Another short excerpt from my Books We Love, Historical Romance. Falsely Accused.
Maryanne lay down on the cold hard floor. It was horrible having to listen to hacking, consumptive coughs, and women fornicating in the darkness. Finally she slipped into an exhausted sleep.
“Wake up, we’re leaving.” Libby shook her vigorously.
“What!” She rubbed the sleep from her stinging, watery eyes. “Where to?”
“The docks. This is it, Maryanne, we’re on our way to Sydney Town.”
They were ordered to wash in a trough filled with cold, black water. There was only one piece of coarse, hard soap, and Maryanne quickly washed her hair and body. Fortunately, they were amongst the first, thanks to Libby elbowing and pushing them to the front.
They gave her a drab, brownish/grey gown, made from canvas in the prison sewing shop.
“Keep your other gown,” Libby instructed. “It is good quality, might be handy later on if you get a chance to wash it.”
How humiliating having to lift up her skirt and expose her bare ankles and legs so a ferret-faced turnkey could clamp fetters around her ankles. His vile comments made her cringe inwardly, but Libby’s silent warning forced her to stand still and endure the indignity without complaint. Finally, they were loaded into an open wagon in groups of ten, chained together like rabid dogs.