The Magical Dress

Amarilys gacio rassler

From Lady Victoria Collins
to Lady Adelle Collins, September 22nd, 1823

My dearest Adelle,

I beg your forgiveness for what I am about to confess. I am grateful, my sister, for having you as a confidant that I may reveal the storm within my soul. How I miss our godly mother. What blessing, she will not suffer for my wrongs.

Tonight in the theater, Aunt Henrietta abandoned me when she became ill with her customary vapours. I succumbed to go and experienced the final act of Hamlet. Indeed, a memorable ending with the play. And then later for such a part of me.

Mr. Beckett’s eyes engaged me … almost to a swoon. It was inevitable that I lose my head. You know, I had already secretly surrendered my heart to him. Thus, in a moment of fleshly ardor I agreed to leave accompanied by him.

It was in the coach that it happened. We made haste to cover the windows with the velvet curtains. And, enveloped by the scents of the roses he had bought me outside the theater; and his snuffed tobacco, Mr. Beckett’s earnest lips conquered my will. I became the wax of a long-burning candle.

Even now, at the memory of that moment, I feel my cheeks glow scarlet. Through my body runs a boiling stream of passion and a voice that screams, encore, encore.

And now, my sister, after you raise yourself from our marble floors, believe me you shall understand completely the day it happens to you.

Oh, may God forgive me! And what would Papa say? What would Papa do? You must help me with him, dearest, for there is great hope for the future if things go as planned. Mr. Beckett has made an offer. Immediately after writing and sending this, we are headed for Gretna Green. We are to be married for he says he is madly in love with me and he will make this right. He tells me it was the dress that did it. I am afraid the gown has now a bit of a tear in the upper front where our mother ingeniously added lace for modesty’s sake. But I am sure with your fine expertise with needle and thread it can be made good as new.

My sister, I know you would have handled this situation in such a different way because of your spirituality, irresistible wit, and artful ways. I see you arriving home from the theater properly engaged with your virtue under lock and the key, thoroughly misplaced. Woe to this, your emotionally scattered twin.

Well then, my dearest, once in Scotland, your correspondence can reach us at a most discreet place. The Inn of the Happy Goose.

Pray for me, your merrily derailed sibling, for I’m suffering from a lack of repentance. And please, please I beg of you, write promptly.

Your loving and most devoted, Victoria

From Lady Adelle Collins
to Lady Victoria Collins, September 23rd, 1823

My beloved Victoria,

Indeed, my darling, you should ask my forgiveness. I waited tonight at our bedroom window, my heart pureed by grinding worries. I held very close to mother’s handkerchief while longing to hear the clop of hoofs racing on cobblestones, bringing me a message of your safety.

I prayed and prayed that all would be well. And then, a letter arrived together with a long note from your handsome and well-to-do Mr. Beckett. He wrote, begging for our forgiveness for his … “lack of self-control and act of serious indiscretion.” He pledges to wed you, make you happy, and be of service in any way possible to our family. I believe he truly loves you and I feel assured this marriage needs to happen as soon as possible.

Because of his note I would be extremely surprised if, when receiving this letter, you, my sister, would not already be a happy Mrs. Beckett. And, would have quickly added to your often used vocabulary the word encore.

As for our father, do not despair of his opinion. His thoughts are tacked for now elsewhere. He has plunged even deeper into gambling and drinking due to the grief over our mother. Aunt Henrietta angrily tightened her purse strings to teach him a lesson. According to her, he squandered most of our money. We are close to destitute.

And concerning your state, remember what our wonderful mother used to say, “God grieves deeply because of our falls but if we turn back to Him and ask forgiveness, He can bring good even out of our self-caused ashes.” From your Mr. Beckett’s note, assuring us he is most devoted to you and our family, could it be that your wrong might be used to bring upon us a charitable right?

My dear sister, I admonish you to make contrite confessions to your Maker, be happy with your Mr. Beckett and forgive yourself. Pray understand that it was our mischievous Aunt Henrietta who I am sure created the opportunity for you to be alone with Mr. Beckett. She is also the culprit for presenting us with the magical dress. The dress, of much consequence, with the lacy neckline of embedded pearls, which favorably accentuates the rich endowments we inherited from our mother.

Now, my kindred spirit, the apple of my eye, the joy of my soul, take heed of these my final words. Please, please, hurry to send the dress to me. Lord Willit is still calling at tea times. He desires to take me to the theater and our dear Aunt Henrietta has graciously demanded to be our chaperone.

Forever loving you and awaiting … Adelle

Amarilys Rassler
Amarilys Gacio Rassler is the author of the book, Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen, used by Oregon State University for cultural studies. Amarilys is an award-winning author and speaker who writes about Cuba, faith-based topics and spiritual warfare themes. She is currently finishing her memoir, a book about surviving her traumatic experience with the occult.

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