Chapter 6

When Maggie awoke the next morning she was surprised to be in her bed.

"Good morning Maggie. I just finished putting together what I'm going to teach you today. What would you like to wear today?" Betty had been up since five putting together a lesson plan before transitioning from her governess role to nanny role.

"I get to wear a different dress?" Maggie was shocked.

"Yes, do you want to show me all the dresses Mrs. Howell bought you?"

"Yes, please!"

Maggie looked at the many dresses and skirts in awe. She hesitantly picked a blue dress with white trim. Betty gave her a matching blue ribbon. After her first bubble bath, Maggie finished getting ready for the day. Maggie then went down to breakfast. Sometimes the Howells had breakfast in bed, but Lovey thought it would be good for Maggie to eat with them.

"Good morning Maggie. That dress looks marvelous on you dear! Did you sleep well?"

"Yes Mrs. Howell."

"I hear you are good with money, Maggie. This newspaper talks about money, politics and other news. Oh! it's an article on Dewy. I predict in a few months Dewy will win. Will Maggie be learning about politics?" Thurston was reading the Wall Street Journal.

"Well a little bit. She has to learn the basics first, Mr. Howell", replied Betty.

"Oh yes." Thurston wished Maggie could understand finance, politics or polo. Then he could at least have a conversation with her.

After breakfast Lovey walked with Maggie to the classroom where Maggie began her first full day of school.

"Maggie, today we are going to learn the alphabet. I know you like singing, so I have a great song to teach you." Betty began to sing the alphabet song.

A few minutes later, Lovey was drinking her coffee with cream and sugar at her friend Charlotte's home.

"The poor dear has been taught such horrid things that aren't true. She doesn't understand how much I care for her."

"I'm sure she will, someday Lovey. I can tell you care for her very much. I think it's wonderful how you've taken her in."

"Oh you do, Charlotte? Many of my friends think it wonderful that I saved her life, but don't think I should adopt."

"Oh you should Lovey. All these years you have been confiding in me, I know how much you've longed for a little girl. You're the perfect mother for her, so kind, patient and understanding. I know the trial will be hard on you all, but I know you'll give little Maggie all the support she needs. You need support too though dear. I'll come with you to the trial if you'd like."

"Oh would Charlotte? That would be marvelous. Thank you ever so much, dear!" Lovey was so glad to have such a true friend.

"Yes, I'll be there." Charlotte smiled and gave her friend a hug.

"Thank you ever so much, dear! You are so very kind."

"Would Maggie like to meet some children her age?"

"I think it's wonderful, but she's so nervous about everything."

"My children know what happened. I told them she was like Cinderella."

"Oh I think those monsters were worse than Cinderella's step-mother."

"Well I'd never tell the children that. They'd be very kind to her."

"Oh of course they would, but I don't think Maggie knows how to live as a child should yet."

"She will in time, I'm sure Lovey. Would you like to go riding today? I don't have anything planed this afternoon."

"Oh that sounds marvelous!" Lovey loved to go riding.

"What time would you prefer?"

"One, that way I can get home when Maggie has finished school."

"That sounds fine. Would you like to stay for lunch? We're having smoked salmon."

"Oh I'd love to, but I want to see how Maggie is doing. I must be back there in a few hours. Let's look at the new summer Social Register."
Back at the Howell mansion Betty was teaching Maggie how to read numbers.

"Can you read the numbers on this envelope?"

"1, 7?"

"Well it's actually 17. There would be a space in between if it was 1,7. It's my address from my dorm in college last year. 17 Cherry Tree Lane Wellesley, Massachusetts." Betty explained.

"Mr. and Mrs. Murphy said they don't need no education."

"Yes, they do they used a double negative."

"Huh?"

"Never mind, it's time for lunch. Mrs. Howell said she'd stop and say hello."

As if on cue, Lovey met them in the hallway.

"Hello, Maggie. Would you like to meet other children and play with them?" Lovey asked.

"Me, play? I've never played before." To have a normal childhood is something she secretly wished she had, but never thought she'd live it.

"Would you like to?"

"I have school, I have to learn."

"You can have fun too!"

"Really?"

"Yes, dear"

"Would the children want to play with me?"

"Yes, dear."

"Then I guess I will. Do you want me to?"

"Maggie you always talk about doing what I want, but you can decide what you want to do too!" Lovey explained.

"I must obey."

"Let me think of another way to explain, Maggie. When I tell you to do something in class, I expect you to do something, but you can chose things like what you want to wear, what you eat, what you want to do for fun." Betty explained.

"Really? If I can I will meet them" Maggie had been raised by sadistic tyrants who controlled every move she made. The idea of making decisions was very difficult for her to grasp.

"Oh good, dear!" Lovey was glad to see Maggie trying something new.

They went to lunch making plans to meet with Charlotte's children. Maggie was still very passive, but knew that Mrs. Howell and Mrs. Williams would let her act as a child should.