I say more than just one”, Joined Winston. “Ah, but I have already chosen the rest of your gear, Said John ||. “You rest shall certainly wear the blue coats with silver attachments. Why, we all will look as great as an army general. Mother has quite agreed to my choosing and declared that men of our attractive features, should have all of the highest and most delicate of women.” “You have said wisely, rejoined Winston smiling at Windsor. “You are the more enlightened and handsome out of us.” John || then turning to James who was deeply embedded in reading his Bible exclaimed: “And what shall I do with you? You destitute hermit? Shall we go on discussing important affairs while you pay no heed?” “Do with me as you see fit. The Word of The Lord is more important to me than a mere frolicking. I choose to remain studying.”, Declared James turning his head back to The Bible. “Very well then, you shall resemble your two younger brothers in your wear but I say, you show no concern nor importance. Remember you are a man of dignity.”, John || rejoined a little impatiently. James made him no reply, and continued reading to himself. “At last you have decided, I said getting up from the couch. “I am going into town and will pick up the clothing. We already have everything else necessary.” “Go on then, John || said lighting a cigar. “We are about to begin discussing the awards for the winners in our game of bridge and some matters of politics a lady should not be present in.”
Shutting the door behind me, I rang for the servant to bring me my cloak and bonnet. As I was putting both bonnet and cloak on, my parents entered the room. “Tomorrow will be a night of pure elegance and much pleasure, my dear”, Began my Mother elaborately. “As long as my children do not reject their teachings from their own father, Retorted Mr. John Kellen. “I am allowing this ball to commence tomorrow evening at 7:00, given that my children do not forget what wisdom is. I trust that James will pay great attention to what The Bible instructs, but as for the rest of you, you worry me exceedingly.” My father was also a chaste and well mannered man; A Christian father who tried to distill his Godly wisdom to his children. “Oh, you are already worried! You do not trust your own poor wife and the rest of her sweet tempered children!”, exclaimed my mother hysterically. “I promise my dear the ball shall soon take place. Now please do sit down and calm yourself.” (My father was easily swayed by my mother’s comical nature). “Oh, oh, not the couch. I need to go lie down, for I believe I have taken ill,” Cried my mother. “Jannet Lyn my girl, do go now and purchase the equipment necessary for the ball. I am certain it will raise your mother’s spirits.”, My father said calling for the maids to take my mother to her chambers upstairs.
Laughing, I stepped outside and to the carriage that was to convey me to the shop in town. The footman, bowing handsomely, and taking my hand, assisted me into the fine velvet cushions. He nimbly hopped into his post, and after receiving my directions, clapped the reins and off we went into the most wealthy part of town.
Being gently handed down from the carriage, I approached the esteemed shop owned by a Frenchman of large fortune. This shop is named: “La Fleur de Toutes des Robes”, The sign with these words, engraved in gold letters adorned with roses surrounding the glittering letters; Is of the finest iridescent material. The sun shined on it, making many crystals of rainbow and light sprout from all directions, making its appearance known and fashionable. After gazing on this spectacular sight for a few moments, I went inside the shop. To my satisfaction, everything I bought was neatly packaged and woven over with luxurious linen cloths to insure its safety. I instructed my attentive footman to take the most care in storing them in the carriage on my way home.
Finally sitting down to begin my way back to The Kellen Estate, I espied a feeble elderly woman in an old ragged dress collapsing from fatigue. “Perhaps some old country widow. No need to trouble myself.”, I thought. A group of shop owners by this time,were gathering around to support her. I turned my eyes back to my footman patiently waiting for my words. Tapping my foot out of impatience to be home, I said: “Drive on” in a monotonous tone. Casting one last look of indifference on the poor creature, I shrugged my shoulders and turned my thoughts back to the preparations for the ball.
The next morning, (the day of the great ball), servants, maids, footman, and cooks alike, rushed to and fro across The Kellen Estate hustling and bustling to make ready the enormous ball that was fast approaching. Here you could observe servants adorning the Parlor with rich garlands and delicate flowers of Roses, Daisies, daffodils, and many other assortments. There you could see handmaidens adjusting carpets of velvet, white, and silver, across areas of the rooms upstairs. And in the kitchen, there were more than a dozen cooks and chefs preparing the delicious dishes and vast array of desserts suitable for a monarch. In short, the whole place was busy with all sorts of hired hands making everything ready under my own supervision. John ||, Winston, and Windsor, spent the entire morning and early afternoon riding on their stately steeds throughput the country; Making themselves as proud and showy as they could. Mr. John Kellen and James along with male servants, made ready the port, cigars, newspapers, activities, and tables where the gentlemen would take part in. As for Mrs. John Kellen, she fretted, showed fits, and wrung her hands with tears down her cheeks exclaiming that “This garland and that garland was wrinkled and that if it stayed there, it would ruin the whole night for them all.” Father managed to calm her shortly, and replaced the “wrinkled” garlands with new ones more appeasing to Mrs. Kellen’s delight. The decorations completed, the house began to dress themselves.
