Wednesday, September 15, 2010
(Liverpool, 1855) Ruffles and Boats (Alessandra)
“Miss Alessandra, I aint never had anything so fancy in me whole life.” Bessie said, twirling around in front of the mirror as my new French Maid, Searlait gently smoothed out Bessie’s new pink muslin dress. The dress itself had three flounces each one neatly embroidered with small purple and yellow flowers. Her little drawers were laced at the bottom and her silk stockings nicely striped to match her dress. Searlait had somehow managed to clean the child and smooth her hair down into braids which twisted to the top of her head. She had been given a bath with lavender soaps after a nice, fine meal at a local venue and a two hour nap.
“Why I must look like a princess!” She announced smiling brightly at me. I laughed softly.
“Yes, but you must stand still little missus.” Searlait finally said, placing two hands firmly down on the child’s shoulders. “Otherwvise I vill not be able to get your hair done.” Her accent coming out slightly in frustration. I smirked, and I knelt down to Bessie’s height.
“You look like one of the Queen’s little children.”I smiled. It had taken nearly three days for me to get a proper place to live, the right items for the little girl, a cook and two maids. With house furnishings plus new clothing. I was giddy with pleasure at the expense I was running up on Aro. Served the bloody bastard right. He took away my own little sister from me. There was no reason why this child couldn’t have what my sister would have had. Had she lived.
“Can we go see your Doctor friend off to America?” Bessie asked. Searlait looked at me from out of the corner of her pretty blue eyes as she pinned the remainder of Bessie’s hair down.
“You mean Carlisle?” I asked, using his first name much to Searlait’s shock.
“Yes, the one who gave me all those nice sweets. I so want to see a big ship!” Bessie said with a pleading look that I simply could not refuse. I laughed and nodded.
“Alright. But you stay close to me. I don’t want anyone to steal you away from me.”
“Ah, Miss, just cause you dressed me like a lady, don’t me I’s one. I could beat any of those men up in a blink of an eye and steal their purse too.” She said proudly. Receiving a firm look from Searlait. I smiled apolitically. Poor Searlait. She had no idea what she was getting into with Bessie.
“Well, all the same, stay by my side.”I said firmly. “Searlait, would you get Bessie’s coat and hat?” I asked. The maid nodded, and in a few minutes, both Bessie and I were ready to depart. It was strange pretending to be human and living in a nice small house with a child. I wondered how long I could pull this off.
“Wait here please.”I said to the driver as we slipped out of the carriage and place a few shillings in his hand. He topped his hat off to me and nodded.
“right o Ma’am.” He said in the same strange accent that Bessie used. I wondered if I would ever get used to the accent, as I gently reached for the child’s hand.
“Which ship did he say he was on?” Bessie asked.
“The RMS America Class.” I said scanning the busy, bustling ship dock for the Cunard line. Cunard was the largest ship company in England, and because of this, the RMS America was not hard to find. I spotted Carlisle’s tall, handsomely built figure before I did the ship, and had to pace myself to keep from rushing towards him in my normal speed.
“She sure is a beauty. Wish I was goin’. I’d love to see America some day. Do they really have cowboys and indians and buffalo?” Bessie asked tugging at Carlisle’s coat, before I had even a chance to formally great him.
English Women's Clothing in the nineteenth century by C. Willett Cunnington )