“Miss Solmes,” Miss Halton said, “this is Mrs. Fayerweather, the academy’s housekeeper, and its doyenne.”
Automatically, taught from girlhood to treat servants with a certain disdain, Anne said, “I am pleased to meet you, Mrs. Fayerweather,” but without a curtsey, and without extending her hand.
Mrs. Fayerweather’s hand flashed out and slapped Anne upon the left cheek. Anne instinctually raised her left hand from covering her private part to feel the fiery agony of her face, which felt very warm to the touch, so hard had the woman slapped her there. Her mouth and her eyes opened wide, and a sob rose in her throat as her tears began to flow.
For a moment she stood like that, looking at the servant who had slapped her, a proper young lady. Never in her life had anything like that happened. It seemed, in that instant, far, far worse than undressing for Miss Halton in the carriage.
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