For a moment, even though we knew what was being done to her, we despised her. Crybaby. Crybaby. Crybaby. We meant it, which is the bad part. I used to think well of myself. I didn’t then.
The Bible is kept locked up, the way people once kept tea locked up, so the servants wouldn’t steal it. It is an incendiary device: who knows what we’d make of it, if we ever got our hands on it?
Afterwards she could not walk for a week, her feet would not fit into her shoes, they were too swollen. It was the feet they’d do, for a first offense. They used steel cables, frayed at the ends. After that the hands. They didn’t care what they did to your feet or your hands, even if it was permanent. Remember, said Aunt Lydia. For our purposes your feet and your hands are not essential.