Foundling (2)

I escaped my father’s tyranny for the hope of the city, but found no work there.

I’d have returned home had Davey not taken a shine to me. We were poor but, in his simple room above the bakery, we got by as man and wife. I was soon with child to him.

While at sea he’d make me gifts of bone and wood. On his last return he brought a carved boat for our month-old daughter. ‘To sail the world in,’ he said and we laughed together to hide our fear, for the little one was weak.

He sailed again next evening. Days later news arrived that the Persephone had foundered. I was alone again.

The baker, a brute, demanded his rent. He made suggestions to me if the money could not be found. So I fled that place. I knew if I took our girl she would be in peril. So, in deepest sorrow, I wrapped her in a blanket and left her at the foundling house with Davey’s boat tucked in beside her.

The baker put the sheriff after me for what he said I owed. And I was sent to this forsaken place. I dream each night of the girl that I will never see again.