1. Tell us about yourself, please.
My name is Caro Falkener. I first appeared in the story More Than A Mistress, the story of my friend Merry who owns a woolen mill in the north of England. I met Merry while she was staying at the Inn where I was employed as a chambermaid. We liked each other on sight. She decided I would make her a good companion, even though I have a small son, Thomas. Thomas’s father died in the war with France and his grandparents have been less than helpful. When Merry got married she no longer needed a female companion, but fortunately she found other employment for me, and we are still very good friends.
2. What can you not do (but need to do) during this story?
I often feel that it would be better for my son if I gave him up to his grandparents. His father’s family. After their son’s death, they offered to take Tommy off my hands. I have been avoiding them for several years, but I am worried that I am being selfish. They are members of the nobility and could give my son a much better life than I can, even though I now have a permanent position running the Refuge.
3. In the story world your author created, explain what it is you fear most and why.
I have a secret that will ruin my son’s life should it be discovered. It is also another reason why I am avoiding his grandparents. I feel so badly that it will be my son who will pay a price if my mistake ever becomes public knowledge.
4. What is your family like?
My father was a vicar in a small village in the South of England, near Brighton. He is the third son of a baron, and was very strict with his daughters. My mother was a kind sweet person. I miss her very much, but my father and I do not get along well.
5. If someone from your past showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why?
I had hoped never to meet anyone who knew me before I left home. Such a person might well guess my secret. Unfortunately, it has already happened. While I barely knew Captain Bladen Read, we did meet once or twice when he was stationed at the barracks near my home. He was at the only local assembly I ever attended. My very first dance. A big problem is that Captain Read is a very attractive man. A ladies man. Just the sort of man a respectable widow should avoid if she is not to gain a reputation for being fast.
Astonishingly, I find myself very drawn to him, which can only lead to trouble. He is a close friend of Merry’s husband, which makes it avoiding him difficult. So far he has not recognized me, thank goodness. I have changed a great deal over the years. When I met him, I was young, foolish and full of high spirits. I know better now.
6. Why are you happy with the way your story ended?
Oh yes. Sigh
7. How do you see yourself?
I have turned myself into a sensible and well-respected widow. I live a quiet sedate life. I believe others see me as someone who can be trusted to behave responsibly and with propriety.
8. Do you have a goal?
I would do anything to ensure my son’s happiness, but I also like being able to help women who have got themselves into difficulties.
At my suggestion, Merry used her money and influence to open the refuge I manage for her. I would like to help these women keep their children, instead of being forced to leave them at an orphanage. This idea is not looked on with favour be the respectable woman of this town. They see it as encouraging the girls in their wanton behaviour. Most of the girls are not like that. They simply made a mistake.
9. What makes you sad?
I am sad that Tommy will never have a proper father. He needs a male influence in his life and soon I will have to send him away to school. Not yet, though.
10. Has anyone ever betrayed you?
My faith in men was destroyed first by Tommy’s father and then by my own. I would sooner do without some arrogant man making judgments and telling me what to do, so perhaps it was just as well.
11. What is your most closely guarded secret?
It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, would it? My secrets are my own.
12. What is your favorite scent?
How strange, I haven’t thought about this for a long time. I love the scent of the sea.
It reminds me of happier times, when I was young and carefree. Of childhood, when the sea was a mere mile away from where I grew up. I loved walking on the beach. It is years since I did that. Perhaps I will take Tommy one day.
13. How do you envision your future?
I expect the future will be the same as is now, except that Tommy will grow up and will go to school. I will continue in my role at the refuge and hopefully he will visit me in the holidays. He will have Lord Tonbridge as his mentor as long as he works hard and does well at school. I just hope he does not learn to hate me.
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