TITLE: The Madman's Daughter
GENRE: YA historical thriller
I spent eight years trying to run from the past. I changed my name. Traded in the luxurious life of my childhood for a two-shilling salary at a dress shop and a shared room upstairs--though that was hardly my choice. Still, the past haunted me. Lucy, the one friend who stayed by me through the scandal, told me I'd sooner outrun a steam engine than my past. She said I had to face what happened. One night, quite on accident, she gave me that opportunity.
It was a late November evening. Mrs. Bell had kept me long beyond closing to search for a missing wooden button not worth its weight in sand. At last she found the damn thing in her own pocket and I was free to dash out into the cold night. I was late, and Lucy would be waiting.
The bitter wind slipped up my skirts and bit at the bare skin of my calves. I shivered, but it was not only the chill in the air that gave me goose flesh. I turned down a side street and made my way past the closed doorways. These tight alleys made me nervous, and I was relieved to reach the open expanse of Covent Garden. The wind whipped at my skirts as I waited for a carriage to pass and then hurried across the street to the big wooden bandstand, where a figure waited in the lee of the staircase.