Today’s a bit of a going backwards day as I clarify a bit more about arriving in Geneva.
Geneva had not been a good idea on Mr. Frankenstein’s part Elizabeth thought. She had argued against it vehemently, but it was no use. So she lost her lake, which would not be so available to her, and she lost William.
The house at Belrive was full of life. The house in Geneva was quite the opposite. The first thing you saw sitting atop the mantel when you entered the house was a large painting of the late Mrs. Frankenstein, then Miss Caroline Beaufort, consumed by her own grief as she knelt beside her dead father’s coffin. It was a picture that Elizabeth hated and she wasn’t sure her mother liked it much more, although Mr. Frankenstein and his two older sons admired and loved it greatly. They felt it heroic and that it epitomized her mother’s grace and all that was to be admired in women. Elizabeth felt it ghoulish.
William was not present in a house as dead as the Geneva house — it was not a house for children. It was why the family spent so little time there. William could be felt everywhere around their home in Belrive. It was wrong to try to eliminate his presence like that as if eliminating his history could lessen their grieving. The loss of his presence left a numbness far worse than grief.
To make matters worse, a number of the staff did not return with the family. Elizabeth blamed herself for this. She should not have been so open about her belief in Justine. For if Justine was innocent, then someone must have planted the locket in her dress and whoever planted it must have been present at the murder. So suspicion nibbled away, and those whose whereabouts that dreadful day were not known, found themselves without a position in the household. Elizabeth’s own workload went up as a result. No one was willing to look into new staff.
The DeLaceys remained with the family. A small out building was provided for Mr. DeLacey, but it did not have space enough for his daughter. Agatha was now in the main house in the bedroom next to Elizabeth’s. They each enjoyed running into each other in the hall, but Elizabeth wondered if her friend would have liked a place to retreat to away from them all.
Everyone the Frankensteins knew or were in anyway acquainted with visited upon their arrival and gave their condolences. The house was quite lively for close on two weeks. But after that they all disappeared and the family received no more visitors. Nor did they receive any invitations. It was as if they had been deemed unlucky and their ill luck contagious. And so a family that kept primarily to itself to begin with became even more insular. Elizabeth was truly grateful for her friendship with Agatha. It was she who pulled her away from her duties and made her go for walks around the town or stop somewhere for pastries in the afternoon.
And of course there was Victor. Victor of all of them should have stayed at the lake, although his father may have been correct in his expressed concern that he might just walk into that lake. Victor required nature around him to distract him from his darknesses. A walk in trees or a trek through the mountains could do wonders in lifting his spirits.