The Diary of Lilian Whitlock – Flight from Thornhill

Tonight I ran.  I ran through the rows of pecan trees, recklessly cracking many shells from last year’s bumper crop underfoot.  I winced as each step gave away my position.  The neat rows of trees and my colorful party dress betrayed me.  I could hear the thunderous footballs and loud pecan destruction of the man pursuing me.  My heart raced as I veered to the right, an attempt to lose Albert Dosett.  It did not work.

I carried only a small handbag.  The impromptu nature of my flight and the many inconveniences it would cause did not fully occur to me until later.   As I ran from Thornhill – my father’s grand plantation, the family servants and all of my worldly possessions, the only life I have known escaped my mind.  I blocked out all thoughts of the home that I abandoned in the desperate need to get away from Dosett.

Many young, eligible bachelors had danced with me during my cotillion ball. It should have been a fabulous night to remember. When my ill and weary father, Henry Whitlock, pulled me into his study late in the evening, he informed me that he had chosen my future husband. I waited anxiously to hear which of my suitors would wed me.

My horror was infinite when father made known his decision for me to be Dosett’s second wife. Dosett was a long-time friend of my father. My father and Dosett were equally stern and domineering. Dosett was also as aged as my father – both have seen nearly sixty seasons! The circumstances surrounding the late Mrs. Dosett’s death raced through my mind. The thought of wedding Dosett reviled me in many ways. I could not stomach the notion.

The woods were my salvation. Wayward tree branches tore at my party dress the grass as I raced into the night. Dosett was far behind me, unable to keep up with a girl more than forty years younger than he. Tonight I ran from Mr. Dosett and I ran from my father’s will.

-Lilian Whitlock