If Elizabeth was getting an earful, Jane thought, that was her own fault. She had never asked her to talk back to Mrs Butler or to drop the vase in the first place. Wilson’s wide-eyed, apprehensive face turned towards her.
“Oh, it isn’t about you, Will, don’t worry. Mr Butler said that you can start at the mill tomorrow. He’ll pay you six shillings a week, that’s alright isn’t it? I told you he was a good sort.”
“What would I do at the mill?” He asked.
“Mr Butler is brilliant. He makes the finest quality paper, better than anywhere else in Europe, and sells it in Prussia. They have a contract with him and he’s invested his profits in a lot of publishing houses over there that use his paper. You’d be learning to operate the machinery I suppose.”
“Where is Prussia, Jane?”
“Well, it’s near to France I think, one of the German states. I should like to go to France someday, wouldn’t you?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it. Jane, I haven’t got anywhere to stay tonight. Constable Spencer let me sleep in the police station last night and drove me here this morning, he said he felt bad for arresting my father though I don’t blame him for it, but now I’ve nowhere to go.”
“Do you have enough money for a room?” Jane asked.
“I’ve got three shillings.”
“Then you should save it. You can sleep down here in the kitchen but you can’t let the Butlers know you’re here.”
Jane felt a thrill of excitement at the thought of keeping such a big secret from her employers. With a sense of adventure building up inside her, she waited to hear what Elizabeth would have to say about it. It did not cross her mind that she might have been experiencing one of her more extreme good moods until later that night when she lay terrified under her blanket, praying that nobody would come downstairs and discover Wilson in the kitchen.
Find my historical novel here on Amazon Kindle.