May 28

The Girls Chill Together Scene

The air continued to grow warmer as the summer continued to set in. In the earliest days of June, four girls could be seen walking down the Whitby cliff stairs after school, when the sun grinned down on their shining faces. Their names were Suzannah, Janet, Mary, and Adelaide. “How sad that Winnie caught a cold just when everything was beginning to warm up,” said Mary.
    “It’s such a shame.”
    “Rather depressing, isn’t it.”
    “Ironic, too.” The girls walked on in silence, until Adelaide broke the spell. “You know what bothers me terribly?”
    “What?”
    “Frederick?” asked Suzannah. The girls laughed. 
    “Well, yes,” said Adelaide, “all the time. But that’s not what I meant.”
    “What is it then?” said Suzannah, looking her friend in the face.
    “It’s that women make up half the bloody population but can’t vote. It’s just so sad and awful.”
    “Well, yes, it’s all horrid, but things could be worse,” ventured Janet.
    “My father says that this is how things are supposed to be, but I don’t think he’s right. He’s never been a woman, after all,” said Mary. “And I think my mum sides with me, even though she doesn’t say so.”
    “I wish I could go to London and meet the real suffragettes, but Mummy says I’m too young to go alone and she couldn't go with me,” continued Adelaide.
    “Oh, that would be such fun! I wish I could go with you,” cried Suzannah. “Perhaps when we are older.”
    “But London is so terribly far away!” exclaimed Mary. “How would you ever get there?”
    “It would take a long time, to be sure,” puzzled Adelaide. “But if we saved enough money and rode the right trains, I believe we could do it. It would take a few days, I think.”
    “I’d like to vote someday,” said Mary, softly. 
    “Me too! And not have to wear corsets when we grow up!” Suzannah declared, spinning in circles and flailing her arms wildly. “And not have to sew things all the time!”
    “And not have to get married!” added Adelaide, skipping down the stairs after her.
    “But I rather like sewing…”
    “Oh Mary, you can sew as much as you like. We just don’t want to have to sew things! I like it too, but I’m so dreadfully bad at it,” Adelaide said, stopping to comfort her friend. By then they had reached Janet’s house, and they said goodbye, but not before Suzannah invited them all over to her house for tea and studying the next day, for it was Friday. They all continued talking until they reached Suzannah’s house, then Adelaide’s, tunil finally Mary was left to walk alone.