I recollected my past at home in Poland and trying not to show my emotions. I felt that the little I knew about these people would be all they would know about me. They were business people so they obviously wanted something from me. Elizabeth sat opposite me and nodded as I told my story and I stopped when I came to the boat, my journey and my brother.
'So you are alone now?' Elizabeth asked slowly.
'Yes I am for now, but I would like it very much if you could help me find my brother, if you could I mean.' My voice shook as I said this but I had to ask, I had to find out where he was and if he was okay.
'I will see what I can do. I know a few people down at the harbour maybe he has taken a job down there or someone has seen him.' Elizabeth said this while looking into my eyes but she did not sound like she meant it, I just had to hope she would stick to her words.
'Thank you' I said trying to sound convinced of her words.
'So father has told me that you are to take up employment in Baskerville Hall in town, have you ever worked as a maid before?'
I replied that I have never had a job before but that I am looking forward to it and hope that I will be able to do the work well, or so I hope I did in my broken English.
She smiled and said that I was to have dinner with the maids and then come to her rooms to try on some of her old clothes that she had been meaning to get rid of for a while now. She remarked that I was a perfect fit. Elizabeth told me that if I needed anything to just ask and that she just knew that we would become inseparable. This turned out be quite true for the next few years of my life.
Elizabeth then stood up, and so did I, and bade me farewell saying that she would have to get ready for dinner. She then stated that she would see me in her rooms no later than eight. I nodded and watched her leave before I left the room and found my way to the kitchen again.
Once in there Juliana came rushing over and asked me how it went. I said 'Great' and she ushered me to sit down. All around the kitchen, which amounted to four apart from Juliana and me, were looking at me again but this time in shock. I looked around and noticed that Juliana had the same expression as the rest of them and I became confused. I was unable to voice this confusion so I drank the tea that Juliana poured for me and tried to forget their faces leering at me.
After half an hour dinner as served and we all sat down to eat. I had never seen so much food just for servants. There was bacon and chicken as meat, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, spinach, peas and beans for vegetables and gravy, and a multitude of sauces to put on our food. By the time we had finished I was very full indeed. When dinner was done we had desert of apple pie or custard and the men had the two.
I talked to Juliana and the other maids in the house, or listened, as they told me what a maid was required to do. I was overwhelmed by the jobs, how did they do all these jobs in one day? They told me they made the beds and tidied the rooms, swept and washed the floors, collected the eggs and milked the cows, made the butter and sometimes soap, cleaned the clothes and mended them, ran errands and helped the ladies of the house dress. Only some maids were lucky enough to be chosen to do the last job which is a blessing if you know how it was to be done but a curse if the lady as unhappy with your work. My head spun with all the jobs but the girls reassured me that I would not have to do all these jobs in a house in town and that there would be maids to do all types of jobs like just the clothes or just the rooms which calmed me a bit.
At half eight Juliana brought me up to Elizabeth's rooms and left me at the door saying goodnight and gave me a smile. I knocked quietly on the door.