Lieutenant Pinson, Part 5
Though Albert Andrew ("Bertie") Pinson developed a career in the British Army, it maybe that he was an aristocratic man, a dilettante.33 Pinson was "considerably older" than Adele.34 He "was of average height, rather handsome, and decidedly stylish in appearance. He wore long mustaches, and took great pains to appear in most an exquisite mode; he was essentially a ladies' man."35
They met at Jersey in June of 1854. She wrote of this in her diary: "He [Pinson] saw me for the first time on a bench on the terrace in Jersey. I was sitting down, reading; I was absorbed in my book and I didn't see him. But he saw me, and from that day ... he loved me."36 "The pair met often after that; Pinson came regularly to dinner, sometimes several times a week."37 He proposed, but she refused, only to regret her refusal later.38
The affair for the 23 year old Adele began as just a summer romance. They met in June and by September Pinson left Jersey for England.39 It is suggested, on leaving her, that Pinson promised Adele, "with every token of sincerity and honor," that she should join him in England; and this she did, apparently, on a couple of occasions; these visits to Pinson in England -- and likely he to the Hugo family in Guernsey40 -- occurred between September, 1854 and December, 1861, when, in that year, his regiment was ordered to Halifax.41 During this period, it certainly would seem, Adele's ardor increased and Pinson's decreased. Adele became insistent with her family (thinking that Pinson had the same desire) that she should be allowed to marry Pinson.
"When this proposition was received, it was duly discussed in the Hugo family circle. Victor Hugo would not entertain the idea. He demanded that Lieutenant Pinson should come to Brussels and marry his daughter there. Madame Hugo agreed with this; but Adele was infatuated, and her fiery spirit would not accept this wise paternal counsel. She insisted upon going to London at all hazards, and even in defiance of all social rules. When it was found that the impetuous girl was determined to have her way, her mother at length acquiesced so far as to accompany her to London.
On their arrival they found, to their mortification and chagrin, that Lieutenant Pinson had sailed with his regiment for Halifax, and without leaving any message or satisfactory explanation; indeed, the circumstances gave indubitable evidence of desertion. Adele and her mother had no other course than to return at once to Brussels."42
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