“No, I said for my corset to be tighter. No, pull tighter, I ordered my maid Nelly. “Are you so simple minded that a form of dignity such as mine is to be seen without the corset perfectly fixed?” “I’m so sorry, ma’am.” Was all Nelly replied while frantically adorning her Lady.
“I am uncertain whether to add another pearl necklace for my headdress or not”, I began nervously inspecting my hair in the mirror from different angles. “I’m sure whatever you choose, it will be most lovely, ma’am”, answered Nelly smiling. “Then come now, I want the addition.”, I said looking at the time and tapping my finger on the desk.
With the whole Kellen family together and the hired staff, everyone waited for the upcoming arrival of the ball guests. I quickly slipped away to take a peek in one of the large mirrors to check for anything that might be amiss. “Oh Jannet Lyn, Exclaimed my Mother, “What a beautiful young lady you are! These poor wretched ladies will see you and become insanely envious that they do not produce such the wonderful looks that you posses.”
As soon as she finished saying this, guests were being announced with a great deal of solemnity and grandeur. “Jannet Lyn! Why, you look like a flower fell from Heaven!”, Remarked Elizabeth (A long childhood friend of Jannet’s). “Thank you for coming, Elizabeth. Your dress is very exquisite”, Returned Jannet hugging her. “See how the guests are dressed! Don’t they look stunning? They came looking their best for the most esteemed family in Bath.”, Said the kind hearted and joyful Elizabeth, who was smiling beautifully. “Stunning?, Joined Jannet sarcastically, “Why, if you refer to them as stunning, then you have yet to see how far more intricate and exquisite my gown is.” When I had finished my retort, I lifted my nose in the air, and laughed. Really, I could not hold back my laughter. How silly it is that anyone can even imagine being as stunning and refined as I. Elizabeth only smiled and nodded her head. I soon noticed the very handsome and grand Churchill Jones walk slowly and with a great deal of air over to me. He made a profound bow, and taking my hand in his, he kissed it. Churchill Jones is a tall, blond haired gentlemen adorned with very fine apparel. He is the only son to Mr. William Jones, and apparent heir to the large Jone Side Mansion. The gossips in the city of Bath say that Mr. Churchill Jones is so much alike to the vain Kellen brothers:(John ||, Windsor, and Winston), that perhaps Mrs. John Kellen had forgotten that she had birthed a fifth son.
Having paid his solemn respects to me, he began: “My lady Jannet Lyn Kellen is the true picture of beauty and accomplishment. And even more so, tonight in this dazzling gown and jewelry.” “I had purchased it at The Le Fleur de Toutes Des Robes.”, I answered smiling in my superiority. “And your brothers, Jannet, methinks they look by far, the greatest and most stately than they have ever appeared to be.”, Observed Elizabeth. I turned my attention to John ||, who was in deep conversation with a group of ladies who were listening intently to him. Windsor at the other end of the room, was showing Winston and other lady nobilities how well he could exhibit his performances in dance. The ladies “Oooed” And “Awed” at his display. Windsor then bowed to one of the ladies, after she consented to his question of dancing with him, began to twirl about the room with him,catching the eyes of all the bystanders. Winston seeing his brother thus seen in this manner, asked another lady to dance, which she readily did. I observed the two ladies who were dancing with my brothers, to be Kristine Wells, and Heidi Floor. Both ladies of large fortune and consideration. “I wonder where James is”, I thought, searching the ballroom with my eyes. At last my eyes alighted upon James, who was standing in the far corner watching the merry dancers. Mr. Jerry who is a family friend, noticed he was not dancing. “James, my lad, what are you doing standing here? The dances are very lively tonight and would be so much the better if you danced.”, Said Mr. Jerry jovially. “I thank you sir, Returned James. “But I believe it to be more profitable for me to remain here.” “Aye, but you look in want of conversation. I will keep you in discourse if it pleases you”, Mr. Jerry said pleasantly while placing his hand on Jame’s broad shoulder. “Your company indeed is very pleasant to me. For I have not many like minded companions who are as kind and prudent as you, sir,” James answered smiling.
