Victorian London. The air was barley breathable and thick with smog. Life was hard for everyone but especially young Myrtle; she and her brother live in a run down orphanage where she is hated by the majority of its inhabitance, she has struggled her way through her life orphan but it was about to get harder. Thieves. Rich. Poor. Hate. Love. Death. Her life had been turned upside down by one man...


4. The Letter

Dawn was approaching; the night life was retreating, slinking back into the forming shadows as if the light was their enemy and the darkness a their dearest friend. Shouting their love to their wives and children, labourers ran out their houses, waving and blowing kisses. Some children were running with their fathers to the workhouse or some wealthy household as chimney sweeps. Even the women of some of the poorest places went to work, stripped of their previous success with spinning wheels in their homes, now they had to go to factories to work with machines like the 'Spinning Jenny' and risk their lives every day. 

The first rays of sunlight woke Patrick, it was early but he, drenched in sweat, got out of bed. He looked down at himself in disgust, had the matter stressed him this much?! Looking down, he saw the clothes sticking to him. He scrunched his nose and said to himself, "Patrick, this is gross!" He chuckled, "Gross!" He tried to think of other things, to push the job to the back of his mind but he couldn't, it was fixed in the front and it would be until the situation had been resolved. 

Sighing, he stumbled down rickety stairs of his thin house and looked around. "Bath. Bath. Bath," he muttered, "Where are you?" It sat in an empty corner of the house, gathering dust; he hadn't washed in a couple of weeks! Coughing and spluttering, he brushed the dust off it and lit the stove. He added more wood to the fire and poked it for a few minutes. He dragged the bath in front of the fireplace, scraping it along the floorboards. There were many scratch marks of the floor from dragging items and carving things into the floor with his knives when he was bored. He opened a cupboard and pulled out a waistcoat that he had recently stolen from a foreign merchant at the market and tugged on some weathered leather boots. 

The downstairs was poorly cared for and quite run down. Gathering dust, sofas, chairs and other pieces of furniture he never used, there was only one of him. Oddly, Patrick had furniture clustered in the living room that he bought cheaply or that his now dead mother had given him in her will. Patrick could sell most of it and make a little bit of money but he felt he couldn't sell things that had been handed down to him. 

Patrick ran out the house, not wanting to be seen this sate, to the lane tap with a wooden bucket in hand. He scattered pigeons and ran into the more upper glass ladies and gentlemen who winced and shouted curses at him. "Sorry!" He shouted back. 

One older women dressed in a long buttercup coloured dress and scarf, cream cardigan and bonnet to match stopped him. The woman's silver hair was tied in in tight bun under her bonnet but a few strands had escaped, dangling by her ears. Her eyes were bright green with few wrinkles, she was subtly beautiful. She was much shorter than Patrick so when she put her hand to his chest to stop him, he barely noticed her. Scowling, the woman stated, "Young man, please slow down; you nearly trampled me! You are not the only one on this street," she was very proper. 
Patrick looked down at her, stifling a giggle, "Madam, I apologise greatly," he reached for her hand and kissed it, "My dear lady I'm in quite a rush so I must get going. It was a pleasure meeting you." Patrick kissed her hand again and began to sprint off again, beaming.

Finally he reached the rusting tap and filled his bucket with the icy water. Rushing back to his home, he sloshed the water all over the place. 

He kicked his front door open and walked over to the bath. He poured the cold water into the bath and impatiently waited. As he sat on his tatty (but favoured) armchair and examined his house. He said to himself, "You live in a tip matey, its a real mess, you better really clean up." He continued to look and spotted the letter by the door, it had boot prints on it. Frowning, he picked it up. He never got mail, unless it was bills or threats. He was reluctant to open it, it was probably a gambling debt. Scowling, he opened it. It read: 

Master Henrys,
You have stupidly already agreed to do the job without knowing the details first so anything that happens is not my problem. The details are below. 

As I have already mentioned you need a female accomplice; the girl will need to be able to lie for otherwise this might result in jail (not my fault). I'm sure you will find the right woman. You are the tactics man and might not be doing any of the practical for that will mostly be down to the girl. 

The job evolves you robbing a few major households. The first: Duke and Duchess of Westminster, and then the Duke of Gordon. Your girl will need to grow close to these people and be the one they trust most. You will get so close that they let you deal with their jewels and other riches. 

I will take no questions. You must do it. Have the girl on Friday or else. I will be at the Fox and Anchor Friday at six in the evening, bring the girl. 

Patrick read it over and over again. The job was difficult and dangerous, the hardest of his career for sure. He had to do it.

Worrying, Patrick undressed and stepped carefully into the hot bath. He lay for while and thought about it. After a little while he got out and dressed in his finest, not for Ginny but for Myrtle. 

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