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#16
He offered an appreciative half-smile, shrugging. "Still alive, it's what I has to be thankful for." Thankful to whom was not specified. He had not the faith nor feeling to feel grateful to God.
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#17
"Aye." she said. She wanted to tell him that he was stupid and should leave, but Rose knew she could hardly blame him for staying. Without a plan B he might as well wait for ghosts to him. At least it would be faster than coal dust. "I might be sent away again," she sulked. "I don't know what's worse. I think I shall find meself a husband instead." She would bear children and do a lot of housework, and farmwork and what not. But it was better to work hard in one's own home than to slave for someone else.
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#18
"Where? Back to Sheffield?" He wished he could offer her help. It would certainly make his mother happy if he married her. But he swore that he could never do that to a woman. Subjecting her to lies and bitterness felt like a crime. And she was too young anyway.
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#19
"Not to that house..." They would not want her back and Rose would rather die than go back there. "But might be Sheffield again..." She felt nausea rise at the mere thought of it. Perhaps a haunted house was not so bad after all.
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#20
"Summat go awry in there?" Kel leaned on the fence and removed his gloves. Very itchy. Or maybe he'd gotten poison ivy. Again. At least it wasn't on his arse this time.
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#21
Rose shivered lightly. Yes, something had. Everything had. But she had to watch her words. "'t was hard work. Slavin' from morning to evenin'. And people makin' fun of me way of talkin' and all. Even took me name away, 'cause their daughter was called Rose. Called me Mary, they did."
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#22
He wrinkled his nose at her. "Sheffield? Make fun of talk?" Snorting in disbelief. But he himself hadn't been there in ages. He'd been born there and yet so quickly had the family moved back to Ireland that he often wondered how he and his brothers had retained the accent. Da was a towering influence. "Don't go back there, lass. We got toffs here but they don't seem fussed about talk. I think they thinks we's quaint-like. Entertaining."
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#23
Rose frowned. "But... t' folks dyin'..." At least the house in Sheffield wasn't haunted. "Eh... I might try though. All's better than goin' so far away again. Does tha know whom I could talk to?" For Rose knew she could not simply go over and hope to see the master or mistress of the house. Who would want to see her?
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#24
"There's jobs in town, if all that death's a bit much." It was such an odd thing to say, yet he said it and had to live with it now. "New blokes movin' in, seen them new houses? I think the Marchioness makes us look good wit' 'er theatre, new hospital, suchlike." She'd do fine as a doctor's nurse or maid for some smaller house.
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#25
"Really?" Rose had noticed the new houses of course, but she had not thought of the fact that the people in the houses might need service. Rose would hate to feel like a slave again, but if that was inevitable, she would rather undergo it in her own village. She gave Kellan a genuine smile. "That's great advice, Kellan. Thank you. Tha should apply as well. I'd hate to think tha might come to harm."
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#26
He forced his own smile, but only because his face was getting too frozen to move, "Aye, don't fret none f'r me." Reaching to pat her shoulder. "Things en't much better since tha left but 'leastways there's a bit more to do. Come see me at The Colette, we does shows, us, now and then."
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#27
Rose smiled at him, albeit somewhat awkwardly, when he tapped her shoulder. Things weren't the same as before she had left. She wasn't sure how to respond to the kind gesture. "Me mother doesn't like me goin' there," she said regretfully. "She says its a place of vulgarities..." In a somewhat more cheerful tone she added. "But maybe if I say th'art in it, she'll let me go!"
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#28
Well, her mother was keen. But to agree would be outing himself as vulgar and that might be more frightening to the poor girl than ghosts. "Aye, er, put in a good word f'r me?" Trying to laugh but just puffing out warm air. "Won't do to upset Mrs. Ward."
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#29
Rose grinned. "Tha doesn't want to see her mad." That was true, in fact. Rose was terrified to her mother when she was angry. Luckily, her mother was good-natured and patience - a good thing, with all those children - and so she barely ever got mad. "If I tell tha suggested a job, she'll love thee like 'er own."
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#30
“Heh, well don’t thank me ‘afore tha gets one. Now off ee’go, hear? Gardener won’t like me gabbing over fences.” Glancing over his shoulder for Eldridge.
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