Confusion

Up in the room Juliana talked of the house and the duties that were entrusted unto her listing things like dusting, sweeping the entrance hall and feeding the five dogs the Wedgewood’s owned for hunting. Unknown to her I was unable to understand much of what she said. After twenty minutes we heard a shout from downstairs, I was being called after by the Cook. Baffled as to what I would be wanted for we descended the stairs. Upon entering the kitchen the Cook, not looking in my direction, announced ‘Lady Elizabeth would like to meet with you in the drawing room’. Curious as to what my rescuer wanted from me I allowed Juliana to lead me to the drawing room and leave me at the door saying that the Cook needed help with the dinner and to come find her after. I knocked before I opened the door and peered into the room. At first I thought the room was empty, the big curtains were pulled over the windows and the shadows of the furniture made the room look very small. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a slight movement in the right hand corner by the leather sofa, it was her. She looked exactly like she did the night I had seen her on the boat.

‘Hello Kathleen’ Elizabeth said, her voice musical but high pitched. ‘How good it is to see you again! I hear you have met my parents and accepted my father’s offer of a job.’ All this was said slowly with emphasis on every word. Although it was a lot easier for me to understand her I got the feeling that she was not doing it purely to help me.

I nodded my head at her statements and mumbled a ‘thank you’.

Elizabeth took three steps towards me looking me up and down. ‘Ah I see the maids took the dress I laid out for you. Does it fit well? I wore it to the Halloween Ball last year, there is some wine spilt on it on the back there, some imbecile who could not handle the expensive wine no doubt. So how are you fitting in?’ She looked me in the eye for the first time when she said this.

‘Very well thank you. I will sleep with Juliana until Mary is back.’ I said in the best English I could.

‘What nonsense, no you are to stay in a guest’s room, you are my guest. I will get the maid to fix up a room immediately.’ At this Elizabeth rushed to the door and pulled a string from beside the door. Juliana was at the door a moment later. ‘Yes madam’ she said politely

‘You are to fix up the guest room nearest my room for our friend Kathleen, I am sure that she does not want to sleep in the servants quarters’.

Juliana’s face fell ‘yes madam’ is all she said and she turned and walked away.

‘Now with that sorted out...’ Elizabeth said in a cheerful voice ‘Sit’ she said beaconing to a sofa. She sat on an armchair closest to the sofa.

‘Now do tell me why you are in America.’

The End

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