Mr. Churchill watched me in my observations, and made a flourish of his hand and a bow to regain my attention. “If you please, Ms. Jannet, will you give me the honor of dancing with you?”, He asked slowly. “As you wish, sir,” I answered, accepting his hand.
We danced at least five dances, enjoying the selections of melodies the hired musicians played. “I am rather tired now. Let us see how my parents fare in their game of bridge”, I said gazing at the card table. “Let us go then”, Churchill answered as he led me to the game of bridge. He led me to a seat beside my father with a company of gentleman who were also participating. “A most interesting game, I dare say”, Remarked my father who appeared to be sure in winning the round. “How ill of you to say interesting! Pah! I have not won once, and here you are in jest of me. What an ill used and forlorn wife I am”! Cried my mother throwing down her deck of cards and weeping. “Don’t give in so easily, my sweet, replied father. “There is always a chance of winning.” “I can’t win. I am so ill used and miserable. My own husband is against me”, Sobbed my mother covering her face with her hands. “I’ll take her to her room. Excuse me gentlemen”, I said quite embarrassed getting up from my chair. I hurried her out of the room and bid her to lie down while I ordered a servant to bring her a glass of wine. Seeing that she was now in bed, I crept out of the room and closed the door.
Thus the evening was spent in great pleasure and diversion without any more hysterical outbursts from my mother.
Several days later, my father having announced that he was to depart to Paris France on a matter of business; Declared that he would be gone for at least a fortnight.
My mother, brothers, and myself, wished him on the day of his departure the best journey and return. Father, having given us his last words of instruction and sentiment, climbed into the carriage and was off.
Bath, England, June 12th, 1712
A very sunny, but excessively hot day, I was confined indoors practicing the Pianoforte and sketching a little here and there. When I took a brief respite from playing, I went over to the writing table in the music room, and picked up the calendar that was resting on the desk. “Father has been gone for a week”, I mused to myself out loud. “I had quite forgotten how quickly the days have past, for they are more enjoyable without the interference of his advice.” I had spent the days hosting tea parties, adventuring out of town, and scheduling picnics. It was indeed pleasurable to have a bit of freedom and repose while Father was gone. Amidst in these thoughts, I noticed my servant Lilly enter the room. “Ma’am, Mr. Jerry is at the door and wishes to speak to you.”, Lily said a little nervously. “I shall be there directly, but really, Lilly, you should have ushered him inside.”, I replied. “I did, Ma’am, but he declined my offer. He said that he would not be long in speaking with you.”, Answered the servant Lilly. Sighing, I walked out of the room and down the hall to the door. Opening the door, I saw Mr. Jerry standing with his cap in his hands and with a very grave visage. “How do you do, Mr. Jerry?” I asked him hesitatingly. “Ms. Kellen I have come to deliver a letter of great importance to you and your family. I decided to bring it to you personally to express my regards to your poor father.” Greatly surprised at this statement, I tore open the envelope and read the letter as follows:
“To the renown Kellen family: It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. John Kellen 1st, who died being diagnosed with Pneumonia on the 5th of June, 1712. Those who were present in his passing, would like to convey to you his last words regarding Mr. John Kellen 2nd; Heir to The great Kellen Estate: “Before I depart this world for the Kingdom of Heaven, I sincerely wish for my eldest son and heir, John Kellen 2nd, to take great care of my wife Mrs. John Kellen, and my other children.” These dear Kellen family, were his final words. Our deepest sympathy and regards:
Paris Funeral Home.” I continued to stare flabbergasted at the letter, reading it over and over again. “I know it’s a very difficult loss for you and your family, Jannet. Please let me know if there is anything you require. Good day, Ms. Kellen.”, Ended Mr. Jerry with a swift bow with tears in his eyes. As he was making his way home, I shut the door and quickly made my way to Mother. I found her sitting on the sofa in the parlor speaking with my brothers. “Pardon the interruption, but I bring dire news.”
