by Mercy Loomis
Copyright 2012 by Mercy Loomis
Cover design by Mercy Loomis. Photography by Razzle Dazzle Stock and K Connors.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portion thereof, in any form. This ebook may not be resold or uploaded for distribution to others.
This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead (or undead), is entirely coincidental.
Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlem
Moorfields, London, England
I had seen Bedlam before, of course. What lad of London hadn’t looked in at the gates in a sort of sick fascination, or come on Whitsunday to wander that immense gallery, the longest in the entire country, while the poor mad patients had to stay chained in their little cells for our amusement?
I had never expected to join their ranks.
“The Devil you will!” I shouted, trying to brace my feet against the pavement as the burly men on either side of me marched me toward the entrance gate of Bedlam. My arms were trapped in the long canvas sleeves of a straitwaistcoat. I wrenched my shoulders from side to side in a vain attempt to loosen my captors’ grips, the hard wooden heels of my shoes making a great scraping and clacking sound but finding little purchase.