This was originally written for a school project about introducing a character into a scene so I'm sorry if it seems overly descriptive. Also this is the first thing I have ever published on here so I am pretty nervous as to the quality of this (I know it's not amazing!)
I do not own Cranford the TV series or any of the wonderful Elizabeth Gaskell novels from which it is adapted.
Miss Laurentia Galindo was sat in her millinery establishment sewing a feather onto a new bonnet, as much as she hated her job it still had to be done. She was just reaching over to collect another feather from the small sewing table by her side when she heard the tinkle of the bell attached to the door of her shop; she sighed and hastily put the bonnet down beside her. She made to untie her apron as her maid announced the arrival of a customer and she reluctantly made her way into the parlor reserved for her shop.
As she neared the door she was surprised to hear the rather shrill tones of a stranger giving her maid (who had since hurried back to attend to the visitor) an earful. The village of Cranford was a small one but Miss Galindo could not place the voice that was currently filling her parlor. Before the stranger could tear the poor girl apart anymore she pushed open the door and stepped inside.
It would be an understatement to say that she was surprised by the sight that greeted her when she entered. Stood in the middle of the room was a small, well built woman whose haughty air was evident by the look of extreme disgust on her face. Her chestnut hair was plastered down to her scalp and covered by a plain cotton cap which seemed to be as neat and orderly as the rest of her. Her foot tapped upon the ground impatiently as she scowled and walked restlessly around the room examining the items which had been put out on display. Every so often she would snap a question at the maid who would attempt to answer as fully and as quickly as she could.
Somewhere in the back of her mind Miss Galindo acknowledged the presence of Mrs Forester, a widow and a highly respected member of the community. She was stood in the background of the scene looking down at her feet, evidently embarrassed by the behavior of the stranger, her companion.
After a brief moment of silence the stranger looked up, cocked her head and walked confidently towards her.
"Miss Galindo I presume?" her impossibly loud voice boomed out. "I require a bonnet."
Miss Galindo was astonished at this woman's incivility and general lack of respect. She wondered how such a booming voice could come from one so small. It was as if hearing a lion's roar come from the throat of a mouse so shocking was the contrast. Mrs Forester stepped forward then in an effort to add some civility to the conversation.
"This is my cousin, Miss Princent" she explained. "Who has come to stay with me from London" she looked around sheepishly. "She has decided to purchase herself a new bonnet for the coming garden party at Hanbury Court, and I recommended her to come to you."
"Thank you, Mrs Forester." Miss Galindo said graciously, grateful for the woman's input "I'm sure you did me a great honour in the recommendation."
"I was unsure about coming to you." Miss Princent interrupted. "I'm sure the quality would be better if we travelled to Manchester."
Mrs Forester smiled apologetically at Miss Galindo as the rude woman continued to eye some of the display pieces with contempt.
"Well I will try to find something to your satisfaction, if you will just inform me which style and materials you prefer." She said with as much grace as she could manage.
"I should like Italian straw" sniffed Miss Princent. "Although it is most shockingly overpriced I believe that it is of better quality than the homegrown variety."
"I will just get you some" Miss Galindo replied, grateful for the chance to leave the room if only for a short time. "I will only be a moment."
As she closed the door behind her she sighed to herself as she wondered just how long her day would be.