Lady Seymour Quotes in Chains
“What is your name, girl?” she asked me.
“Isabel, ma’am,” I said. “Isabel Finch.”
“Ridiculous name,” Madam said. She opened her fan and waved it in front of her face. “You are called Sal Lockton now. It’s more suitable.”
I forced myself to breathe in slow and regular instead of telling her that my name was not her affair. “Yes, ma’am.”
“She is not suffering her particular ailment, is she?” Madam asked, her voice cutting like a blade.
“No, ma’am,” I lied again. “She helped carry out the ashes this morning, and it tired her.”
Madam glared a moment longer.
Lady Seymour stepped in front of Madam. “The heat affects small children more than most. Make sure your sister drinks some water before any more chores.”
All I had lost in the confusion was Ruth’s doll. All I had lost was everything.
My bees a’swarmed back into my brainpan. They hummed loud so I need not ponder on the baby doll. The burned-over district looked like the inside of me. It was hard to tell where one stopped and the other started.
“Please, ma’am,” I tried again. “How did you know?”
Her gaze returned to the logs in the hearth. “Take care how you go, Isabel. Many people think it is a fine and Christian thing to help the prisoners. I do not think my niece is one of them.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I whispered.
It would have eased her mind if I thanked her for wanting to buy me away from Madam. I tried to be grateful but could not. A body does not like being bought and sold like a basket of eggs, even if the person who cracks the shells is kind.
She awaited some word from me. I did not know how to explain myself. It was like talking to her maid, Angelika, who was so much like me and at the same time so much different. We two had no string of words that could tie us together.