The wagon bustles past the busy buildings of London, jostling me. I do not make a sound, knowing Mrs. Gunner would strike me if I did. The other 12-year-old kids with me also do nothing, knowing the way of things. The wagon comes to a stop and Mrs. Gunner opens the door. We all hop off and look at her. Her face is hardened, having done this to many orphans before us, but Miss Catherine's face is not. She has a clear look of sadness on her as she gives us each a coin and a ratty blanket.
"Please kids, try to be good."
"And don' even think of acoming back, ya hear?"
They get back in and are off, leaving us in the middle of the market. The others are frightened, but I am not. I knew this day was coming, so I had prepared myself. I went over to a vendor and handed over my coin. For it, I got some bread and cheese. I tuck them into my dress and take off into the street, leaving the others behind forever.
I lived as a street urchin for weeks, I found where I could sleep alone, without fear of discovery, how to get food and coins. But it was hard. I hungered for warm food and a bed, not the cold, moldy cheese and brick street I live on, but nothing would get me that.
My stomach growls as I walk down a street and I stop in front of The Chip, a tavern full of people. Laughter and music trickle out when a large woman opens the door. She looks down at me and says,
"Ya wanna work girlie?"
Without hesitation, I walk in.