Hello everyone.  I am enjoying a nice morning by the fire with my tea.  I intend to catch up on some knitting and reading I haven’t had a moment to get to; what with Thornfield bustling with activity as usual.  This morning, however, I have the manor to myself.  Well, except for the usual residents clattering about like Grace Poole and Attic-Bound Bertha.  Even Mrs. Fairfax is taking a little extra rest to shake the effects of that brandy she has every night and thinks I don’t know about.

Mr. Rochester is off hunting with Pilot, his trusted canine, and the Count.  The Count comes round every so often to catch up with Mr. Rochester.  He’s a moody sort, that Count.  He comes from Monte Cristo so he is supposed to be Mediterranean, but he seems very French to me.  I always tell Mr. Rochester there is more going on with that one then we know about.  I think the Count likes Mr. Rochester’s company because, being blind, he is easily distracted.  If Mr. Rochester ever asks after some of the more incongruous parts of the Count’s stories, the Count will simply say “oh look, a snipe.” And Mr. Rochester will jerk his sightless gaze from one side to the other to be polite.  I remind the Count to have a care when he hands Mr. Rochester the gun; his remaining hand is not his useful one. (Poor Pilot is in terrible shape from retrieving fallen prey.  As soon as he enters the long grass, Mr. Rochester thinks his target is still alive and shoots again.  That dog trembles even in his sleep.)

The Count is very generous, however; he has absolute caves of money.  He is always bringing us red silk purses, interesting elixirs, slightly charred crosses and all the embroidered handkerchiefs I could ever want. (I try to work into the conversation that my first name begins with a “J” and not an “M” but he has usually gone glassy-eyed by that time.)

One thing the Count is very good for is coming up with clever ways to repay certain people who may not be as mannered as we are.  It’s a subject he quite enjoys, I dare say.  Maybe I will have him help me with my Catherine issues.

For the most part, I don’t mind the switch in moods, grumbling about people he has known in the past, aversion to the roiling sea or his penchant for throwing lavish parties which he does not attend; but I suggest you do not ask him to take a letter to someone for you.

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