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Rettie cleared her throat; “Pardon me asking, as I don’t want you to think me intrusive, but how old are you Miss?”

“17 years of age.”

“My goodness, you are very young, younger than I thought actually.”

“Why, do you think that I look old Rettie?”

“Why no, Miss, I just thought you might be nearer to 20 that’s all.”

“Oh. I’d say that I am mature beyond my years, at least my Mother said so when I was a child.”

“Beg, your pardon Miss?”

“Yes?”

“Oh, um forgive me.” Rettie took a sip of tea. It would not be polite to state that Bessie was still was a child, not being 18 yet.

“Your servant’s quarters could do with a new coat of paint, the walls are becoming quite dingy and faded.”

“Yes I suppose they are Miss. They haven’t been white washed for quite some time, but it is not my place to tell the Master and Mistress.”

“I could say something? They have probably just forgotten.”

“Heavens no! I don’t think that to be a good idea.”

“If you let these things go unmentioned, then nothing will ever get done. Still, as I am new, I suppose that I should bite my tongue. Tell me, what do you do in your spare time?”

I am trying to perfect my reading. On our afternoons off, the servants are allowed to stroll in the grounds. Do you like walking Miss?”

“Yes I do and reading. I could help you one day if you like.”

“I should like that very much, thank you. Tell you what Miss?”

“Yes?”

“Your accent is nicer than mine, it is far more refined than the usual North East accent although, you still have a twang.”

“I had elocution.”

“Really?”

“Yes, my original accent was ghastly, I sounded like a peasant!”

“I guess I sound like a peasant from London then!” Rettie laughed.

“Ah no, not everyone can afford elocution, but my parents thought that it would give me a better chance in life. Mother told me that I had to change my accent, otherwise I would never be hired as a Governess.”

“Oh, I don’t see how that can be true, Governesses are hired from all over the country, but-but.” Rettie froze.

“Well Rettie, thank you for the tea, I have enjoyed talking to you this evening.”

“Can you find your room?”

“Of course.”

“I carried your belongings up there for you earlier, that case of yours was so heavy, what on earth is in it Miss Douglas, a dead body?!”

“I’ll leave that to your imagination! No, no I shall tell you; it is just my clothes and some important keepsakes which are all heavy, not to mention my small collection of art work and book collection. Books are very heavy you know Rettie, 20 of them can amount to some weight!”

“I bet Miss, sorry, I did not mean to pry, do you read a lot Miss?”

“I do, but some are for my lessons with the children. I see that the Ashdown family have a grand library.”

“Oh yes! Although, I seldom go in there, but if you ask, I dare say that the Master and Mistress will allow you to borrow the books for your lessons or even for your own pleasure. I find them to be a very amiable family. The children can be a bit mischievous, but there isn’t a bad bone in either of their bodies.”

“Ah yes, I did hear that they could be naughty, still, nothing that rules and discipline wont sort I suppose.”

“Yes perhaps Miss. Miss, can I ask, what is your first name?”

“It’s Bessie, not even Elizabeth, just pain old Bessie. I have to admit that I do not like my own name, it sounds awfully common. I shall have to say goodnight Rettie, I am very tired and the children’s lessons begin tomorrow, don’t worry, you needn’t show me to my room, I know where to go.”

“Goodnight Miss, I hope you find your time here to be very pleasant.”

“I hope so too, goodnight Rettie.”

To be continued….

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8 thoughts on “Pixies and Pickles- Part 19

  1. there is more to bessie and her story i feel. by the way, my name is really just beth, not elizabeth, and people are always surprised. i can identify with bessie )

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