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Travels through Time, Part Four
by Jamie

"Miss Bradley, let me show you the Nursery," Lady Pellew told Amy.
They left the parlor and were on the way to the third floor nursery, when Lady Pellew stopped her daughter, Emma.
"Emma, Megan will help you get cleaned up. Why don't you go and see her?" She told her youngest daughter. Emma sulked, but did as she was told.
Amy was taken up 2 flights of stairs and brought to the nursery, where she saw a little girl playing with a baby. Lady Pellew asked the girl, "Where is Marianne? Isn't she supposed to watch the two of you?"
"I told her that I was all right. I love spending time with my baby brother," the girl told her mother.
"Miss Bradley, this is my daughter, Julia, and my son, George. Julia, this is Amy Bradley. She will be your new governess," Lady Pellew announced.
"Do you know French?" Julia asked.
"No, I do not," Amy responded.
"Good! Now, I won't have to learn more of that bloody language!" Julia replied.
Lady Pellew was mortified by her child's behavior and scaled her by saying, "Please watch your language!"
"Sorry, Mummy," Julia said with resignation in her voice.
Lady Pellew bent down to pick up baby George. "Since you are to watch over my baby, I have to see if he likes you," Lady Pellew said as she handed George over to Amy.
"How do you do, little man?" Amy said to George as she held him.
She looked in his big, brown eyes as he handed her the block he held in his hand. George looked at her in wonderment. He was quiet and seemed used to people. He was not a big baby and seemed to fit nicely on her hip.
Lady Pellew continued with the "house rules" as Amy thought of them.
"You are to make sure that little George is well taken care of. Make sure he has everything he needs. His bedtime is 7 o'clock. It is also the bedtime for Frederick and Emma. Bedtime for Julia and Paul is 8 o'clock. You are to put all the children to bed. Marianne will help you. You are to get the children up and dressed by 8 o'clock in the morning. Marianne will help you with that, too. As for your governess duties, I want the children to have four hours of lessons and two hours of playtime. You are to give them their noontime meal. Cook will have it ready for them. It will be up to you how you separate the lessons from the playtime. I want Julia to come downstairs with me at four o'clock. You remain with the other children until Supper. Do you mind spending most of your days with the children?" Lady Pellew asked.
"Isn't that why you hired me? To watch the children? I will do my best with all of them," Amy said as she curtsied to Lady Pellew.
Lady Pellew saw that Amy got along well with George and said, "I see you get along well with my son. I will leave you be. I will have someone come and get you when dinner is ready."
"Yes, Ma'am," Amy said.
"Julia, come with me," Lady Pellew said as she left Amy alone with the boys.
Amy shifted George on her hip and looked around the room. She wondered what to do now. She smiled at the boys and noticed that this room would be bright and sunny, if it was bright and sunny out. There were a few problems. One was that the sun was about to set. Where would Amy find matches to light the candles. Did they have matches during this time? What did they use to light them? A flint? How would she learn all of what she needed to know without sounding idiotic and foolish? How could she ask? Who could she ask? She knew that Paul and Fred knew how to light the candles, but they were most likely not allowed to play with matches. The boys stared at her. She knew she had to say something to them.
"So, why don't you show me around the room? What are your favorite toys?" Amy asked them.
"Emma and I like to draw. Each one of us has an easel. Here is a picture of Papa's ship, that I drew. Emma drew this picture of Papa," Frederick showed Amy.
Paul walked over to his favorite toy, a wooden sword, and said, "We play soldier with these. Mum lets us play with them up here, but we can't play with them in the parlor. Mum has too many expensive things that she is afraid we will break."
Over in the corner was a blackboard with four chairs in front of it. Fred saw Amy looking over in its direction and said to her, "This is where we do our lessons. I have my slate under my chair."
"We all learn different things. I like learning about history. We have a lot of books on our bookshelf to help us learn things. Do you like history, Miss Amy?" Paul asked her.
"Yes, I enjoy learning more about history very much," Amy said as she smiled at the boy. She thought to herself, ëright now, I am living history.'
"Miss Amy, we can look out the back windows or the front to see if anyone is going to visit. Sometimes Papa makes surprise visits!" Frederick said excitingly.
"It is nice when Papa visits. He spends a lot of time on the ship, even when they are docked. I don't know why. Maybe he is needed to be on his ship at all times. Papa told me they are going to be docked for about a month," Paul told Amy.
"I am sure you will get to visit with us, if he is not too busy. You are different from our last governess, Miss Amy," Frederick told her.
"Our last governess didn't believe in playtime. I didn't like her," Paul said.
"You are the reason she left. Paul put a frog in her bed and in her dresser and in her soup. Paul likes to play with frogs," Frederick told Amy.
"In her soup?" Amy asked.
"Yeah, it hopped out and landed in her lap, you should have seen her scream and jump up. She quit right then and there," Frederick said.
"You need not worry about yourself, Miss Amy. I like you, so far," Paul said with a devilish smile.
"I should be thankful to you for that, Paul," Amy said with a knowing smile.
A young maid with light brown hair came in the room and said, "Begging your pardon, Miss. My Lady would like your presence in the dining room. She would like you to bring the boys with you, Miss."
