"Don't you mean: Stop, my lord?" corrected the young man who'd had far too much to drink.
Astonished, she blurted, "You're not a noble of the realm!"
"'Ods balls, Richard, there's insolence for you," drawled his friend Carlton. "A scullery maid with the airs of a lady."
"I warrant a lady would be more forthcoming with her favors than this little baggage," Dick Humphries complained, cornering the maid once again.
"Leave me alone!" she bade both young men in her sternest voice, knowing from experience it would do little good. They had come home for the weekend from the University, and had had more than their share of drink this night.
"I only wish to share a little Joy with my friend," Richard said. "Where's the harm in that?"
Carlton St. Clare laughed at the witty word-play on the little wench's name and moved across the kitchen to aid his friend. "And I want the same, to share Joy with Dick," he added lewdly.
"You're drunk and disgusting!" Joy cried, spying her opportunity to push her employer's lecherous and spoiled son up against the hot kitchen oven.
As she shoved him, he staggered back, more from drink than force, and though his knee breeches and heavily embroidered waistcoat protected him from the cast-iron oven, he did burn his hand slightly when he saved himself from falling. "Little bitch!" he hissed. "It's time you learned to respect your betters."
"I may not be able to read or write, but that doesn't make you my better! A Cambridge education obviously hasn't turned you into a gentleman."
Carlton roared with laughter. "She's right, old man, you can't make a whistle of a pig's tail."