Perhaps most surprising of all, was the performance given by soprano Sarah Hart as Brunnhilde. One found it hard to believe such a big voice could come out of such a small frame, but after just a few notes, there was no doubt as to Hart’s ability to carry the challenging role, complete with armor, cape, shield, and spear. Though the props no doubt looked heavier than they were, the way Hart carried them, and the force she used in performing the role, were enough to convince one it would be wise not to irritate her.
Sarah blushed at the praise and allowed herself a small smile. The props were, indeed, made to look heavier than they were – but Sarah was also stronger than she looked and it was a challenge to carry the painted cardboard as though it were heavy wood and steel, while also convincing the audience she was strong enough to carry a heavy shield and spear around all day. Sarah had practiced for hours, making the director stay until long after the others had left so he could watch her from the audience and make sure she was convincing. When he finally told her she was, she thought he had just been saying it so he could go home to his family, but this review proved he had been speaking the truth. What a relief!
“There you are! Anything good in the paper today?”
Sarah quickly folded the review and tucked it in one of the many pockets hidden in the folds of her dress. She folded up the rest of the paper and laid it next her father’s breakfast plate. “Nothing much,” she said. “Apparently the socialists held another rally last night.” There was also an article about the suffragettes’ demonstration, but Sarah wasn’t in the mood to hear her father scoff at them just now, so she made sure the article about the socialists was at the top when she laid down the paper.
“Those imbeciles? Ha! When will they learn? If you want a place in this country, you have to earn it, isn’t that what I always say?”
Her father ignored her for a few minutes as he read the article, then slammed the paper down on the table as he dug into his eggs and toast. “Well, it’s on them if they want to waste their time. They won’t get anywhere, not in this country.”
“Everything ready for the party tonight?”
“Just about. My dress has already been delivered and it fits perfectly. All the food and beverages have been ordered and will be delivered this afternoon. I just checked on Peggy this morning and she said they were on schedule to have everything polished and ironed. That just leaves the decorations, which I will take care of as soon as the breakfast things have been cleared.”
“Good. You know it’s very important to me that tonight go well.”
He checked his watch. “I’m already behind. I must run. See you tonight.” He rose to his feet in one, fluid motion, patted his daughter on the head, and rushed out.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah caught Peggy giggling as she stood just inside the door to the servants’ staircase. “What’s so funny?”
“Sorry, miss. Just your face when your father patted you on the head like that.”
Sarah patted the top of her head and hair self-consciously. “I didn’t roll my eyes again, did eye?”
“You surely did, miss, but don’t pay it no mind. He didn’t see and I won’t tell no one.”
“Well, thank you, Peggy. I do appreciate your…discretion.”
Peggy gave her a quick curtsy before she started to clear the table.
To be continued…