All of a sudden a hand covers my mouth and one of the boys of the streets jumps in. Hurriedly he closes the curtains and pulls a kitchen knife from his tattered shirt.
‘If you scream, I’ll kill you.’
He is scared, he is trying not to show it but I can tell. I smile, I can use his fear to my advantage. I grab his arm quite suddenly.
‘I’d like to see you try.’
He is shaking. I have caught him off his guard. Surprised him.
‘ I am the Lady Olivia. Best friend of the Princess Elizabeth and daughter of the seventh richest man in the country including the royal family. If I scream... Well lets just say that you could get arrested for even touching me. So stealing my purse...’
Slowly the boy reaches out his other hand. I snatch up my purse and let go of his arm.
‘Thank you. I do believe that we have left the police behind and are about to arrive.
He jumps back out of the window and waits on the seat at the back.
‘Wait until we slow down.’
Then my neck tickles again and something drops to the floor. I bend down only to find a crust of bread.
‘Give me my necklace please kind sir.’ I can’t help smiling.
I feel something quite light be put on my neck and then the jolt as the boy leaves.
Out of habit, I reach up to my neck to fiddle with my locket and feel something of odd consistency.
I take it off to find a piece of worn cloth covered in lumps of bread.
I laugh and throw it out of the window to an old man on the street. That boy!
I follow the Lady. I know it is stupid, but I do. Because.... Well..... I like her.
She has guts and she is kind. She had helped me and hadn’t screamed. On the way she had given a family on the streets half a crown. Now that we weren’t threatening each other in a dark carriage, I can see her properly. She has a pale face and long brown curls caught up in blue silk ribbons to match her dress.
I hang back as she walks into a dress shop. The windows are full of feathers, ribbons, velvet and silk. In the corner of one window, I see a deep green corduroy waistcoat. I hear footsteps coming from the door and move away from the window. Out she comes and I fall into step behind her again. I follow her all the way to the jewelers and then she makes her way towards the street where we had left the carriage.