Alice was lead up to the house. She didn't know what was going on. She pulled her shawl closer around her. Her parents had made her go on the ship to America, they said she was an… indentured servant? She thought that's what that they said. The people led her up to the house. They had her arms. She was looking down. She was a bit embarrassed. What if she had to speak? That was the reason her parents got rid of her in the first place… Alice started to cry. She was scared. Would this person hurt her as her parents had before him or her? The people dragged her up the stairs and towards the door and they banged on it heavily. Alice tried to get out of their arms wanting to run away, she wanted to go back to what she knew, she didn't care if her brothers hated her, or her parents. She wanted to go home! The door opened and Alice looked up to see a pair of surprised blue eyes. "Mr. Jones?" the dockman asked.
"Yes?" the man asked.
"Your father asked us to deliver this to you," He said making Alice stand up straighter. Alice looked down and tried to dry her eyes.
"Who is this?" The boy named Alfred asked coming out and making the men walk away.
"We don't know, your father paid her way," The dockman said.
"Probably a maid, he thinks I'm so dirty in the first place," He said. "Can you tell me your name?" Alfred asked. Alice looked up at him terrified and nodded a small nod. "Do you not want to tell me though?" He asked after waiting a few seconds and looking at her expectantly. Alice nodded again.
"Tell him your name!" The dockman said about to backhand her. Alice went to block herself and Alfred grabbed the dockman's wrist before allowing him to hit her.
"I think it's time for you two to go now," Alfred said looking at the two coldly. The two men scoffed and walked away. Alfred grabbed Alice's arm with a gentle hand. "Lets get you inside," Alfred said. Alice looked down and Alfred led her in the house. Alice looked around. The house was covered in filth. Dust, cobwebs, grime, clothing. Alice couldn't believe that a house could get so terribly dirty. "Some tea?" Alfred asked. Alice clung to her shawl tightly but nodded. "I can imagine that, that boat ride over from the old world must have been terribly long and tiring," Alfred said. He motioned for Alice to sit and Alice did as she was told. Alfred handed her a cup of tea and Alice tasted it. She was surprised how terrible it tasted, she could make a far better cup of tea then this. "I sailed here my self with my father when I was a very small child," Alice looked Alfred over and she liked the way he looked. He was strong, as if he worked on a farm, or helped from time to time bring in crops. He had short blonde hair and a single cowlick and a nice bright smile. She looked at his hands, they looked like her father's hands… this scared her. Her father always beat her with his bare hands. Had this Alfred ever beaten someone? "Are you alright?" Alfred asked. Alice snapped out on her thoughts and put the teacup down and nodded. "Why don't you speak?" Alfred asked.
"I-I w-w-went d-d-dumb, w-w-when I-I w-was s-s-small," Alice struggled to say. Alice looked down playing with one of the yarn tassels on her shawl. Would he hurt her now? Would he abandon her?
"How did it happen?" he asked. Alice looked at Alfred surprised.
"A-a h-horse k-kicked m-me, I-I w-was t-th-three," Alice said. A look of sympathy washed over Alfred's face.
"Well, I hope you can work… and like to clean," Alfred said. He flashed his bright smile and Alice looked at him confused.
"A b-bit," Alice managed. He got up.
"Ok! Follow me," Alfred said. Alice got up and Alfred started to lead her around the house. "The worst room in the house, according to my father, is my bedroom," Alfred said walking up the stairs.
"W-we a-are g-going I-in?" Alice asked.
"Well yes, how else will you know how bad it is?" Alfred asked. He opened his door and the room was littered. Clothes, shoes, and to her surprise, weapons. Alice looked around scared. Her father had one day managed to get a gun from the market one day, even though they were the hardest things to get back in England. "Can you keep the guns a secret? I know that a war is on the horizon, America is being taxed way to much, at some point everyone is going to rebel, I want to join that war and fight for America," Alfred said. He picked up a gun and started to look it over. Alice clung as tightly to her shawl as she did when standing on the front porch. Alfred looked at Alice. "Are you alright?" He asked putting the gun down.
"C-can w-we l-lea-leave?" Alice asked looking down.
"Of course," Alfred said. He lead Alice out with a gentle hand. He closed his door. "Guess my room really is pretty bad," Alfred said. He showed her the rest of the house. "You can go in any room you like, read any book you want, the only thing required of you is cleaning," Alfred said.
"M-may I s-say something?" Alice asked shyly.
"Yes," Alfred said looking a bit nervous himself.
"T-the t-tea is t-terr-terrible," Alice admitted.
"Man! And I've been working on that!" Alfred scolded himself.
"I-I'll g-go m-make s-s-some," Alice said looking down but going to the kitchen. Alfred followed behind and sat with Alice while she waited and, he was confused by some things.
"Alice?" Alfred asked. Alice looked at Alfred a bit worried. Did she anger him? Was he annoyed by her lack of eloquence? "You act so nervous, why?" he asked. Alice was again surprised. Why did he care?
"M-my p-pa-parents," Alice struggled.
"Don't be nervous, its ok," he said. Alice sighed and nodded.
"M-my p-parents d-didn't l-like me, a-after ah-I w-went d-dumb," Alice said.
"Well I don't think you went dumb per-say, you just sound like you have a bad stammer," Alfred said. Alice looked confused and the kettle whistled. She got to the tea and started to pour it.
"S-st-stammer?" Alice struggled with the word. She didn't understand what that was. She'd never heard that word before.
"Yea, it's like a hic-up in the tongue," Alfred said. Alice looked at him confused.
"B-bu-but t-the d-d-doctor s-said I w-went d-dumb," Alice said. She gave Alfred her tea.
"No you aren't dumb, you just need to re-learn how to talk, I think you could be quite an eloquent speaker," Alfred said taking a sip of his tea. Alice waited for his response. Would he like it? Did he hate it? Alfred looked at the tea. "And a damn good tea maker," Alfred said. "I have to go tend to the fields, father's tried to give me field hands, but I like doing it myself, but I suck at cleanliness," Alfred said. "I'll be gone for the rest of the afternoon, I'll lock the door, if anything happens, there is a very nice man and woman next door and he will help you," Alfred said. Alfred walked out the door smiling and waving at Alice. Alice was surprised. He was far stranger then she had first thought. Alice started to clean the house.