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Dear Cousin Joan,

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Brooks Cottage Brooks Cottage, Egdon Heath, Anglebury, Wessex. 14 September 1886 Dear Cousin Joan, You are probably very surprised to be reading a letter from me after so many years. By now, I'm sure you have heard about everything that has happened. The past few years have been an awful time for me, but now I feel ready to talk about things for the first time in years. I shall never forget that tragic day when my son's broken body was taken down from the gallows. The pain was unbearable, and my tears flowed hot and bitterly. Both myself and farmer Lodge suffered an incredible shock to see the young Gertrude Lodge peering over my dead son's body. ...read more.


I found myself horrified by the possibility that it might actually be true that I could inflict this sort of thing upon folk without even knowing myself. However, after getting to know Gertrude better, I felt terrible guilt, as she was extremely kind and generous both to my poor boy and myself. Deep down I also felt a small pleasure in knowing that Farmer lodge loved her last because of the disfigurement. Young Gertrude often bought gifts for both my son Jack and myself; she was always very attentive to us. I remember thinking how wrong I was to have judged her the way I did, ands the guilt I felt the withered was mentioned. ...read more.


I decided after that, for the sake of my sanity and for the sake of Jack, to move away from the heath. My company was being avoided and I felt it was the best thing to do. Gertrude and myself never saw each other until that terrible day. Moving away proved to be yet another wrong turn I my life, Jack ran away and soon got into trouble. You know the rest of the story. I was so foolish to have ever got involved with farmer Lodge or judge the innocent Gertrude. It has caused so much pain and suffering, and a procession of tragic events. My worthy cousin, you are now all that I have left in this merciless world. Yours Sincerely, Rhoda ...read more.

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