, I said, a Little discomposed and holding up the letter. “Let me see it,” Replied John. I handed him the letter with a shaking hand, and he read it out loud. His face was impassive, and his tone monotonous. When he had finished reading, Mother threw up her hands and wailed: “Oh, how will we fare now without my dear husband?”, After saying this pitifully, she fainted on the floor. James immediately ran over to her and carried her to her room. “The Estate is now yours, John. This is an opportunity for you that is quite out of luck.”, Said Winston Folding his arms across his chest unconcerned. “Yes, I know exactly what is to be done with my Estate”, Replied John with an indifferent look. “I suppose we are to have the funeral in a few day’s time.” Began Windsor. “I suppose we must, John answered shrugging his shoulders, “We have no choice”. James now reentered the room with a look of exasperation. He made his way to the door. “And pray, where are you off to, sir?” Asked John || raising his brow at James. “I am going to prepare the funeral arrangements. Mother has requested it of me.”, James said. “Do as you will, I have other matters to attend to,” John || replied turning his back to James, and motioning the other brothers to leave the room with him.
Bath, England, June 20th, 1712
Father’s funeral along with almost all of Bath, family relations, and out of town acquaintances were present. With many a tear, a sigh, and embraces to the Kellen family, did the funeral guests offer. Most of all, Mrs. John Kellen, now a widow, sobbed continually, while receiving the most hugs and attention. “Mr. Kellen was a good man. He is now in a happier place”, Remarked my Uncle Bob Kellen. I stood quietly over the grave in contemplation watching the small grass in Father’s grave swaying in the warm breeze that blew in our faces. John ||, Winston, and Windsor stood together and spoke very little during the ceremony. James stood all the while with Mother, holding her close and whispering consoling words in her ear. The entire day was gloomy and filled with mourning. The black mourning dress that Mother and I wore, were dark enough, and of the grave appearance to impress an even deeper sadness in the day.
For the next six days, John ||, now in control of The Kellen Household, held gambling parties every evening with the most prominent gentlemen residing in Bath. Winston and Windsor, greatly pleased at their brother’s content of pleasure in gambling, betted and lost almost as much as John || did. James noticing their foolhardy idleness, spoke with Mother and I in private the next morning, concerning our loss of funds from what the other brothers had gambled and lost. “I have recorded and counted the exact sum of what my brothers have lost. And I conclude it to be no less than three thousand pounds”, James began very gravely. “Three thousand pounds?! That is preposterous. There must be some misunderstanding”, Exclaimed Mother widening her eyes. “I assure you ma’am, it is not”, Answered James handing her the book where he had meticulously counted and wrote the amount. Upon reading and counting aloud from the book, my mother at last fell back into the sofa, and dropped the book onto the ground. “We’ll be ruined. Oh, my beautiful house. We will all be street urchins”, Cried Mother beating her breast. “Pray, stay calm dear Mother. I have listed for the Navy and you can be reassured I will always take care of you”, James answered placidly. I walked over to the foot of the sofa where the book had fallen, and picked it up. “If you can make the Navy in time, perhaps we won’t be turned out of the house yet”, I retorted glancing over the pages of the book. “With God all things are possible, Jannet. In the meantime, keep your patience”, Answered James cooly. “Oh but my house! My house!” Wailed Mother attempting to rise from the sofa, but fell back again. “Hush Mother, Winston and Windsor have been complaining about your “fits” to John ||”, I abruptly said putting my finger to my lips. “I will go speak with them. Do attend to Mother if you will”, Finished James walking over to the door and exiting the room.
The following morning, the house was in complete chaos. John ||, who was very irate with Mother and her panic attacks, ordered her to leave the house. “I have been at my wits end with you, Ms. Kellen. Begone from my house where you are no longer welcome and have been of no use to me,” John || declared calling for the servants to usher her out. I opened my mouth to express my dissatisfaction in the matter, but John ||, cast an angry glance at me to stay silent. I obeyed. “I had better comply, or he will surely throw me out also, where I will be a mockery to everyone”, I thought. The servants were now escorting Mother to the door, and bringing down her belongings. She cried and pleaded with John || to forbear her folly and forgive her, but he was deaf to all entreaties. Suddenly James marched across the room and walked straight up to John ||. “Brother, we have already agreed that in my joining the Navy, Mother is not to leave until it is with me, and when I have secured her needs. Unhand her now”, James said very sternly, now turning to the servant. The young servant let go his hold on The Widow Kellen, bowed, and then very hastily left the room. “James you know better than to cross me. I am the man of this house now, and all who abide in it dwell under my instructions. However, because this woman (John || said pointing to Mother), is a widow and pitiable creature, I shall honor our agreement. You James, have declared to me yourself, that you should protect and assist her in whatsoever way it may be. She is in your charge and shall be when you both depart my estate”, Said John || decisively. “Take care what you say, sir. The Bible tells us to honor our father and our mother (Exodus 20:12). And as long as I still breath, sir, I will look after my Mother to my utmost ability”, James answered eying John || gravely. “What I have said, I have said”, Replied John, returning James’s stern look. “Aye John, you are a man of honest integrity sir “, Chirped Winston nodding at Windsor. James said nothing more, and beckoning Mother to come with him, they both went upstairs where he read to her.
