Mask of the Highwaywoman - Short

Evelyn, the bored daughter of a rich aristocrat, is on her way home when her stagecoach is attacked by a gang of vicious outlaws. Terrified at first, she is soon fascinated by the captivating Highwaywoman

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3. Chapter Three: A Face at the Window

It had taken a while to get the carriage going once again. After the bandits left it had been up to the passengers to loosen the ropes on the coachmen, and the horses had been startled into refusal for a while. But eventually the saddened party had pulled into the Harrow coach house, and Evelyn had arranged a bed, on the promise of a days work on the morrow.

Tired, cold, and humiliated by the experience, Evelyn stood by the fire in her room, and slowly undressed. She had been left her trunk, but after going through it she found that, although her clothes remained, her jewellery, and money were gone, even the pack of cards had been taken. She sat in down in her night things, and let the warmth slowly seep into her, while she stared into the flames, contemplating her situation.

She heard a rattle behind her. Swinging round, she looked at the window; the blackness beyond was empty, but just for a moment. A face appeared, masked, as the others had been. Evelyn gasped, standing up she searched the room for a weapon, and drew the poker, just in time for her attacker to throw open the window. The cold air made the fire dance, as the woman clambered, somewhat awkwardly, through the small frame, and into the room, she then carefully sealed the window behind her. They stood for a moment, Evelyn held the poker, raised and ready to strike, and the woman took a cautious step forward.

“Don’t come any closer.” Evelyn warned. “You’ve taken everything I have, and if you touch anything else I swear I’ll—”

“I’m not here to take.” Said the woman, softly, raising her hand as she would to a spooked mare “I’m here to give back.” She reached into her waistcoat, and pulled out the locket. Still cautious, she held it up, and then placed it on the table near the window. “That’s all I wanted to do.” She said backing off towards the window once again.

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