ALICE AND THE NEW DAWN. Mary wakes from her, troubled, uneasy slee . !

he turns and sees Al"#e beh"nd her look"n$ at her. What are you do"n$ here% she asks, s"tt"n$ u , look"n$ down at the #h"ld. Wanted to be near you, Al"#e re l"es. &ou #an't #ome "nto my bed, what w"ll they say "f they f"nd you here% Mary's (o"#e r"ses h"$her than she meant. They won)t, Al"#e says, no one knows. They'll m"ss you, Mary says, look for you, and "f they #ome, what then% The #h"ld s"ts u , rubs her eyes. I'll h"de, she says. Mary s"$hs, lays ba#k on the bed, looks at the #e"l"n$. The #h"ld l"es ne*t to her, head on her th"n shoulder. &ou #an't do th"s, Al"#e. +ut I ha(e, the #h"ld says. &our bed's lum y. If they f"nd you "n here, I)ll lose my ,ob and -od knows what'll ha ened then. There "s bla#k s "der #ree "n$ alon$ the dull

#e"l"n$, slow mo(ements. We mustn't tell them, Al"#e says. !he runs a small f"n$er alon$ Mary's arm. &ou #an't stay here, Mary says, you must $o ba#k to your own bed before they f"nd you'(e $one. Don't you lo(e me any more% Al"#e softly asks, look"n$ s"deways at the ma"d bes"de her. &es, of #ourse I do, but th"s mustn't ha en a$a"n. I'll be$one and then who w"ll you ha(e to lo(e, now your mother's "ll and lo#ked u % Al"#e frowns and looked at her hands, small, wh"te, "nk. Mother used to let me "nto her bed and #uddle her. Her "nk f"n$ers ,o"n and she makes. I'm not your mother, Mary says, I)m ,ust a ma"d who wants kee her ,ob. Al"#e looks at her. &ou sa"d you'd be my ado ted mother. Mary looks at her b"t"n$ a l" . &es, I d"d. !he looks away, at the w"ndow where l"$hts be$"ns to show. All r"$ht,

but you must $o ba#k now, before you're m"ssed. Can I #ome another t"me% Al"#e asks, her br"$ht eyes $a."n$. &es, "f I say so, no #ree "n$ "nto my bed at n"$ht unless I know, Mary says. Al"#e nods her head. +est $et ba#k then, she says. +e #areful. I w"ll. And "f I)m seen, I)ll say I was slee walk"n$, Al"#e says. &ou mustn't l"e, Mary says. !hould I tell them the truth then% Al"#e asks, sm"l"n$, $ett"n$ down from the bed. +e #areful, slee walk ,ust th"s on#e. The #h"ld nods, o ens the door and #loses w"th a #l"#k. Mary $ets out of bed, o ens the door, looks alon$ the d"m assa$e. The #h"ld has now $one. !"len#e. Cold morn"n$ a"r. A hard frost maybe. What "f she's seen% What then% !he shuts the door, ours #old water from a wh"te ,u$ "nto a wh"te bowl. Morn"n$ wash. Hands "nto the water and throws "nto her fa#e. The #oldness wakes her. /ar off a b"rd

s"n$s. What "f she's found out of bed% What a turn u . 0oor k"d. Me another mother Nearby a #hur#h bell r"n$s.

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