“Jane – my dearest Jane. You must know, by now, that the good Lord has no use for you in the role of humble schoolteacher! It was not meant to be so: and mark my words, so it will not be!”
O, reader, how my heart did sink to hear these words, from the lips of my cousin St. John. These were not words, mark you, delivered as a matter of casual conversation, between cups of tea and items of parish gossip. Nay: instead, my cousin had knocked me up at less than six in the morning – an outlandish hour even to his sparse and stoical tastes and habits – specifically in order to make this announcement.