Finding Home

Here is an excerpt of my short story -the sequel to The Path Before Us.

19th June 1687

 

Bonjour! My name is Noelle Le Clerc, and I am sixteen years of age. My parents and I are from France, but now have run away to England, and what a beautiful country it is here! The last eight months of my life have not been easy for me, nor for my family. As I mentioned, we are from France. We were very wealthy and well known people there, but became Christians, against the law, and had to flee. In my previous diary, I wrote all about it, how we left, the friend I made, and how my brother, Mikel, died. We still grieve his death, but have moved on now. We realized in Asylle, in France, that we had to flee to England, or else be imprisoned -possibly executed. The friend I made, Aimee Colby,(who is a great deal older than mother and father) lived in France but is really actually from England. She helped us escape on the Victoria, a ship that went across the English Channel. We are living in an inn called Mrs. Barker’s Inn, and it is nice here. But because we didn’t bring much money, father says we may have to move. Where to? I have no idea at all, but I hope it is clean and that I may have my own bedroom. We will have to wait and see. Mother is calling, so I had better go see what she needs me for. I will write tomorrow again.

Sincerely,

Noelle Le Clerc

 

20th June 1687

 

In all the seven months we have spent in England, I have not made one friend, besides, of course, the girl who lives downstairs, but she does not count as a real friend. Her name is Betsy, and although polite, I find her very unpleasant and common, wearing old frocks adjusted to her size. Aimee says that if I really wanted a friend I would have had one by now. When I asked her what she meant, she said that if you really want a friend, you would settle for even Betsy, and think her a wonderful friend. I suppose she is right, but I am so used to girls wearing pretty dresses, and not doing anything for themselves besides talk. Not knowing the language they speak here has been difficult as well, but Aimee has promised to teach me soon, and I would love to be able to communicate with all these English people here -no, Aimee said there was a different word for the people here. Oh, yes, it was ‘British’. How strange… I think it is easier to just have one word. Like France’s people are called French, and I think it is much simpler than England’s people being English and British. Father is still talking to Aimee and mother about moving, and I think they are very serious. We may be moving soon, but until then, I think I will go and find Betsy -maybe she and I can go see if the cook will give us a pastry each, and that will keep me satisfied until what these British people call ‘tea’, which is actually a big meal. in my opinion, England is a strange country. All these extra words and meals make no sense to me.

 

Sincerely,

Noelle Le Clerc

21st June 1687

 

Father just told me that we are going to move to a town called Wayford! He says we are going to stay with Aimee’s sister and her family. They have five children -The oldest is Sarah, who is seventeen years old. Next is William, aged fifteen, and then there is Mary, aged thirteen, after that there is Anna, aged six, and little Paul, who is only just three years old. I think their house must be very big to have so many children. We are leaving tomorrow, and Aimee says we will be able to reach their house at the end of the day, after tea. I need to go pack my things now, but I will write as soon as I get a chance -not in the carriage, for it will be a bumpy ride, I expect.

 

Sincerely,

Noelle Le Clerc

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