The day came for James and Mother to depart to a very comfortable home in downtown London. John ||, Winston, and Windsor, continued throwing great sums of money away at their gambling parties within The Kellen Estate. Their eventual bankruptcy is imminent. I mustered up my courage to explain the topic to my brothers at our luncheon hour. “But why give away so much money that you’re not sure of either gaining or losing? Is that a very prudent idea?”, I asked John ||, who was sitting across the table from me. “I have told you already, Jannet Lyn, that you are not to meddle in my affairs, nor do I own that you have any say in the matters which are not yours”, He replied setting down his fork and knife to gaze on me, in apparent discontentment. “What honor does that bring to you or our family? Losing almost every game where the only winning is in the disapproval and jest of the entire society! I can not bear to see the people, whether rich or poor, think of me as a stupid fool of no taste nor class. For my fortune and nobility are more important than any other lady’s”, I said equally impatient. “Then you can see yourself to the door. I do not want you in my house any longer”, Answered John || waving his hand. “You’re forcing me to leave as well?!”, I asked flabbergasted. “Precisely. You have until the time James is to depart, to collect your things”, He said wiping his chip with a handkerchief and rising from the table.
In tears of extreme agitation, I jogged up the grand staircase and approached my Mother’s room. I was certain my Mother and James were still dining inside. I rapped the door saying: “Will you not let me in?” The door was opened by James, who swiftly noticed my earnest look. “Sister, you appear to be out of sorts. Come in, and feel free to eat and drink with us and, please explain to me as to why you are disturbed”, He said opening the door wider for me to enter. “James, Mother, the master of the Estate has declared that I am no longer allowed in his house”, I said rapidly trying to hold back my tears which were preventing me from speaking efficiently. “Oh Jannet Lyn, please, no more bad news. My heart cannot withstand the torture!”, Mother cried gasping, and placing her hand to her breast. “Dearest Mother, Said James, “Please remain calm and do not fret. I will do what I can to remedy the situation. Now, please sister, do go own with your narration.” I told them everything that had happened. “Jannet Lyn, I am afraid I cannot abate my brother’s anger. He had disclosed to me the other day on how he was displeased with your downcast countenance. I now offer for you to remove to London with Mother and I, to the very handsome home I have purchased. My new opportunity as a Navy officer will, I’m sure, provide well for you, sister”, James finished with a kind smile. “I thank you, James.... but I am not certain as to whether it is best for me or not. You know I have been known as the most sought after Lady in Bath; And for me to abruptly remove from so grand a house and living, I fear it would mar my reputation”, I answered. “Sister, our reputation has already been compromised due to John ||’s influence as you well know. I do not think it beneficial for you at all to remain in this house exposed to ruin and poverty which I fear; Will approach anytime now”, said James with a concerned look. “Certainly Jannet, you will keep me company when James is absent”, joined my Mother, now encouraged by Jame’s sweet invitation. “Well, seeing I have no bright future if I were to remain here, I suppose I shall remove to London with you”, I decided after taking a few moments to think.
Chapter two: A Change of Heart
London, England, October 6th,1712.
