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Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Author:Sarah Waters
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub, azw
ISBN: 9781573229722
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Published: 2002-09-15T23:05:51+00:00


Part 3

14

I shrieked. I shrieked and shrieked. I struggled like a fiend. But the more I twisted, the tighter I was held. I saw Gentleman fall back in his seat and the coach start up and begin to turn. I saw Maud put her face to the window of cloudy glass. At sight of her eyes, I shrieked again.

'There she is!' I cried, lifting my hand and pointing. 'There she is! Don't let her go! Don't you fucking let her go—!'

But the coach drove on, the wheels throwing up dust and gravel as the horse got up its speed; and the faster it went, the harder I think I fought. Now the other doctor came forward, to help Dr Christie. The woman in the apron came, too. They were trying to pull me closer to the house. I wouldn't let them. The coach was speeding, growing smaller. 'They're getting away!' I cried. Then the woman got behind me and seized my waist. She had a grip on her like a man's.

She lifted me up the two or three steps that led to the house's front door, as if I might be so many feathers in a bag.

'Now then,' she said as she hauled me. 'What's this? Kick your legs, will you, and trouble the doctors?'

Her mouth was close to my ear, her face behind me. I hardly knew what I was doing. All I knew was, she had me there, and Gentleman and Maud were escaping. I felt her speak, bent my head forward, then took it sharply back.

'Oh!' she cried. Her grip grew slack. 'Oh! Oh!'

'She's becoming demented,' said Dr Christie. I thought he was talking about her. Then I saw he meant me. He took a whistle from his pocket and gave it a blow.

'For God's sake,' I cried, 'won't you hear me? They have tricked me, they have tricked me—!'

The woman grabbed me again—about the throat, this time; and as I turned in her arms she hit me hard, with the points of her fingers, in my stomach. I think she did it in such a way, the doctors did not see. I gave a jerk, and swallowed my breath. Then she did it again. 'Here's fits!' she said.

'Watch your hands!' called Dr Graves. 'She may snap.'

Meanwhile, they had got me into the hall of the house and the sound of the whistle had brought another two men. They were pulling on brown paper cuffs over their coat-sleeves. They did not look like doctors. They came and caught hold of my ankles.

'Keep her steady,' said Dr Graves. 'She's in a convulsion. She may put out her joints.'

I could not tell them that I was not in a fit, but only winded; that the woman had hurt me; that I was anyway not a lunatic, but sane as them. I could not say anything, for trying to find my breath. I could only croak. The men drew my legs 254

straight, and my skirts rose to my knees. I began to be afraid of the skirts rising higher.



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