Chapter XI

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"Well you shall not hand in your notice; I will not have it, are we understood Miss Stewart?"

"But sir I..."

"Miss Stewart you have proven yourself invaluable to this household according to my doctor, to Mrs. Hall and I and so we will not let you depart. If you wish to blame somebody then only blame yourself, for if you had not excelled at your job then I would be more than happy to part ways with you."

"Yes sir."

I agreed though despairing to stay put and when he touched his beard I focused on it, he had groomed it, it was smoother, shorter and so was his hair, it had been also been cut a little. Though only if you had memorized how it looked like before you would notice the freshness of the brown tips descending like twigs and branches from his head to and fro intertwined.

"How is the master?" Mrs. Hall asked when I got back with the plates.

"Well."

"Miss Stewart now you look sickly, what is the matter?" She took the plates from my hands.

"Not a thing Mrs. Hall," I saw Gertie looking disapprovingly at my mood which only irritated me further because when one is weary nothing is tolerable.

"But you have been like this the whole day, what happened?"

"Would you allow me to be dismissed for the night Mrs. Hall if I am of no further use?" Mr. Eugene and Gertie began to shake their heads and talk of me no doubt.

"Uh yes Miss Stewart good night then," Mrs. Hall was at a loss of my black mood but I was only going to make a bad situation worse if I stayed.

The dinner was over, the work was done, and the house had fallen to a quiet clear sky I went to visit my favorite place where the curtains remained open before heading up to sleep. The scalp of my head hurt from the tight work hair style throughout the day so I loosened my simple brown hair and ran my fingers through it to undo it. If there was something I missed from being a little girl was this being able to run free with my hair everywhere, my father called childhood the fresh drops of heaven on earth and I thought of how my little sister Joan made him laugh. But here the nights were longer at Stanley Hall, the sun light was an occasional visitor and so I stood there against the window for a while thinking of father until a candle came closer and closer.

"Mrs. Hall said you ran off to sleep," Mr. Howard questioned before I could make him out.

"Sir?" I tried to tidy up my hair holding it by the hand though making a mess of it, "how may I help you?"

"I should ask you the question, what can I do Miss Stewart, it seems Mrs. Hall and the others agree you have had a tough day."

"Forgive me for being disagreeable sir."

"Are you apologizing for being disagreeable in your bad day?"

"Yes sir and I promise to apologize to the staff tomorrow."

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