Ignoring my question, Miss White said, “Did you know that there was a time when young ladies were appreciated and respected?”
I tilted my head to one side.
“I was a mere child when that was the norm, but then things changed in our world. Magick got out of hand, and non-magickals feared us.”
“That’s when the Abra Guild was formed.”
“Correct. The men who first sat on that board had little regard for women. They felt our place and power was best in the household—raising children and keeping the home tidy. Any woman caught practicing was either sent to the Void or ostracized.”
“But you prevailed.”
“Right again. Industrious females learned how to cheat the system. We learned how to manipulate. Have you not wondered how it is that I own this shop?”
Excellent question. Women weren’t proprietresses. It was permitted for a woman to inherit a business through the death of a spouse. If a man had no male heirs, his daughters could run the establishment until such time that they married. Miss White, in my opinion, was far too old to be looking for a suitor.
“Sleight of hand, child. The deed reads Mr. Edward Whitcomb as proprietor. The Abra Guild believes that my husband died at sea. I merely reverted to my maiden name since the business is family owned.”
Gadzooks, that was smart!
Those codgers within the Guild didn’t possess the intelligence to double-check anything. “So when are you going to help me?”
Miss White’s thin lips curled up like a Cheshire cat. “Nothing happens o’er night. You require proper training, which I’m willing to provide.”
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