Determined to change her empty life and escape her controlling father, Harriet Ward sets out across the fells, not sure what her future will be.
Her anger fades with distance, and her resolution to keep walking until exhaustion overtakes her, weakens as the weather turns against her. Defeated by her feelings of failure, she turns homeward.
Soaking wet and miserable, she takes shelter in the belvedere on her neighbor’s property to wait out the worst of the downpour. How long she sits there she does not know. She becomes conscious of a man speaking with her, but is too stiff and cold to respond. Then he begins to undress her from her sodden clothing! She is powerless to do anything to stop him.
Her dress and petticoat fall to her ankles to leave her naked. He takes her into his arms. Her life is about to end. Unless this is to be the beginning of a new life for her.
Late in the afternoon, they returned to the Belvedere, holding hands, not caring who might see them. He made up the fire, laid out some cakes, and poured her a glass of wine.
“I hope, after meeting me today and after accomplishing what we have, that you can sleep much better than you did last night, Harriet, without worrying. I did not sle……