Today Belle was supposed to dress Diana, get her breakfast, scrub the dishes, start up a fire in all the grates (it was a cold winter's day), even if no-one was in that room at the time (who knows, someone could come in), reshovel the coal, and chop the firewood. And then it would be Lunch Time, a chore in itself.
Belle sighed. She needed time to visit Diana's special room, too, for she and Diana needed some way to communicate without anyone watching. Expcept, maybe, Cecil. Belle turned the idea over in her mind. Yes, Cecil would have to be told about the special room. She would ask Diana about it later on, when they were in the Red Room.
Right at that moment, Mrs Anderty came stomping along, making her jump.
“What am I seeing? The mute servant girl hasn't even started her chores, and instead is daydreaming?! I will not have that in my HOUSE!” Mrs Anderty was fuming.
Your house now, is it? Belle wanted to write. Yes, she wanted to write it so much that her fingers were tingling in anticipation. But no, she restrained herself upon seeing Mrs Anderty's face. And oh, boy, was it a sight to see.
She was slowly turning into a beetroot, and her bonnet was beginning to fall off her head. Belle nearly laughed out loud. Nearly. If she had, she wouldn't have cared about the punishment, she would have done it again, and again, and again. Until her voice ached. If voices do that.
“Off to work now, young gutter girl, and I don't want to see your face again!”
Mrs Anderty, what if I need to see you? Belle hardly needed to concentrate on her writing anymore: it was almost as fluent as speaking. Well, to a normal person that is. To Belle, writing was technically speaking. It was a way to communicate.
“Well, you'll just have to make sure that you don't, won't you?” sneered Mrs Anderty in that unpleasant sneer of hers. She sneered so much it was almost as if it were her voice.
Yes, Mrs Anderty.
“Good,” Mrs Anderty nodded approvingly, as if Belle had just done something wonderful. “Very good.” And then she swept out of the room, leaving Belle to wonder what she should do first.