James, Mother, and I, have now been residing in our new home, situated in Downtown London for three days. It is to my delight, just as James had described to me. I must admit that I did not expect him to have purchased a home of its quality without my consent; Nevertheless, our new home is surprisingly very attractively built, and refined. The afternoon was quite chilly, so I spent the greater quantity of the day sewing quilts and cushions of handsome quality; And furnishing the house with more sightly furniture. Although it in no way possible could resemble The Kellen Estate, in both beauty and its vast landscapes and lush gardens; My new home was comfortable. Still I contemplated within myself as to why I should be living in such a smaller home and area which afforded me no distinction. Whenever I had spoken of the matter to James, he would only smile and reply: “Why Jannet, this house is agreeable, is it not?” And walk away in a happy stride. While it IS factual living here is more suitable than the streets, I sometimes still wonder why James would not prefer a much larger abode? Still sewing and contemplating these distracting musings, I lifted my head to see my Mother and Uncle Bob entering the Parlor. “I apologize for any disturbance I may be bringing in coming while you are thus employed, but I have something to speak with you about, Jannet Lyn” ; Said Uncle Bob with a nod towards Mother, telling me that he wanted her to leave the room. Understanding his meaning, I asked Mother if I may speak to my Uncle privately. “Oh I’m not important enough to sit and listen to the affair!” Remarked my Mother leaving the room and closing the door. “Sit, Uncle”, I gestured to the sofa across from where I was reclining. “You may as well guess as to why I am here”, He said tapping his forefinger to a sheet of paper he was holding. “What is that? Surely I have not the least assumption why you are here”, I replied. “Well, I’ll tell you. Do you know that your brother, John, came to me yesterday morning at a very early hour?” He asked me. “Gracious, I do not!” I exclaimed starting in my seat. “He sure did. And you know why? He came to beg a boon of me. Told me that he lost the Estate, and had not a pence to his name. Asked me if I would lend him money, and by golly, I won’t tell you how much he requested. I told him he’s not worth two pence for throwing you and his Mother out. He knows I’m where the money’s at, although I don’t have the amount your Father had when he was living”, said Uncle Bob with a sorrowful expression. “And what else did you tell John”? I asked pensively. “I told him he had a lot of nerve coming to me after acting the way he did. But then he starting going on about James taking care of you and your Mum; And said you were most assuredly, doing better than he was. I thought about it for a brief moment, and gave him an allowance. Told him not to spend it all in one sitting, or he wouldn’t get anymore”. Uncle Bob finished stroking his beard. “What fares with John, I care not. But pray tell, what will become of The Estate?” I asked. “I have not the slightest clue. Heard from John that it might be sold. Mind you, that the house is no longer his, and belongs to the people he owed money”, He replied. We sat in silence. I knew that everything concerning the Kellen household was lost. The reverence of the people, our fortune, everything. “All is lost”, I said very quietly. “Lost? No, you have your kind brother James, to care for you and your Mother as well. You are in very great care”, Uncle Bob smiled, and nodded his head. “I must be going now, He continued. “If there is anything you may require, feel free to send me word.” “No, I refuse to allow myself to become as helpless as John. Even if I were to have nothing as he, I should at least try to earn my own savings. I indeed, do not deserve the infamy and reproof that is reserved for him”, I said haughtily. “I would not shun aid when it is most necessary, but I will respect your wishes. Keep in mind that you may ask me anything. I am much more inclined to give it to you than John. He had absolutely not a care in the world for me until he become bankrupt”, He chuckled. “Well if he ever asks about me, tell him he won’t lick the crumb off my plate!” I declared rising from the sofa as Uncle Bob was. Upon listening to my rant, my Uncle Bob threw up his head and laughed heartily. He always knew how to laugh in a way that made it utterly impossible not to laugh as well. “Ho ho, haha, what a quick witted lass you are!” He said still laughing.
“Jannet Lynn, Mother, I have some important news”, James said entering the house from his errand. “Come Jannet, let us have some tea and biscuits while we listen. I have the most intolerable headache at the moment”, answered Mother holding a damp cloth to her forehead. I prepared the tea and biscuits and brought them on a tray. Setting them down upon the table, I asked James to explain to us what he had to say. “I have received orders from my regiment that we are to leave for America to settle a disagreement between our trading ships.” “Oh James, I wish you would not leave us so soon”, began Mother. “And what is the day of your departure?”, I asked handing Mum another biscuit to divert her attention. “Tomorrow”, replied James. “I pray that you will not be gone long”, Mother said sadly. “I should hope not. But I will be sure to write to you during my times of repose”, he answered softly. This calmed Mother down somewhat, that she went back to sipping her tea. “I can help you pack for your journey if you’d like”, I offered. “Splendid, sister. I would be most grateful if you would”, he said. After making certain that Mother’s fit was abated, I followed James upstairs to begin packing for his voyage.
Mother and I stood near the door outside to say our goodbyes to James as he was about to leave for America. Mrs. Kellen kept her hankecheif to her eyes wiping the many tears away in which she shed. I too, cried. Truly I loved James. He was the only one of my brothers who cared and loved his family genuinely. He is a sincere hearted Christian man. “Until later, my dear Kellens”, He said embracing us both, with glistening tears in his bright eyes. Mum was so choked with overwhelming emotions that she was prevented from speaking. “I love you, brother”, I said trying to speak through my tears. “I love you very much, Jannet. Do not forget. And please look after our beloved Mother”, James replied. Presenting us both with one final kiss on our foreheads, he leapt into the carriage. The horseman clapped the reins, pulling the carriage forward. Popping his head out of the carriage’s window, James waved to us while we watched until he was out of sight.
