“You mean to open the doors to all manner of wayward women? The criminals, the mentally unwell…the…the unwed mothers?” Solomon Brownell, Esq. could not conceive that Miss Evangeline would contemplate such a thing.
“I’ve been in contact with the warden at — ” Mr. Brownell slammed his hand onto his desk. “You’ve had communication with prison officials!” Was she quite mad?
“Bring us some tea!” Mr. Brownell bellowed to the next room. He tried to compose himself as he turned to Miss Evangeline, “Let’s enjoy silence along with the tea. I must collect my thoughts.” How had he failed in his duty so spectacularly?
Mr. Brownell held up his hand as Miss Evangeline started to speak. “I have a good relationship with investors from the North,” he didn’t let her interrupt. “I can easily arrange sale of the estate to the American Land Company, for example.” He tried to remain calm as he continued, “You’d receive a good price, affording you freedom to engage in community service.” What was it that motivated her? “The local hospital would be honored by your efforts. Allow me to make enquiries.”
“Who can tell us about the American Land Company?” Mrs. Lampore asked the class. No takers. “Let’s start with general concepts. Who can tell us about land speculation?”
“Nobody?” Well it is hard to compete with wayward women, Mrs. Lampore realized and tried not to laugh.
“Many of these women can be reformed — ” Miss Evangeline stopped short as Mr. Brownell banged the teapot onto the desk. “This notion of criminal reformation is misguided!” He hollered. “Let it stay in the North!”
Miss Evangeline sipped her tea. There was always the leasing out of prisoners. Would that approach be easier? Her thoughts turned to Lottie and the others that she’d met at the plantation. It would be a start, she considered as she looked down at her teacup and tried not to smile.
Ah! Mr. Brownell saw her smile and relaxed. He sat back and sighed. He’d talked some sense into her. Finally!