The room is plain, the furniture serviceable, and the fireplace swept. I sit on a horsehair sofa. The mantel clock makes a very loud tick. Suddenly I’m nervous. My only plan was to get here. I don’t know what to do now.
The girl comes in with a tea tray.
“I thought you might want something to eat after your journey,” she says. “Mrs. Williamson says she canna come down tonight, but she’ll see you at breakfast. I’ll come back in a bit and take you upstairs.”
“Thank you.” I’m surprised this Mrs. Williamson doesn’t greet me. Perhaps she’s angry with me for showing up without an invitation. Despite my queasy stomach, I nibble a piece of shortbread, enjoying the buttery sweetness. In contrast, the tea is scalding.
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