The days were depressing, slow, and lonesome. I tried to console Mother by reading to her and preparing her favorite meals. She ate very little and slept more than anything. My heart was already broken knowing my kind brother was gone; And observing my Mum’s despondence, only added to my grief and despair. Still, I pursued in my efforts to keep her mind employed on top of my own, which threatened to lose determination. “No. I must not lose hope. I promised James that I would care for Mother”, I thought within. “I will not let him down”. Utilizing these thoughts, I offered Mother to take a turn about town with me. “Let us have a short walk. Perhaps we can also see whether any new dresses have come in the stores. A little outdoor sunshine will do us good”, I said. “There appears to be no hope of good, Mrs. Kellen answered pitifully. “But I will accompany you.” For a slight moment I feared I would lose my demeanor upon listening to this depressing quote. A lump in my throat approaching, I did not speak lest it would betray my inner calamity. She went outside with me. The weather was nice. The sun being out, and no clouds overhead. The cheerful sun and pleasant view of the town, was indeed a sharp contrast to what I knew Mum and I felt in our hearts.
London, England, December 1st, 1712
Winter is approaching. Outside it was frigid weather. It had snowed the previous night. I spent a few minutes outside, looking around at the vast beauty of the pillows of snow. The ice covered the windows, decorating them with a sparkling brilliance. And then, my thoughts turned to James, who had been gone for nearly two months. “He always liked snow. If he was here, I’m sure he would take Mother and I shopping”, I thought slightly smiling at the remembrance of him spending the snowy afternoons with me outside. Being deep in reminiscences, my eyes alighted alarmingly at a gentlemen dressed in black uniform, walking cautiously down the slightly icy road. Looking closely, I saw that he had in his hand, a letter. “Be calm, Jannet Lyn, he’s not coming here. No, he’s here for another family. James is alive and well”, I said quietly to contain myself, while watching the man intently. The man in black did not turn, but pursued in walking directly towards me. Coming within distance of hearing, he then said: “Miss Kellen”. (And what more could I see, other than that very grave look which covered his visage?) “Miss Kellen, is it?” He asked. I nodded my head slowly, not daring to say a word. “I’m sorry, ma’am. I am very sorry. I am sorry for your family”. He handed me the letter with the words engraved on the envelope: “With sympathy and grief, to the Kellen household”. “It can’t be.... That’s not true. My brother is alive!” I cried collapsing to the cold ground. “I’m sorry, Miss Kellen”, was all he said while he tried to help me stand. My legs have become frail and trembled. I burst into tears and fell down once more. The patient man in black, gently carried me inside the house and placed me most delicately upon the sofa. “What in the world! Jannet! What has happened?!”, Exclaimed Mum running to my side as I lay cold and weeping upon the sofa. “The news is enclosed in this letter”, He said nodding to the note that I still held in my hand. “And now ma’am, if you require nothing more, I must be on my way. My deepest regards”, He said after a slight pause. After bowing, he left the house. “Jannet. Jannet, are you alright?? What is troubling you?”, Exclaimed Mother gasping. “Jannet!”, She screamed clasping my face in her hands. I did not answer, I could not answer. All I could do, was lie there and stare at the ceiling with a transfixed gaze, as in a dark trance. Voices in my head at first whispering soft and barely audible utterances until they crescendoed into loud, deafening shouts; “Your brother, he is dead. Your brother, he is dead”, They echoed, rebounding off the walls of my brain. Mum splashed my entire visage in water, contained in a small container. I suddenly started up from my resting position on the couch grasping for air. “Speak to your mother, Jannet”, She cried once more. Catching my breath, I answered feebly: “James...he is dead.”
London, England, December 5th, 1712. Jame’s Funeral
It was an excruciatingly painful day for Mother and I. All we could do is sob bitterly. Whenever anyone tried to speak to us or in any way console us, all we responded with was pitiful weeping. My life was over. I have lost the most dear and compassionate brother. And now, what can I do now besides live in solitude and anguish? There’s nothing more for me while I yet live.
All I do now is sleep. All I can do is rest, in the hopes to soothe my aching soul. I tried to do something that would employ me, although it did nothing for me. Nothing can. My mind goes in constant circles, affording me little to no sleep at all. Lying in bed weeping with the covers over my face is all I could bring myself to do. This is my life for now on and forever.
London, England, December 7th, 1712.
