Maid breaks an expensive perfume.
" Harry hesitated a moment, "I'm sorry Maria, I shouldn't forget that you are the owner of the letters; in the end it's up to you to decide."
Maria waved a hand dismissively, "No Harry, what you said was absolutely right, your Aunt is the right person, I hope I can persuade you Diane, don't make your mind up straight away but what I will ask you to do at least, is to catalogue and create a chronology for all the documents we have found. After all you know more of Elizabeth and Charles than anyone."
"Well yes I can at least do that, and then we can determine what to do next."
'While you 're thinking about it" suggested Maria "Take some of the diaries to read and see if that helps you make up your mind."
The following morning Harry got up to find his aunt already eating breakfast, she was reading.
"I see you are already reading those diaries."
His aunt looked up and smiled, "Harry I was up half the night reading them, they are fascinating, absolute dynamite."
"In what way?"
"Elizabeth Massie was a highly intelligent young woman, a passionate and almost brutally honest one, and she writes really well... but."
"I'm concerned that if I just write a short monograph, and if that with the letters are published, someone will come along and just exploit them by concentrating on Elizabeth's accounts of her lovemaking, and it will just make something tawdry of what is an incredible love story. I would hate to see that happen."
"Mmm yes, I see what you mean," Harry was silent for a minute or so... then he spoke up, "But Aunt Diane, supposing you did that yourself, wrote her full story, it would pre-empt that happening at all."
"What exactly do you mean?"
Harry explained, "You have the basic facts of Elizabeth's and Charles life, it shouldn't be too difficult to research that of her parents and family. Then you have the diaries and the letters. It should be possible to relate their story using and quoting the actual material but weaving it together with your account of their lives. That would forestall anyone who tried to sensationalise Elizabeth's diaries and letters because your story would be published and accepted first."
Aunt Diane stirred her tea thoughtfully, "Your idea isn't completely silly," she conceded, "I will think about it."
"Of course," concluded Harry with a grin, "That's if you feel you can manage it."
"I have no doubt about that," responded his aunt rising from the table, she rested her hand for a moment on his shoulder, "No doubt at all," she smiled, and gave his ear a sharp tweak before she left the room.
"I think she'll do it," said Harry to himself, "Good."
On Saturday evening Harry arrived a few minutes early and heard Maria call out to ask him in, "I'll just be a few minutes, have a seat in the lounge."
Harry did so and as Maria promised, she barely kept him waiting "Hi, you are looking smart."
Harry rose and turned to greet her, "Maria, wow...you are stunning, absolutely stunning," she was wearing a deep red dress supported by a single broad strap over her right shoulder. It was not revealing in any way but the perfect cut and fit to her spectacular figure somehow suggested far more than obvious exposure.
"You like it" smiled Maria, delighted with his response, she twirled around and removed from her shoulders the matching shawl, stole, wrap (Harry wasn't sure what to call it) and Harry's mouth fell open again, "Maria what have you done, that looks fantastic,"
"Kirituhi," she replied, "In the style of traditional Maori Ta Moko tribal tattoos, I'm entitled to wear those of my mother's tribal group, but this is not proper Ta Moko which has sacred meaning to Maoris. I wouldn't like permanent tattoos, so I got them done in henna by an Indian woman after I had my hair done. I showed her the designs and she executed it but in a slightly more delicate style which comes from her tradition."
"Where does it begin and end," asked Harry.
Maria raised her hair and showed him that the intricate swi