During her time so far at her Ladyship's house, Clara had never seen any of her Mistresss friends stay the night. She didnt ask about it. But this changed on the seventh of September when Emma told her to get down to the kitchen because of an announcement. Clara was washing the upstairs halls when Emma told her this, so she quickly made her buckets and broom vanish behind some curtains and followed her downstairs.
Erica the head maid was standing waiting for them to return in the maids' waiting room beside the kitchen. She smiled as Emma and Clara entered, and cleared her voice as she read from a note: Her Ladyship's sister will be arriving on the 9th of September, and it is Her Ladyship's wish that she will stay here in the house. Esmeralda will be her chambermaid, and you are to treat my sister as one of the family. Please make sure that her stay her will be a good one. Her Ladyship.
How splendid Liz is coming. I cant wait to see her. Esmeralda said clapping her hands.
Calm down, Esmeralda. Please remember to give her the best service. Not like last year when you and her overslept because you emptied the bar.
Yes I will, Erica. She smiled.
Good. Emily, you will be taking Esmeraldas duties as long as Liz is here.
The next day an extra bedroom was cleaned and made ready. And on the 9th of September, late in the afternoon, a carriage stopped outside the house and a woman rang the bell. It was her Ladyships sister, Liz.
Paula. My dear loving sister. Liz said hugging her sister.
Liz! How are you? How was the trip from Norway? Her Ladyship answered.
I am fine, but the trip was rough. We hit a storm in mid crossing, so I wasnt sure I would get here. But here I am. Liz said.
I am so glad.
Liz was a little heavier then her Ladyship, she had dark brown long hair, and green eyes. She was shorter then her Ladyship too.
I have made it so that Esmeralda is your chambermaid. I hope that is acceptable?
Of course it is. Liz answered.
The maids carried in her baggage, four bags in all, and took them up to the room that had been prepared for her. Clara could see that Liz limped slightly.
Clara went down the stairs early next morning, getting ready to work in the kitchen. She stopped in front of Lizs bedroom when she heard the sound of breaking glass from within. She listened for a few moment, then carefully knocked on the door.
Is everything all right in there, Miss Liz? Clara asked.
No answer came, but she could hear something going on in there. She knocked again on the door, and there was still no answer. She was about to leave, as she heard a thump inside the room.
Miss Liz, are you all right? She asked again.
Yes, but could you please leave me alone. I am trying to sleep. Liz answered through the door.
I am sorry, my Lady. Clara said, and hurried away from the door. She went down to the kitchen and back to her other duties.
Her Ladyship sat in the dining room, waiting for her sister to come and eat breakfast. She was late.
Have anyone seen or heard from my dear sister this morning? She asked.
I think Clara mentioned that she had talked to her through her door, then heard some strange noises. Emma answered.
Her ladyship got up from the table, wiped her lips with a napkin and then went up the stairs to the bedroom. She knocked on the door. There was no answer. She found the spare key to the room in her pocket, unlocked the door and went inside. She found Esmeralda bound and gagged on the bed and lying beside her was her sister, tickling the maid mercilessly.
Liz, what is the meaning of this! We are waiting for you at breakfast! Her ladyship yelled at her.
Sorry, sister dear, I'm afraid time just flew away.
Untie Esmeralda this minute, and be downstairs in three minutes. I want a word with you two! Her ladyship went out of the room, leaving Liz giggling as she untied Esmeralda from the sheets that restrained her.
I am so in deep trouble now, Miss Lizzy. Esmeralda told her when the gag was removed.
Dont worry Esmeralda. I wont let my sister do anything to you.
Downstairs in the living room, Her ladyship walked around Esmeralda and Liz, pondering what the punishment for their actions should be. Finally she came to a decision.
Bring me the ropes and uniforms. She called out.
Everyone looked at one other for a minute, and then the maids ran out to get the items and not to long afterwards they had everything they needed. Both Esmeralda and Liz were dressed in maids outfits against their will; they gave up struggling when they realised they were outnumbered. Ropes were tied between their ankles, to hobble them, numerous coils of ropes were fastened around their elbows behind their backs, then, finally, their wrists were bound in front.
You cant do this Paula. I am your sister! Liz pleaded.
I can and I will. Her ladyship retorted and a big fat wadded knot on a tablecloth was pushed into Lizs mouth.
The gags were tied tightly behind their heads. Some of the other maids let out a light giggle.
Trays were given to the two renegades, and her ladyship announced that Liz and Esmeralda would be the servants for dinner today. Clara looked at Emma, she was giggling behind her hand. Clara was not sure if it was appropriate, but it seemed that the other maids found it funny, so she giggled a little too.
The service that evening was silent, and slow. But in the end they did manage it, even if it took three hours to serve the dinner, and a plate was broken. But after all, Clara didnt think Esmeralda or Liz were too sorry about it, since it wasnt under perfect conditions.
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