I had gotten up early this morning in order to purchase a new shawl for Mother. She has been very ill and constantly cold. The doctor visited us everyday. He had advised me to keep her warm at all times, and administer to her, her medications. Even so, I have so little hope in her recovery. This sickness is not caused by a bodily illness, but of a heartbreak. Jame’s death is both mum’s and mine own curtain call. Being in dark and low spirits, I happened to brush past a gentleman who was on his way from town. “Pardon me please, sir. I did not happen to see you there”, I said bending down to help retrieve his bundle that had fallen to the ground. “It’s quite all right, Ms. Kellen”, Said a melodic and cheerful voice. Hearing this vaguely familiar voice, I jerked up from the floor to behold him. It was the mailman who the other day, delivered the letter of my eternal destruction. “Indeed, it is a great pleasure to see you again, ma’am”, He said smiling and bowing handsomely. “And you too, sir”, Was all I managed to reply. I felt very intimidated and confused by his unwavering eyes that were set upon me. “You can call me, Dave, Ms. Jannet”, The man answered tipping his hat. I was suddenly aroused by my broken spirit and on the verge of tears. I could still very plainly, recall the day this man carried The Letter. “Oh... “, I attempted to speak more but was overcome with tears. “My kind lady. I am terribly sorry. Here, take this”, He pulled out of his breast pocket, a handkerchief. I slowly reached out to take it, through my tears I saw his gentle and lenient eyes, expressing much concern. “Thank you, Mr. Dave... I’m sorry”, I said attempting to turn my face away to wipe it. “Oh no. I beg your pardon. I do not wish to trouble you. But I say, you look like you are cold. Would you prefer my jacket, Miss?” He asked suddenly preparing to take it off. “No sir, I thank you. I was only here to fetch a new shawl for Mother. She is frigid and ill”, I replied. “A shawl you say? I will purchase it for you. And would it be too burdensome to ask if I may also see you home?” He asked smiling warmly. “Oh you don’t have to do that. I shouldn’t hold you. I’m sure you are very much employed at the moment”, I said amazed at his generous heart. “It is my duty to deliver products, Ms. Jannet. After all, it is my job”, He laughed offering me his arm. “Deliver, and not purchase for the client”, I smiled, being slightly cheered by his jovial demeanor. “Ah, but it is only fair to allow a man to assist a beautiful lady”, He chuckled. Mr. Dave did exactly as he promised. He not only purchased the new shawl for Mother, but much to my surprise, he bought one for I as well. He took the most great, delicate, and gentlemanly care a man could do; Both in manners and discourse as he escorted me home.
What was indeed the most shocking question that day, was that Mr. Dave asked if he could call on me when I’m home. I couldn’t say no. He is truly a delight to be around.
Mr. Dave visited me almost everyday. Not only did he visit, but he always brought gifts for Mother and I. I have been told by someone in town that Mr. Dave Hicks is a very wealthy bachelor. As you know, I have already implied that he is very giving and kind hearted, but also his presence aroused in me, hope and joy when he was around. He somehow helped my gloomy and depressed mood lift when he came. Even Mum become slightly altered and delighted in spirits around him. And not only that, but Mr. Hicks introduced me to his Protestant church. Rarely attending churches in my childhood, I was learning for the first time how to read The Bible and understand the Hyms. Mr. Hicks explained to me passages and parts from The Bible after the sermons, what they meant. I am very grateful to declare that with Mr. Hick’s assistance and from reading and comprehending God’s Word, I received Christ for the first time in my life. It made me realize just how boastfully ignorant I had lived my life in the past. All that was important to me was money and fame. Apart from James, I did not even regard my family as paramount. A very shameful and waste of living indeed. Now, even though I’m still trying to move on from the shock of my brother’s abrupt death, I have a new sense of joy and encouragement.
December 25th, Mr. Hick’s Private Estate, 1712.
Mother and I spent the day with Mr. Hicks. And if I thought he was generous before, I definitely thought so after today! He spoiled us with vast tables covered in dishes, specials, desserts, and of course, presents. It was the best and most genuinely heartfelt Christmas or any other day I have ever had.
London, England, February 20th, 1713.
A new year and time of celebration. Mr. Hicks and I were wedded at our church along with a fabulous feast and congratulations. The only sad occurrence that day, was Mother’s death that very night. She had passed away in her sleep. We had her buried in the church graveyard, with many garlands and ribbons laced around her headstone. Standing there with my new husband and forever soulmate, I expressed my gratitude that God allowed Mother to see us married and enjoy the feast together. “Yes my love, and not that alone”, He replied wistfully smiling, “But I am also, most happy and blessed to have shared with you the most wonderful day of my life.”
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