“As you wish, Sir.” Had I been free of my shackles, I would have raised my chin haughtily and imitated an upper-class accent and issued a command. Luckily for me, I squelched my inner voice quite firmly and adopted a soulful entreaty. “Mrs. Cleanknockers, if you would be so kind as to demonstrate your superior skill with the cane upon my deserving backside?” I could not resist a goad. “My fiancé has expressed doubts as to your competence.” Above my head I sensed messages whizzing between them. “A baker’s dozen then, sir?” At Mrs. Cleanknockers’ words, the stasis was broken.
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