Justice hardly dared to breathe as feet clipped past her. Women’s feet, wearing stout walking shoes. Justice didn’t need her torch to identify the slim figure. It was Miss de Vere, wearing a black coat and hat. The headmistress ran down the stairs, her heavy shoes surprisingly light, and Justice heard the sound of a key in a lock. It must be the inner door. Yes, it made a soft, furtive click as it shut behind her.
“She stood very still in the dusky passage where the light was the poorest. Like me, she wore the black dress that proclaimed her a maid of the house, but where mine was new, hers was spoiled by mildew and smears of clay. Thin hair, dripping with muddy water, fell to her shoulders in limp, stringy ropes. This was my companion of the night before – and she was dead.”