The Adventures of Ratha James Part Seven
When a breathless, ragged Amalee had arrived on Maddie’s doorstep she was nearly dismissed without seeing her friend, but luckily Madeline had heard her friend’s voice and had flung herself down the staircase to the foyer. The doorman was dismissed and both women stared at each other silently, taking in the other’s bruised face and wasted form. Neither girl moved, far too close to tears to risk movement. Amalee was the first to recover. “We have to leave.”
Embarrassment clouded Madeline’s beautiful face, “I am not fit to leave this house, I am disgraced beyond forgiveness or repair.” Her voice broke with tears and Amalee strode to her friend and threw her stinging arms around Maddie’s shoulders.
“No,” she whispered fiercely. “It is not us, but them. We have to leave Maddie, now before we are discovered. We’ll find St. Clare and run, they’ll never find us! We’ll go back to Ireland, or the America’s, somewhere where they can’t find us amid the hordes.”
“I’m watched constantly Amalee. I am not to leave without my lord’s permission and he is gone to call upon a friend but I expect them back in an hour at the most. An hour, that’s not long at all. We could never be clear of him in an hour. If I left now, one of the servants would alert him within minutes.”
“Then we’ll only have minutes. Would you rather stay here and be battered or at least try. You have to try Maddie, I can’t do this without you, I could never leave you here. Please, come with me, please, let us leave.”
Madeline stared at her friend’s battered face, whatever horrors, she had faced paled in comparison to Amalee’s and yet Amalee still chose to fight back. How could she let her friend down when her own spirit longed to be free of the pain that had been inflicted upon her by her husband? “Go now,” she said severely, as if dismissing someone beneath her station. Amalee frowned but Maddie lowered her voice so that only her friend could hear, “I will meet you at the corner in five minutes but first I have to do something.”
“You promise?” Amalee urged.