October 30.—I should very much like to know who has wilfully
torn the last five or six weeks out of my diary. It is perfectly
monstrous! Mine is a large scribbling diary, with plenty of space
for the record of my everyday events, and in keeping up that record
I take (with much pride) a great deal of pains.
I asked Carrie if she knew anything about it. She replied it
was my own fault for leaving the diary about with a charwoman cleaning
and the sweeps in the house. I said that was not an answer to
my question. This retort of mine, which I thought extremely smart,
would have been more effective had I not jogged my elbow against a vase
on a table temporarily placed in the passage, knocked it over, and smashed
Carrie was dreadfully upset at this disaster, for it was one of a
pair of vases which cannot be matched, given to us on our wedding-day
by Mrs. Burtsett, an old friend of Carrie’s cousins, the Pommertons,
late of Dalston. I called to Sarah, and asked her about the diary.
She said she had not been in the sitting-room at all; after the sweep
had left, Mrs. Birrell (the charwoman) had cleaned the room and lighted
the fire herself. Finding a burnt piece of paper in the grate,
I examined it, and found it was a piece of my diary. So it was
evident some one had torn my diary to light the fire. I requested
Mrs. Birrell to be sent to me to-morrow.