"Thank you, come on, boys," Amy said. She adjusted George's weight on her hip. He was starting to get heavy. She was surprised that he was not trying to get out of her hands. She really didn't mind. It meant less trouble for her. The boys seemed like nice boys, too. She just had to watch out for little gifts from Paul.
Frederick introduced Amy to the maid. "Miss Amy, this is Marianne. She helps us sometimes. She and the cook, Eleanor, are sisters."
"Oh, so you are Marianne. Lady Pellew said you could help me with the children. My name is Amy Bradley. I am pleased to meet you," Amy said as she shook Marianne's hand.
"Likewise, Miss," Marianne replied.
As they were going down to dinner, Paul told Amy, "Marianne has been helping us out a lot. The old governess would not do anything except giving lessons. She would not even let us go to the garden. Who says you can have a lesson in a garden. We can learn how to do a garden, learn about plants, blast, there is a lot to do in a garden."
Amy smiled at Paul. He acted like he knew about everything. She assumed he was a lot like his father. He even seemed to have Robert Lindsay's walk down. A lot of things are passed down from father to son. Her one nephew inherited his father's scowl and mannerisms. You may say these are learned, but after witnessing them for herself. She knew they were not.
When they went in the dining room, they noticed that the ladies had changed their dresses for dinner. Amy asked, "Is it the custom to change for dinner?"
"Normally, we do, but don't worry about your dress. I understand you only own one. If things work out with your employ, here, I will take you for material to have a new dress made for you. Please, do sit down," Lady Pellew told her.
Amy sat down and put George on her lap. She noticed that everything was set like it was a formal dinner party. She guessed it was "no grab a plate and eat dinner, while you watched TV", here -- even if there was a TV.
Lady Pellew informed Amy, "You are to feed George first and then eat yourself."
Amy thought she was never going to get a hot meal again. She saw how her nieces and nephews always made it hard for her sister to eat. Sometimes, she would eat and then take one of them. She made sure to move the knife and fork, so that George would not put them in his mouth. She also pushed the plate away. She didn't want to see the fine china flipped on the floor. She wished she had one of those sugar packets that they had in restaurants. They always seemed to entertain children.
Except for being a little messy. George was a healthy eater. Amy was happy when Julia decided to hold him, while she ate dinner, which was Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding. Soon, it was time to put the little ones to bed. It was easier than she thought. She helped put Frederick to bed, while Marianne helped with Emma. George, on the other hand, did not want to go to sleep.
Amy told Marianne that she could handle him, so Marianne went on with her own business. George cried when she put him in the crib, so she picked him up and sang to him. The first song to come to her head was "You are my Sunshine." Amy didn't know when the song was published, but she didn't care. It was lulling him to sleep. Whatever worked was a slogan Amy liked. This song worked. Amy gently put him back in his crib, where he slept soundly.
She watched Marianne closely as she turned on and off the lights, when they were putting Paul and Julia to bed. Marianne gave Amy a candle and they went to bed, themselves. Marianne showed Amy her room and gave her a nightgown to sleep in. She also gave her a brush, comb and some hair ribbons.
"I like to brush out my hair before bed and then wear it in braids. I thought maybe you would like that, too. You may keep the nightgown. It is an extra one that I got for Christmas this past year. It is nice to have you here to help me. Would you like help getting out of your dress? I know that when I wear fancy dresses such as yours, I have a hard time getting in and out of them," Marianne said to Amy.
"The help with my dress will be appreciated. Do you have an alarm clock?" Amy asked.
"What?" Marianne asked.
"A rooster, something to wake you up on time. I am afraid I may oversleep tomorrow," Amy said as she quickly tried to bluff and get her point across at the same time.
"I have never heard a rooster called an alarm clock before. But, you must not worry. I will wake you up. I get up at dawn regularly," Marianne told her.
"That is good," Amy replied.
Marianne helped Amy into her nightgown and bid her good night.
Amy got into the deep feather bed. The quilts and everything made everything so cozy. Amy missed TV, she missed her VCR and she missed her computer. She hoped to be overloaded with e-mail messages when she got back home. Then Amy wondered, would she ever get back home again?
She was tired, both mentally and physically. She hoped that when she awoke, she would be in her own bed in her own century.
The next morning, Amy woke with the sun. She opened her eyes and instead of seeing four pale blue walls, she saw the four white walls. She was not at home in her bedroom. She was still in the Pellew's house. This was not in a dream. She knew that now. This was real. This was too real. Amy looked over at her dress laid out on a chair. Who chose that outfit anyway? Why didn't she go back in time with her jeans and sweater? Yes, she would have had stares, but she didn't care. She would be more comfortable. She always wanted to wear a fancy dress like that. Now, it was her only dress. Maybe if she wore not so many petticoats, it would be better and not so bulky. She had to impress Lady Pellew. Maybe she would get her a new dress. Were Empire Dresses just coming out that season? Amy hoped so. She wanted a dress like that. Simple, elegant and easy to wear.
Marianne knocked on the door. "Come in," Amy called to her.
"You have to get dressed, Miss. We have to get the children up and dressed and then down to breakfast. We can't get ours until theirs is done. Or at least, you can't. With you here, I don't have to feed them no more," Marianne told her.
Amy got dressed and went to wake the children. 'What would her first real day of work bring her?' Amy wondered.