“As for you, Louisa,” Mrs. Cleanknockers continued with icy diction, “give Ruby what comfort you may, and stay with her all night. Never let it be said, I would refuse the condemned her last request.” With those ominous words, she departed. My legs gave out and I blindly groped for my cot. Louisa lent me her arm and we heavily sat down together, hips bumping and heads touching in joint misery. “What have I done?” I said with teary voice. “A very brave thing, dear Ruby.” Louisa cupped my face and pressed her lips to mine. “A very brave thing.”
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