Thank you Phish Tacko.
Short chapter, but hope you all enjoy. Please read and review. Thank you.
Ivy Williams had a headache. She had been working with the women all day at Queen's Prison, and her temple seemed to be pounding mercilessly. Every hour she had a group of around fifteen women to train – bending over their sewing, gently correcting faults and encouraging them on their progress. She raised her palm to her forehead and sighed wearily – it seemed this day would never end. She had nothing against these women; indeed she was very proud of all of them – without being as patronising as that sounded. But if truth were to be told, she wished she had been given a more stimulating task when she had asked her Father if there was any good she could do. He had looked at her vaguely at such a request, and she sometimes thought perhaps her Father really had no idea what to do with her. Her Mother had died years ago, leaving her in the charge of her Father who had the burning ambition of reaching the lost, and no sudden becoming the sole caregiver of his little girl was going to stop that. If she had not known her Father any better she would have thought he had hardly noticed her Mother's passing, so involved in the work of God he became after her death. But the many years that had come and gone had taught her that her Father immersed himself in his work the most when he was burdened with sadness.
Most children spend their young days in playgrounds and skipping on chalk drawn hopscotch squares on the streets where they lived, but Ivy's childhood had been spent inside the walls of this prison. Every cobblestone, every brick, every secret corridor she had memorised as she had played, as well as any other child would know every knot in the favourite tree they climbed. She had never been neglected however, and there was never a moment where she was not watched. She had seemed to become part of the very fabric of this prison, this strange little lonely girl with rare violet eyes who would sing hymns at the top of her high voice just to hear the strange echoes bouncing off the walls. What an odd place for a girl to think of with as much familiarity as the home she lived in.
She stood and excused herself while the guard in the corner nodded and she walked outside trying to ignore the watchful gaze of another guard. The pounding in her head was ceaseless and she sat down as dizziness began to befall her. She tried to empty her mind but when this proved futile, her hand dipped into the pocket of her sewing apron and she pulled forth a photograph.
She knew if her Father had discovered she had taken this, he would be furious. There would be no way she could escape his usual absentmindedness when it concerned her, then. It was a photograph of that young man, the one they called the Black Hope of London, the sailor. Her Father liked to do his own research on certain prisoners when it concerned him. He had been convinced the sailor was innocent – and though he was a chaplain and a man of God, he was not usually wrong with those sorts of things. He knew a thing or two about human nature, and she had overheard him saying it was a shame the whole blame of a nation was being placed upon his shoulders.
The back of the photograph had a date and the details of a party written in faint pencil, and the picture was of him only a few years ago. How changed he looked from the hunted criminal he was now. And how handsome. The photograph had been hand-coloured with powder, the new rage which had started recently in Europe and had swept through London, fascinating Ivy to no end. To paint photographs…To add colour to the dreary black and white! She looked down at young Anthony Hope, her thumb fondly touching the figure. His hair was tied back strikingly and he wore such a carefree smile, his coat over his shoulder as he leaned on a cane with pretend haughtiness. His cravat and matching waistcoat were a light manor blue, with gold buttons. What sort of party had it been? Why did he look so happy and amused? Had a friend made a joke just as the photograph had been taken? Had the photographer been annoyed at this youthfully insolent end product to his work? Usually people were so solemn and serious in photographs…She wished she could have known that Anthony Hope. He was far different to the one everybody hated now.
She remembered she had seen him dragged from chapel, and her heart had felt for him at his desperate fear. A man of the world to have roamed the seas – it must be a bitter pill to swallow indeed to be caged so.
She sighed and hid the photograph once more in her apron before she stood and moved back to return to the sewing class. She hoped he had received the small note she had given to kindly Jones to smuggle to him, for her. Again, her Father would be appalled at her to know she had done such a wickedly bold thing, but there was just something about that beautiful sailor that caused her to want to reach out to him. The caged adventurer.