“I go to the bank and say my uncle left us to find our own way to Yorkshire and we need the money in our hands now.”
Mrs. Brackett nodded vigorously. “That’s right, pet.”
“£5,000 is more than enough to buy us a house in a nice town like Bath,” Evangeline said. “We’ll set it up as a genteel boarding house and only take in ladies. You will cook and we’ll both do the running around and cleaning and such.” Evangeline squared her shoulders, trying to look brave.
“I know it won’t be the life you were hoping for, Miss Evie, but we must cut our coat according to our cloth and right now the tailor has left us a bit short.”
“I know, don’t worry about me, Mrs. Brackett. I’ll manage better than you think, but should we change our names?” Evangeline asked.
“What if he searches for us?”
“He’ll never know where we’ve gone, Miss Evie, no need to worry. He’ll never find us. Finish up your chocolate, dearie, and let’s get across the street. I’ve no doubt at all that that man will just go out and buy himself another poor young girl and think nothing of it.”
The Bank of England opened its great doors very early for business. The two women felt rather cowed walking into such an esteemed establishment. The high ceilings and marble floors belonged in a ballroom. Everywhere they looked there were gentlemen, no ladies at all. Evangeline had never entered a bank. Her uncle had taken care of all their finances, such as they were, and Mrs. Brackett had always tucked her meager savings under her mattress.
Evangeline was first in line at the wicket with Mrs. Brackett standing protectively beside her. The gentleman cashier behind the counter waved her forward, and with a small push from Mrs.
Brackett, she hurried up to the metal bars protecting him from the public. Rising up onto her tiptoes in a vain attempt to appear taller, she cleared her throat and strove to sound authoritative. “I am Miss Evangeline Rutledge. My uncle, Mr. Silas Sidley, has arranged for me to collect my inheritance of £5,000. I’d like it now please, in banknotes.” She turned to look at Mrs. Brackett who nodded encouragingly. “All of it,” she added.
From behind small, round spectacles, the cashier regarded her. He was extremely thin and quite elderly. His head looked like a skull skinned over for the occasion. “I know your uncle, Miss Rutledge. I believe he has gone abroad?”
“Yes, he has left already. He has gone to Egypt.”
“And you are to be married, Miss Rutledge, or so your uncle said.
He left word with Mr. Charters, our manager, that you were to be married to Lord Ravenscroft of Castle Haven in Yorkshire.”
Evangeline forced a smile. “That’s quite correct. My housekeeper and I are to make our own way to Yorkshire and we will need funds to make the journey.”
“Yes, of course, Miss Rutledge, but £5,000 is far more than you will need to make a simple coach journey. A couple of guineas should suffice. We cannot simply hand over all that money.”
Evangeline glared at the man. “You are not simply handing it over. The money is mine. I have a right to it!” The bank would never treat a gentleman as though asking for his own money was questionable.
“Just a moment, Miss.” He shuffled over to the large, polished wood filing cabinet filling the back wall and pulled out one of the long, narrow drawers. Fishing out a bundle of papers, he carried them back to the counter and began to thumb through them. “It says here, Miss Rutledge, that the money is to be forwarded to our offices in the town of York for you to access there once you are married.”
The urge to strangle Uncle Silas was overwhelming. “Those plans have changed. My uncle was supposed to tell you that. I suppose he Sanguinarian 25
was in a hurry, but I still need all my money now. Would you be good enough to get it for me?”
“Please wait here, Miss, I’ll speak to Mr. Charters.”
Evangeline turned to Mrs. Brackett. “He says he can’t hand over all that money. He’s gone to tell the bank manager. What if they refuse to give it to us?”
The man behind Mrs. Brackett eyed her with suspicion. She elbowed him in the stomach, forcing him to move back indignantly.
“They can’t, Miss Evie, it’s your money, they have to hand it over.”
“What if they won’t?” Evangeline whispered
Mrs. Brackett sighed. “If we have to go to York to get it, then go to York we must, but that
Weitere Kostenlose Bücher