Chapter XVI

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"Letter for Miss Stewart," Mr. Bert said and the staff looked at me as if expecting me to read it out loud, it was from the inquiry I had made in town with Justine.

There was a woman who worked as lady's maid for many years and was retired, she was available to teach me how to do hair and take care of the clothes of a lady amongst other things so that I may be prepared to be a lady's maid. Every hope was directed into this new beginning and the quicker I learned the sooner I would be able to apply for a job far away from Stanley Hall but until then everything had to remain my secret, I could not share it with anyone until I was ready to go.

"Thank you Mr. Bert," I got the letter and put it in my pocket to read it later, we were arranging the terms of the deal and when I could get away from Stanley Hall to learn.

"Well I guess even Miss Stewart has her secrets now, she is a fast learner that one," Gertie said suspiciously and the rest of the staff became uncomfortable with my lack of defense.

"And for you Gertie," Mr. Bert handed it in and she at once opened the letter.

"Oh look it's from my brother," she said and sat down to read it then she crumbled up the paper and took off.

"I should go see if everything is fine," Mrs. Hall got up to go be with Gertie.

"Well I was going to make the announcement when we were all together but Mr. Howard will be receiving a local newspaper man here tomorrow for luncheon, it is a story of his return and his art. So Mr. Eugene I will need the two footman, I hope you have trained them well because tomorrow they will need to be ready," Mr. Bert asked.

"Yes sir, they will be ready, I have trained them most thoroughly," Mr. Eugene proudly stated.

"Good, it seems like we are slowly heading back into society so we must be prepared for the master to be able to put Stanley Hall in its former light."

"How about that Mr. Bert? Stanley Hall in the front columns again?" Mr. Eugene dreamed and Ms. Johnson smiled but I was angered by the master's deception. To say those words and thoughts against high society as if they had meaning now be giving orders of reintroducing himself into the thing he scoffed at? Mother was right, I had to keep myself from being fooled, I needed to stop being such a child in order to be a wise guide to my heart.

In the night while everyone was safe and sound back in their beds asleep I meandered around the house making my way to the library so that I may write back to my instructor, Adelia. I set my light down on the desk and borrowed the paper and ink to begin setting the dates I was available to learn; mostly Sundays would give me a good amount of time to disappear. Her recompense was set and she wanted me to start the same week and she would even help me look for a job once we were done.

After I sealed the letter I had the idea to borrow a book for not since Vanity Fair I had read and missed the exercise so using the candle light I found it, "The Duchess of Malfi" by John Webster. There was a cover sitting on the couch perfumed with the master's scent where I hid myself under and began reading under the candle light, the story was so dramatic and engaging I did not hear anything other than the words on the pages.

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