The two men walked calmly through the finer streets of London, their attention either on each other or the path ahead of them. They made a few comments to each other but were more than happy to walk in silence. They knew each other too well to constantly need words between them. They passed a…
The young woman’s body was trembling like a leaf in a wind storm, her eyes barely able to lift above the man’s collar. She forced herself to swallow.
"It’s a very nice establishment, sir," she said, her voice light, full of fear. "Mr. Walthomstow is kind to me. He doesn’t beat me."
Will figured that might be the only kindness he showed her as her body suggested she had not been fed proper for some time.
"I truly didn’t mean to see anything, sirs," her voice was soft, but true. She hadn’t been spying, but for a peasant girl to see two high society man in such a position, their only needed to be one word and she would go to jail.
"I’ll make it up to you, sir," she said. " Let me pay for your clothes."
Hannibal almost smiled at such a suggestion. “Yet, you are deep in debt.”
"My mother left me comb made of silver and pearl," she said, her voice trembling again. It sounded as though it was something very precious to her.
"Was your mother dear to you?" Hannibal asked, truly curious.
"Very, sir." Now she lifted her eyes to meet his. "She had little money, but after my father abandoned us, she did all she could to keep us alive. The comb is all I have, but She’d want me to sell it for this. It was rude of me to step in. Let me sell it to pay for your clothes."
Hannibal regarded the girl for a moment, looking for any sign of dishonesty, slyness or rudeness. He saw nothing, nothing obvious anyway. Suddenly, Walthomstow returned to the room.
"Is there a problem?" He asked. His eyes turned to Katie. "Is there some reason your distracting my best customers?"
Katie’s face turned fearful. “No, no, sir, I mearly-“
"Keep your tongue girl or you’ll have nothing tonight!" He snapped. "Get to the back! I want all those dresses hemmed by tonight, you hear me? All twenty of them!"
Hem twenty dresses by tonight, Will thought. Even the best seamstress could only do ten in a day! And what was he paying her per day anyway.
"Go on! Get!" Walthomstow shooed her away.
She nodded quickly and slipped behind Dr. Lecter to the back room. Walthomstow approached the two men.
"I am so sorry, my good sirs," he said. "She can be quite the bother sometimes. Let me make it up to you somehow. Tea, perhaps? GIRL!" He snapped. Katie nearly flew back into the room.
"Make these men some tea and do it right this time!" She nodded quickly and curtsied, retreating to the back room yet again.