The First Morning

The door swung open with vigour. Harry, the butler, stood stork upright as before but with a smile on his face.

'Welcome Ms Kathleen. May I get you a refreshment?' he said in a warm soft voice while ushering me into the room. On the table that he pointed to lay many alcoholic beverages in glass decanters of all different shapes and sizes.

'No, thank you' I replied but he insisted and animatedly thrust a glass into my hand with a brown liqueur inside.

The room this time was brightly light with candles on all the walls and many on tables and the floor. I heard a laugh behind me which was beautiful and musical, full of life. I turned to see Elizabeth rise and kiss my cheek. She looked youthful and vibrant in an electric blue gown and blood red lips.

'How was your dinner? I trust the food was to your taste?' she asked me in a slow and feminine speech.

I agreed that the meal was to my satisfaction. She persuaded me to a seat and dismissed Harry. Once alone Elizabeth talked profusely and about subjects that I was not too sure about but she did not seem to mind. She did not ask for my opinion but kept conversing and pouring us drinks.

The next thing I knew, a bell was ringing and the world came into view. I was lying in a strange room for the third time in days but this time I was alone. I sat up in the bed but regretted it straight away. Although I had no recollection of the night before, my head was pounded and my throat as dry as the desert-sure signs of too much alcohol.

At that moment a maid arrived and summoned me to a meeting with Mr Wedgewood. She quickly helped me dress in clothes she brought with her and I followed her to the study, trying to concentrate on something other than my absolute need for water.

Harry admitted me into a room which was enormous and extravagant. Bookcases full of volumes of works lined the walls to my left and right and in front of me stood a huge table, organised and tidy. A tall window stood behind the desk which was positioned so that light would fill the room for most of the day facing east.

There was a little room adjoining this which presumable a file room lay and out of here emerged Mr Wedgewood with a folder in his left hand. He pointed to a chair without looking at me and told me to sit.

'Mr Norris has agreed to take your services. You will begin tomorrow at six. Your duties are that of a Nursemaid to their infant son. You do not need language for that. Elizabeth wants you to take up residency here with us so I will take money out of your wages for food and the likes. Elizabeth has said nice things about you and this post is one higher than you deserve so you should be grateful!' He stopped here to look at me and to see if I grasped what he had said. I had not and he knew it but it did not worry him.

'You will need to sign this for Mr Norris' he added before extending a document and pen to me. I looked at the paper and understood none of the foreign language that lay on it. With shaking and unsure hand I signed my life away and was dismissed.

The End

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