Chapter Four

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"Your position will be easy enough," Robert said, "Esther will show you ropes and you should pick it all up quite quickly. The twins should warm to you easily enough, though I can't say the same for Matilda."

"Robert, please," Dr Ealing said, glancing sideways at his son and holding back a smirk.

"What? I believe our employees have every right to know what they are getting themselves into, especially with Matilda. My sister is remarkably difficult to get along with, staff or otherwise. She once sent a maid running for the door, though I'm not entirely sure how she managed it and she never told any of us. I'm sure Esther will be able to fill you in on the rest."

"It'll take more than your sister to scare me away, that much I can assure you of," I said.

"Glad to hear it," Robert replied.

The carriage fell into a silence that was verging on uncomfortable and I found myself gazing out of the window as we moved down the country roads. I had only ever seen the busy streets of London, never had I gone beyond the city and explored what else the country had to offer. Outside of the small windows, the hazy grey's and browns of the city had been replaced by the vibrant greens of the country. Sunlight looked as though it was reflecting off the blades of grass. It looked as though the scene had been plucked straight out of a painting and placed in front of me. None of it looked real.

I had never been in a carriage before, let alone travelling outside of London to work for a family I barely knew. In truth, I was terrified. Working in the factory we always knew what was likely to happen next, that every day was exactly the same. Working in a household, however, was bound to bring new challenges and experiences that I had never dealt with before. The idea of being in a new place with new people and little to no knowledge of the job itself terrified me beyond belief. If I had the opportunity, I would have returned to the factory rather than tackle something I had never imagined I would be doing. At least I could ignore the foreman.

As the carriage continued to move, I continued to look out or the window, in awe by how different the country was compared to London. It was just the colour that was different, but the sounds and smells. London was always so busy, filled with people wandering the streets, selling miscellaneous items whilst street children ran around begging for food. The country was quiet, no noises but the occasional sounds of birds or running water from somewhere unknown. London smelt of smoke and dirty water from the Thames whilst the country air was clean, fresh. The smell of flowers wafted into the carriage and I found myself leaning closer and closer towards the window, as though I was about to climb out of it and into the fields.

After what felt like an eternity, the carriage pulled to a stop and Dr Ealing and Robert climbed out through the door. I followed suit, stepping out of the carriage and into the gorgeous sunlight that basked down on the path of stones on the ground. I brushed my skirts out slightly and glanced up at the building, amazed by the sheer size of the house I was about to work in for the next two weeks (or longer). It looked as though it went on for miles, with huge windows, a smoking chimney and a front door that was bigger than any door I had ever seen. If I didn't know any better, I would say I was walking straight into a storybook. The scenery, the house, all of it looked too good to be real.

"Right, we'll introduce you to Esther and she can sort you out with a uniform and help you look presentable before you meet my wife. She will probably insist upon you having a bath before you start work but I'm more than certain she won't say no to an extra pair of hands around the house," Dr Ealing said, readjusting his coat and tightening his grip on his briefcase.

"I wouldn't turn down a bath, I must have several months' worth of dirty embedded in my skin," I said, laughing slightly.

"Then let us hope she makes the suggestion. Shall we go in?"

The Factory Girl // Book 1 in the Rosie Grey seriesWhere stories live. Discover now