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Since she was but one girl, she retained her dignity.
"We have come for Miss Godwin." Firm, and determinately, the elder gentleman so spake. She closed her long-lashed eyelids and drank with a blissful sigh.
She was deemed "unfit for polite society due to mental infirmity" and sent to Mistress Halifax's Home for Stricken Ladies.
In the truest dramatically ironic sense, it was at that emotional and mental cloister that she first became free. By troubled, naturally, I mean she was saddled with a family of polite, genteel and "proper" folk, and she was a perversion among them.
"I allowed her that indulgence trying to be a good mother." "Perfectly right," the other friend, Rowena, chorused from her right side. "She- she asked me quite firmly if I would tear the clothes from her body and s-strike her! I have never seen such a giddy expression on the face of any conscious being!
" The poor sputtering fop managed his message with shock in his voice. " Still trembling from his ordeal, the young man accepted a hand from a quick-footed servant (drawn, of course, by the commotion- no household servant worth their salt missed a good commotion).
Godfrey watched until there was naught left of their presence but a stirring of dust up the road.
Once gone from the garden, the girl had immediately been the gleeful subject of the ladies' discussion.
Violet Whitlock Godwin appraised the other coolly and deemed the recovery good enough to spare her the harsh snub that would have followed that remark.
The woman responded with a genuine gasp of horror and managed a quick recovery. Was she so frightened of you to say such beastly things? "Your daughter seemed quite calm and charming when she accepted me into her quarters, and I felt slightly unnerved, in truth, by her boldness.
She introduced herself with such grace I began to forget my worry, until she asked me if I would answer for her a deep, personal question that could ultimately sway her to marriage. I politely denied her and left, overcome with horror." John Benthill, the suitor that finally exposed Valentine's secret, collapsed into an armchair and was given a generous tot of brandy.
Edith was too settled and successful to be got rid of, and in Violet's mind, had committed the most heinous of crimes by spoiling her perfect daughter.
Oh once, those chestnut curls had gleamed in mannered innocence, the perfect meek and obedient female to be auctioned off, a beautiful prize for marriage.