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The Hired Wife

Copyright 2008 Cari Hislop

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The Hired Wife

Early March 1818

A gentleman wishes to hire an unattached female aged between thirty and forty with excellent hearing who can read and write. She must be good natured, patient, hard working and honest. Duties will include reading to the master, dealing with servants and assisting the master to hear. There will be no free day for the first four months. All applicants who do not conform to these specifics are not wanted. Apply at Dobson and Browne Solicitors near St. Bride’s between ten and twelve.’

Miss Mary Donne took a deep shaky breath and looked up the queue; there were thirteen applicants in front of her. She blushed as her stomach gurgled; she didn’t need an audible reminder that life’s kindnesses had come to an end. It was unlikely she’d get a chance to be interviewed, and even if she did she’d probably be passed over for being only twenty-six. Fate could be so cruel.

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