At the moment Julia Danford was sitting in the bay window of the front parlor looking down Commonwealth waiting anxiously for Howard Staurt’s new automobile to be in sight. She had waited two days for this sight ever since he wrote promising he was coming into town. Her mother saw the anxious look her carried and noticed the way her daughter was paying no mind to her needle work. And Victoria Danford noticed more and more that since Julia turned seventeen and her debutante ball that had no mind for anything but suitors.
Victoria remembered what it was like to be a young girl and she had suitors but none would do once she met Charles Danford. They were the talk of all Boston being a very handsome couple both in looks and in
prosperity. Victoria looking at her daughter saw much the beauty of herself in Julia and hoped that Julia would on day find the love of her life.
“Julia, why don’t you go for a walk?It is one of the best days we have had all season, some fresh air will do you good.”
“No thank you,” she said dismissing her mother but not really hearing a word she said.
“A man should not for you to being cooped up all day. Show him that you have a life besides him.”
“But Howard told me he would come. He promised me.”
“I know dear.”
“If father wasn’t taking us all to the country for the season I could spend as much time as I liked with Howard Staurt or his brother.”
“His brother?” Victoria asked but Julia hardly heard her.
In Julia’s mind both of the Staurt boys were equally handsome and rich and both would be suitable for
her. Julia looked at herself and know she wouldn’t be any more beautiful than she was right then and she used it to her advantage and took to any caller. All of them gave her some excitement to be admired by a mam. She knew one day she would get married and settled down but for now she saw living freely as completely delightful.
Her mother knowing these thoughts found it good to take her daughter away into the country for the summer. The summer would be crazy season and Victoria felt that if Julia spent the summer in Boston that her reputation would be ruined as an outrageous flirt before she even had the chance to establish herself in good society. A good family name could only carry her so far she thought and worried that no proper man would want Julia if she was known for changing men as often as she changed a dress. Victoria grew up in a society where a woman’s modesty was sought after. A suitor would never come to her home unless they had intentions she only had one suitor before she met the love of her life in Charles Danford. The world had seemed completely to Victoria now with daughter going through one or two suitors a month. To Victoria this seemed no way for her to meet a sensible man who came with the purest intentions. Any man of such standings would think Julia was easily charmed and would be scared to approach her. Victoria had strongly wished they had put off Julia’s presentation into society another year and in that time she would be given proper training in courting behaviors. Victoria had been sent to a school the year before her presentation and when she came out every one agreed that her temper was as sweet as her looks. But Charles blinded by Julia’s sweet smile gave into her wishes.
Now Julia needed ball gowns and she couldn’t be expected to wear the same gown twice. She also need tea dresses for all the functions society now demanded she attend. It also meant Victoria’s social schedule would be dictated by Julia’s outings. Julia always had to have an escort. But the worst part for Victoria was seeing Julia’s behavior to young men. A few days ago her son Nick had called Julia free spirited, if that was free spirited Victoria thought a spirit should be more locked up.
“All Charles had to deal with was signing a check for his daughter’s latest purchases which was followed by glass of scotch and a slight headache,” Victoria thought as she watched Julia stare out the window.
“I don’t understand you,” Charles said a about a week ago “You want Julia to meet a nice man and you
want to take her away to the country.”
“I want her to meet type of man,” Victoria said the husband. “If Julia stays in the city for the season I feel she will ruin herself in society eyes.”
“And what will Pine Haven do? The best society they have is the Melbournes hardly anyone I would allow to court my daughter.”
“I am not looking to match her up. Perhaps delay the process. She is only seventeen years old and I see her losing herself to finding a suitor. Its been weeks since she painted anything and she loves to paint. And all she talks about are boys, she can gossip about them for hours with the her lonely friends.”
“Her friends come from the best families in Boston as you designed.”
“Well they have all changed now that they are in society. Its the oddest thing. But perhaps,” Victoria’s tone changed into a tone Charles knew very well, it was a tone told him Victoria had something up her sleeve. “If Nick comes with us and brings a nice suitable match for Julia and alone in the country they happen to hit it off.”
Charles didn’t pay much attention to his children but knew well enough that Nick had earned quite a reputation for being a man about town. And knew that Nick’s friends were unlikely to be suitable to Julia as they were the same. He brought up this up to Victoria but she dismissed it.
“What about that Foster boy. He would be all right. He has proved himself to be a fine gentleman and he is making his way steadfast through your firm.”
“Indeed but I think our Julia would find him a complete dull.”
“In the country that might change. After all like you said there will be no one around.”
“Doubtful, but we will go and I will invite Ethan Foster tomorrow. But darling I think the only thing Julia will do is moan for society here.”
While Julia initially threw a fit that they were going away, Victoria still hoped a summer away would bring a change in her daughter’s mindset. Now seeing Julia waste her time pining for a man she hardly cared for made her think she had decided wisely.
Eventually Howard did come and Julia was overjoyed. She carried on all evening about his automobile and how she wished she would be staying in Boston so she could take long sunset drives around the city and show it off with him. But her father hardly noticed her ravings and her mother didn’t budge her opinion.
“Oh mother what am I suppose to do all summer knit with Laurel while she goes on for hours about women’s rights and that Cady Stanton woman. Or play those childish games with Emmy who spends most her time imagining adventures that never happen.”
“You used to be joined at the hip with Emmy. You guys had your own little club on top of that rock.”
“Times change. She is a child.”
“She is a year younger. Things do change she might be different.”
“She hasn’t changed. She writes me the stories she makes up and when I share them with my friends they got such a laugh.”
“That is harsh Julia.”
“That is the world we live in. The society you want Nick and I to live in.”
Victoria was happy Charles was not in the room to hear Julia’s harsh words. For it hurt her heart to know that her daughter spoke so cruelly.