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Authors: Kathleen Whelpley

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BOOK: The Haunting of Josephine
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“Well, as you say my
parents
may not have been able to help me much but due to the size of my family they did
n
o
t care one way or the other if I was not in the home and I worked out a deal with the headmaster of the local school and tutored in order to fund my education.” Jo dropped her eyes to her lap in response to the look
she was sure that
her
Aunt
was sure to
give her. Not only had she admitted that her
parents
were poor but she had also admitted that she herself had worked to get an education at a level that most women would never
want let alone
dream to have.

“I believe that is very impressive Josephine. I always enjoy hearing
a story about
when a
woman
finds the motivation to challenge the norm and
pursues
what she really
wants in life.” After that
Katherine
shifted Mr. Kinsley’s attention away from Jo. Throughout dinner Jo practiced only speaking when spoken to and avoided drawing too much attention to herself. She
began to worry a bit on what
her
Aunt
’s
assessment was going to be of her interaction with Mr. Kinsley. Though she
herself
had quiet enjoyed getting to have an intelligent conversation.

After dinner Katherine
excused them up to their rooms as the men sat and talked with brandy and cigars. When up in Jo’s room
she
pressed her opinion on Jo.
This ended up rather surprising Jo.

“I
cannot
believe how Mr. Kinsley has taken to you.” Jo gr
abbed the pole of her bed as her
a
unt helped
her
undress
by loosening the strings on Jo’s corset. “He never has invited anyone to call him Bradley ever that I know of.
Your Uncle
Joseph
and I have known him as our lawyer for well over ten years and we still call him Mr. Kinsley.”

“I hope that I did alright Aunt
Katherine
. I was doing my best to try and make you proud.

Katherine
turned Jo around quickly which had Jo fearing what her
a
unt may have to say if she needed to do it face to face.

“Make me proud? My dear you did more than make me proud. You may very well be able to land the most
eligible
bachelor in this town.
Something that I did not think would be at all possible. But the way that he was around you tonight. I now believe that anything may be possible.
” Jo was rather shocked by her a
unt’s
assessment
.

“You can
no
t possibly think that he would want me.” Jo sat at her dressing table to begin pulling her hair down out of its intricate braids.

“My dear, did you not notice how he was looking at you? I was hoping that tonight you might intrigue him enough
for him
to tell a few other gentlemen about you and increase your chances. But with the way Mr. Kinsley was fascinated by you and how you intrigued him I doubt you will last all the way to your coming out party before he begins courting you.”

“Oh Aunt
Katherine
,
you are being rather silly. He was only interested in meeting
a woman
who is educated past the abilit
y to sing, dance, and sew.”
Katherine
shook her head in
mixed
agreement.

“You are right that he was interested in that. But you do
n
o
t know Mr. Kinsley. He went to law school when he did
n
o
t have to because he likes a challenge. I think he realized tonight that you would forever be surprising him and challenging him which will make him want you
even
more.”

This thought intrigued Jo. Was it possible that there might be a man in this society that would actually like her
? Someone
whom she would
n
o
t mind being bound to? She had to face it; Mr. Kinsley was a smart educated man, who had a profession, but also had the old money that her
a
unt preferred her to marry into. Someone
who also was
no
t too bad to look at. Is it possible that someone could have everything to make both herself and her family happy?

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Does Bradley Kinsley always have to lure away any sweet girl
that moves into this town? I saw
her first that should count for something.
T
onight he shows up a
nd she completely forgets that anyone else
exist
s
. How
will any man ever have a chance when faced with
competition
like Mr. Kinsley?

I bet
that Katherine
had a part in this. She is always
doing her best to control the other women in this town when it comes to who should be with whom
. It is no wonder that I have
n
o
t been able to make one mine
..
. That is willingly. Oh but the resistance does create such a sweet release.
I wonder if it will still feel so good if I bed a woman who is willing
ly there
.
If I convince one to love me and take care of me like a women
should. Would
I still enjoy the feel of her? Or is half the fun the battle in which I must go through with my women now?

I bet that Mr. Kinsley would love to get his hands on me. If only he knew that
I was the very man
that everyone in
this
town was after. Would he feel remorse? Or would he string me up and leave me to hang for all to see me in the end of my glory?
Would that really be all that bad of a way to go? To have everyone in town have to stand and listen to the extent of my crimes? To then watch me die and cheer on my death? It would be the only way to get any of them to attend my funeral.

