Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Z
Belle stared at the scratched symbols thoughtfully. They looked very strange, yet all too familiar. Where had she seen them before? Probably around the classroom.
'My, for such a beginner you are a very fast learner,' commented the tutor. Belle glowed with pride. 'It is almost as if you have learnt it before.'
Belle's learning was fast. Fast and efficient. In four weeks she had already cleared the whole alphabet with a sweeping chalk, and in another four weeks time she was due to finish her numbers as well. Not all of them, but just up to ten. Then she would learn simple addition, and her knowledge would be added on until she was up to Diana's level and they could learn together. Belle was a proficient learner, and she had taken to studying so much there was spare time allowed for her by Madame Marryanne Le Testhmus, in other words, Diana's great aunt.
Apart from study, she was also a proficient learner at servantry work. She was to be a servant and she accepted that fate. In no time at all she had learned how to cook simple dishes, sweep the floor with absolutely no dust, light a fire and top up the coals.
Though Belle sensed that Mrs Anderty resented her because she was mute. It was quite easy to tell, in fact, but Belle was a forgiving person and gave Mrs Anderty the benefit of doubt.
But most importantly, Belle had made two new friends. The first one who had warmed to her immediately was Diana, and gradually her other friend, another servant girl, had warmed to her too. The servant girl's name was Cecil, who sometimes learnt with her, and she had copper hair and a pretty nose. She was very thin and bony, but Belle knew this was the average build of a poor person with not much nourishment. Actually, probably half the country was undernourished. This probably didn't matter to the rich: they had their own food and they got richer and fatter. It only complicated matters more to go around helping to poor. That was the way things are, was will be and should be.