Discretely adjusting his falls, Mr. Steedstiff dismissed the girls to their rooms. He shuffled my test papers then tapped them into a neat stack. “You seem to have a good grasp of the English language, Ruby, but you seem to be lacking in more basic areas. Were you never schooled?” I clasped my hands tightly. “My mother needed me at home, sir, once I turned ten. I looked after neighbor’s children so they, and my mother, could work. I like to read,” I added hopefully. “You have much to learn, Ruby, in a short time. It will take utmost dedication.”
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