The Hands Wo’t Feed
By Sally Madison
“I got this one!”, came an angry young man’s shout. “I owes them a one or two, and I’ll make sure they get what they deserve”, pushing his way to the front of the crowd. He grabbed Mary’s wrists tightly yanking them away from her capture. Another young man grabbed the Lord Mayor as roughly, and they led the mob that was ransacking the mansion. Mary, in tears of hysteria, looked back to see her furniture and paintings being dragged to the street and thrown into a pile, preparing a bonfire.
Increasing their speed the young men gave significant glances at each other, nearly dragging their captives creating a distance between the four in the lead of the mob. “Wh’t ya think Lloyd, shall we give her a go?”
Turning her head quickly to see the young man’s face, she realized that her capture was her own Earl, and the other was the missing brother, Lloyd, that she had been searching for these past few years. She wanted to hug him and hold him in her arms again, but he whispered softly and gently, “all the world is a stage, Miss Mary, and we must all play our part. We’ll get you out of here.”
Turning his head to his nearest two followers, Earl ordered, “Go to Wesley’s pub and get my Da to come out. Once they split off, he ordered to the next few followers, go fetch some rope at Haily’s store. Once they split off, he ordered, “you, you, you and you, go fetch the wood at Robinson’s place”. Having sent the front runners of the mob to the far reaches of the town, he quickened his pace to get far ahead of the remaining mob.
Earl and Lloyd near dragging the two captives, urged them on, “step lively, we need to turn the corner up ahead to loose the stragglers.”
Once around the corner and out of sight of the mob, Earl and Lloyd led the fugitives into an alley. Dark and dingy, quiet and eerie, they wormed they’re way through a maze. Seeing a clothes line of laundry, Earl pulled down a washerwoman’s dress, and a ragged shirt. “Quickly, change into these. Those fancy duds o’ yours will show you off and the jig is up.”
Taking advantage of the moment of respite, Mary hugged Earl and then Lloyd. Her tears were no longer of fear, but of pure joy at finding her little boy again. Richard, shook hands with both, questioning “why did you risk yourselves like that, they would have turned on you, too?”
Earl with a half smile answered, “well, sir, you needs to care for the hands wo’t feed ya. Right Sir?”