I was spared the trouble of answering, for Bessie seemed in too great a
hurry to listen to explanations; she hauled me to the washstand,
inflicted a merciless, but happily brief scrub on my face and hands with
soap, water, and a coarse towel; disciplined my head with a bristly
brush, denuded me of my pinafore, and then hurrying me to the top of the
stairs, bid me go down directly, as I was wanted in the breakfast-room.
I would have asked who wanted me: I would have demanded if Mrs. Reed was
there; but Bessie was already gone, and had closed the nursery-door upon
me. I slowly descended. For nearly three months, I had never been
called to Mrs. Reed's presence; restricted so long to the nursery, the
breakfast, dining, and drawing-rooms were become for me awful regions, on
which it dismayed me to intrude.