That night was a restless one in the girl's dorm. After all had finally fallen asleep, Abby lay wide awake, taking comfort in the steady breathing of the other girls. She glanced around at the moonlit walls, gazing in turn at each of the other girls that had been her companions for so long. She would miss them dreadfully!

After a few more fitful minutes, she rose and crept quietly to the window. She sat on the window seat, delicately brushing the muslin curtain aside. The grounds looked so peaceful with their wooded backdrop, and the stars seemed especially bright. Sighing, she returned to her bed. It would be of no use to be exhausted when morning came!

But the questions kept rolling through her mind- would Mrs. Hayworth be nice? Or would she be cruel? Would Abby be able to please her?

Rolling over again, she firmly blocked out her worries with a prayer, and afterwards fell fast into sleep.

The morning couldn't have been more beautiful. Abby awoke to a sky smeared with maroon hues and trees whose bare branches glistened with frost. After braiding her hair carefully and donning her best dress (a mid-calf length blue calico one that was a tiny bit worn at the hem), she decided to take a walk around the grounds before breakfast. In the garden she stopped, remembering what it looked like when it was in full bloom and the hours she had spent painstakingly weeding and harvesting the food.

She wandered unseen into the kitchen observed Harriet struggling to locate more bowls and Hester vainly trying to teach little Caitlin to ladle porridge without spilling. A smile sprang to Abby's lips as she saw her replacement feed the floor yet another spoonful.

"You'll get it yet, Caitlin," She murmured in the girl's ear, walking over to her and guiding her hand through a few scoops. "Just keep the spoon steady." Pleased, she watched as her new protégée managed to fill three bowls without spilling a drop. Hester flashed her a grateful smile, then, with the speed that had been grown in her from her years of work with awkward newcomers, quickly ducked to catch the bowl that fell off the counter as Caitlin dropped the ladle. Sheepishly, the little girl allowed Hester to take over the scooping.

Abby motioned for Caitlin to follow her. Leading her to the other side of the busy kitchen and through the door to the dining room, she set her to work setting the long table with napkins, spoons, and cups- a much safer task for the scared girl.

"I know its hard at first, but it gets much more fun," Abby said, placing large pitchers of milk on the table, one every five chairs. The routine calmed her, and Caitlin seemed more relaxed too. Poor girl, Abby thought. She's always been a timid one. Still, the work will be good for her.

"Abby! There you are!" The cook came rushing into the dining room. "I've been looking all over!"

"I'm sorry, I was helping Caitlin. I didn't realize I was being looked for," Abby said.

"You're to leave in fifteen minutes- oh! Wait! It's in five minutes now! Are you completely ready?"

"I. . . yes, I'm ready. I haven't had breakfast yet though."
"I'll fix that in a jiffy, dear. Come to the kitchen again when you have your bag." She rushed back through the door and Abby hurried out another, leaving a dumbfounded Caitlin in her wake. Sighing, she returned to her work, wishing that she could leave with the girl that had been like a big sister since she had been young.

The minutes seemed to pass only after an eternity in the carriage that Abby rode. She had finally managed to check the tears that had flowed since they had left the driveway of what had become her home. Now passing the time by looking out the window, she was amazed at how different the world was from the orphanage in the small town.

They passed through much farmland, eventually arriving in a city unlike anything she had ever seen. The buildings were so tall! They must have stood five stories high! And there were more shops on one street than there were beds in a room at the orphanage. Completely in awe, Abby hardly realized the carriage had halted. When the driver stepped around to open her door, the sight of the house she was to work in nearly made her fall over.

Three stories tall, complete with balconies on every floor and spiral towers at each end, the Hayworth Estate loomed dark and dangerous, yet still appeared friendly at the same time. The gardens, she thought later, added this effect, painstakingly maintained and adding a splash of color and warmth to the house. An older looking woman sat on a wooden bench, anxiously watching her new maid depart from the coach. The smile spread over her face was enough to welcome Abby and rid her of her fears, putting a feeling in her stomach that, even though she was separated from her friends and the people she thought of as her family, she could be truly happy here.