Oh sweet Josephine please open your window tonight!
At that as if she had heard his plea and answered to him Jo appeared at the window and opened the
curtains and looked out
. She was still in her evening dress she had worn to dinner.
He
climbed up one of the nearby trees and did his best to peer into her windows. The view point allowed him the
occasional
glimps
e as her aunt called her over and began to help her undress. His view point allowed him to see bits of Jo’s corseted body as her a
unt helped her with her laces.

Oh what beauty. I pray for patience. I want you to be the one who comes to me willingly.
Not that it would be such a bad thing if
you
did not. I would love to have
you
either way.
From where he was sitting
he
was able to hear parts of
the women’s conversation
.

“I cannot believe how Mr. Kinsley has taken to you. He never has invited anyone to call him Bra
dley ever that I know of. Your u
ncle and I have known hi
m as our lawyer for well over ten
years and we still call him Mr. Kinsley.”

That man needs to mind his own business. To think him trying to get so familiar with the women that should so clearly be mine. After all I have
dealt
with
for
her insufferable relatives for years. Can
no
t sweet Josephine be my reward
for all that I have suffered and endured
?

“I hope that I did alright Aunt
Katherine
. I was doing my best to try and make you proud.”

Oh my dearest Josephine I should have known that you would
n
o
t betray me. You were just trying to do your best by your relatives. You are
n
o
t really interested in that insufferable man you were just trying to behave how they wanted you to.
If you did not make them proud then you have made me proud for your attempt though it had hurt me to watch you interact so sweetly with that man.

“Make me proud? My dear you did more than make me proud. You may very well be able to land the most eligible bachelor in this town.”
Hi
s hand
tightened
around the tree limb that he was holding in desperate attempt to resist the urge to wring
Katherine
’s neck.
Knowing
t
hat
that
would be no way to get Jo to fall in love with him. Taking deep breaths he continued to look into Jo’s window
and tried to concentrate on what they had been saying again
.

“You canno
t possibly think that he would want me.”
Oh even if he does please resist my sweetest
Josephine. You
should be mine and I know that in time you will begin to see that you should be mine. Just give me a little chance. Just open your heart and mind to the possibility of me.

“My dear, did you not notice how he was looking at you? I was hoping that tonight you might intrigue him enough to tell a few other gentlemen about you and increase your chances. But with the way Mr. Kinsley was fascinated by you and how you intrigued him I doubt you will last all the way to your coming out party before he begins courting you.”
Listening outside in the tree his
mind began to race trying to think of some way to thwart Jo’s family and to distract Mr. Kinsley long enough so that he could get the girl.

“Oh Aunt
Katherine
,
you are being rather silly. He was only interested in meeting a woman who is educated past the ability to sing, dance, and sew.”
If only she knew how much I desired her brain and her other feminine qualities she
possesses. If
only I could get her to see me or notice me.

“You are right that he was interested in that. But you don’t know Mr. Kinsley. He went to law school when he did
n
o
t have to because he likes a challenge. I think he realized tonight that you would forever be surprising him and challenging him which will make him want you more.”

A plan began to form for him to get what he wanted more than his own life.
He wanted Jo more than he had wanted any of the other women that he had taken but this time
he was challenging himself by trying
to actually woe
a woman
.
I
f he was going to get her to come willing. Now the only thing he had to figure out was does he go after Mr. Kinsley or
did
her family really pose a greater threat to him obtaining his object of desire?

 

 

 

Chapter 4

 

It was beginning to feel to Jo like she
was
being prepared for sale again
. He
r
a
unt announced that she felt as if she was comfortable enough to put Jo out into societ
y due to her amazing interacting
abilities with eligible men as she had shown with Mr. Kinsley. Thus began the
preparations
for her coming out party. This also
meant
that most every night she was to be done up like a doll and there was a new suitor to dinner.

“Aunt
Katherine
, are you still
hoping to get
Mr. Kinsley to
pursue
me?”
Katherine
stopped looking at the list for market in front of he
r and looked at Jo as if she were
crazy.

“Do you think me daft? I would never put all my eggs in one basket. That is why there have been several eligible gentlemen to dinner almost every night.
Besides it would not hurt to show Mr. Kinsley that there might be some competition to your affection.

Katherine
returned to what she was doing but she did
n
o
t fool Jo.

“Alright. You are right about the several different men whom have been in an
d out of this house. I just canno
t help but notice that besides Mr. Genus who you have made very clear is only here for
Uncle
Joseph
;
Mr. Kinsley is the only
gentleman who has
attended dinner her
e
several times. Actually, if I have been keeping track right he is here almost every third night.”
Her
Aunt blushed confirming Jo’s suspicions.

BOOK: The Haunting of Josephine
3.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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