I was not quite so amused a few hours later. I had enjoyed my bath in the tin tub brought into the kitchen well enough. It had also not been too awful to sit still while Aunt P. put curling papers into my hair. Even when later she brushed out my hair, threaded my green birthday ribbon through it, and pinned it all on top of my head, it had not been completely unpleasant. What I was facing now was not pleasant at all.
Aunt P. was holding up a boned cotton garment with menacing-looking strings hanging down from metal grommets. “Stays, my dear. I am sorry, but you must wear these under your gown, else it will not hang correctly.”
“It looks like an instrument of torture to me. The ‘Iron Maiden’ and all that,” I said.
Aunt P. turned to lace her daughter into just such a contraption. “You shall get used to it, dear, just like Henrietta.”
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