At first she thought it was their eyes. The oldest photos had that old-timey stare thing going, but something was strange about the newer ones too. Then it hit her: the people weren’t looking at the camera. Or anything, maybe. They were staring into space. Almost like they looked… beyond. It was true in every picture, even though the photos clearly spanned decades. Opal found it unnverving.
Alice had her eyes on that lady’s maid.
Most lady’s maids Alice had met were either French or at least pretended to be French; failing that, they were Englishwomen of the austere, rail-thin variety. Molly Wilkins was neither, and Alice didn’t know how she was supposed to concentrate on her sewing – or whatever it was she was meant to be doing – when there was an ample bosom or a pert backside within reach at all times.
“They will take their toll,” she says. Tension streaks her voice. “Sara, listen. They’ll take their toll. There’s no way around it now. They want the wicked, but Sara – Sara, who was holding Vanessa’s hand?”