The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 81
Translator: Scarlet / Editor: Mango Kitten/Scarlet
Cecil sat down on the stairs with anxiety.
Eva could understand Cecil’s reaction. No matter how much they adjusted to their life as fallen nobles, there was a limit to how much difficulty could be overcome when the most basic safety of their lives was being threatened.
Eva’s voice faded into silence. She was trying to comfort Cecil, but her heart was tightening and her sadness was surging up. She desperately wanted to find a place to rest her tired body, but it seemed so complicated.
“No. We have to go. It’s Wellington, not Hastings.”
Ignoring her troubled heart, Eva held out her hand to Cecil, like a small ray of hope.
The sky was rapidly getting darker and the air colder. Before things got worse, Eva had to motivate Cecil and get to their destination. Cecil was in a frail condition now, as if she was about to collapse.
Cecil looked at Eva’s outstretched hand with blank eyes. Eva’s soft hands were now rough from long hours of working and reddened by the cold wind. Cecil’s eyes trembled with tears, as did her heart. She wiped her nose with a handkerchief at once, and grabbed Eva’s hand, standing up even after being beaten down, just like a warrior.
“Yes, miss. We will stay strong and go. I should have been more mature, but I was acting poorly.”
“No, nanny, it’s okay. And don’t worry too much. It’s Wellington, not Hastings. It will be fine.”
“Of course. It’ll be okay, I won’t worry.”
Despite Eva’s under-experienced consolation, Cecil smiled as if she had found great strength and comfort in her words. If one’s anxiety and fear do not go away, it’s best to push them down forcibly.
The two began to walk along the road, comforting each other. Now the question was how to get to Wellington. Neither woman had ever travelled in a public wagon, especially in an area as big as Montana.
After a while, Eva and Cecil saw the carriage stop with directions from the people they met on the streets. There must be at least one wagon going to Wellington from there, and they would have to find and ride it.
Eva took Cecil’s luggage and started walking in the lead. After walking for a long time, they found the plaza with carriages passing by in every direction. Every carriage leaving and coming in was busy with people going up and down, back and forth. The square was bustling with people asking for their destination out loud, talking to their families or saying hello to their companions, and sometimes arguing with coachmen about prices.
It seemed commoners who needed long-distance travel paid for and used wagons for public use. It was a sight she had never seen in Crocsfield, so Eva was amazed at the culture of Montana that she was witnessing for the first time.
“I have to go to Wellington, which one should I take?”
Eva, who was running and walking, asked the coachman of the nearest wagon.
“It’s too far from here to go there straight. You will have to change carriages at Vernon in the middle.”
“Change carriages in Vernon?”
Eva’s eyes opened wide with surprise and exhaustion. She thought they’d be able to make it with a little patience, but they had almost lost all their energy by now.
When Eva seemed too heartbroken to answer, Cecil stepped forward and asked the driver.
“Then where is the carriage that’s going to Vernon?”
“This one. But we can’t go now. We leave when the carriage is full.”
The coachman responded indifferently.
“Come on, miss. Whether it’s one ride or ten, we have to go.”
Cecil took Eva’s hand and led her to the carriage as if she was encouraging her daughter.
The two loaded their luggage behind the carriage and climbed inside. Eva thought they’d have to wait a long time, but people filled up sooner than she imagined. Only after gathering a total of eight people did the coachman set off the carriage.
Unlike Rex’s comfortable wagon, this one rattled violently, causing everyone inside to rock.
People’s shoulders clashed and bumped to and fro like berries packed tightly. Someone even had a foul odour coming from them. Eva was at a loss for what to do in that situation, but Cecil stretched out an arm behind her and pulled Eva closer to her shoulder.
“It’s going to take a while, so get some sleep, miss.”
“No, nanny. You should be resting on me.”
“The daughter should be the one leaning on the mother’s shoulder. It’s okay.”
Cecil smiled softly and comforted Eva. Ever since she saw the drastic change in Eva’s hands, she changed her attitude. Perhaps, as an adult, she felt guilty for not being able to take care of Eva, even when her own hands weren’t any different.
Eva repeated the word inside, resting her head on Cecil’s shoulder.
Cecil’s words seemed to have lit a dormant fire in Eva’s heart. It was thrilling and exciting, warmth filling her exhausted mind. All of a sudden, the foul smell, the painful rattling, and the anxiety she had been suppressing disappeared.
Cecil’s shoulder smelled like maternal love. Eva was drunk on the comfort and quietly closed her eyes. She had no intention of falling asleep, but at some point, she did. And as she was falling asleep, she felt Cecil’s head slowly leaning over hers too.
‘Yes. No need to be sad that the destination is farther than I thought. It will take a little more effort, but you will get there in the end. And I have my mother right next to me to walk with.’
The two women leaned on each other and took a well-deserved nap.
Eventually, it was just after sunset when the two women finally landed in Wellington via Vernon.
“It’s almost all over, nanny. We just need a little more strength.”
Eva looked at Cecil’s face with a worried expression on her face.