The Road to Port Haven (Chapter 3­, page 2 of 10)


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Once again, Kara was stumped. 'But . . . that doesn't mean anything-'

'If you say so,' he rejoined ingenuously. Lifting his gaze to the Casa, he said, 'I see that the Señora is in the glass room, making me remember that you're supposed to be there as well, having your lunch. You had better hurry!'

Something in Guiseppe's tone caused Kara to wonder if something was up as she entered the glass room. For no reason that she could put into words, what that something might be made her insides tingle with an ugly, nervous chill.

'This arrived for me, though it mainly concerns you,' the Señora told her, indicating a yellow piece of paper at Kara's place at the table. 'It is a cable from Greece. Your father is very angry, it seems. He says that he is coming to get you, and that he will be here in a matter of weeks.'

Kara, who had gone very pale, sidled woodenly into her chair and read the telegram over several times. At last, in a small voice, she said, 'I'm sorry, Señora Castellan, but I must leave immediately.'

The Señora's look was doubtful. 'Leave? Because of this? And go where? How will you manage?'

'I'll find my way to Port Haven somehow and hide for a time,' Kara replied. 'Until he leaves. Then I'll take a job somewhere-'

'You're talking nonsense,' the Señora cut her off gently. 'By all accounts your father is a very wealthy, very resourceful man. He will find you, no matter where you go.'

'I'll not go with him,' Kara rejoined. 'I will kill myself first.'

'You're not serious.'

'You haven't any idea how serious I am,' Kara told her, showing the whites under her eyes. 'You must understand, Señora, that he comes for me not as a father but because of his . . . his damned affronted arrogance that many miscall pride! He thinks that he is the centre of the universe, and that everyone around him is some sort of automaton that exists solely for his benefit! His only interest in me is proprietary. I will not endure being told what to think and what to feel by that controlling monster! You can have no idea what lengths he will go to where disobedience in his eyes is concerned, or how soul-destroying it is to be trapped within his sphere.

'The man sees me as dangerous! I am the embodiment of a threat to his view of the world. You should hear him rant on the subject! "What's next, I wonder? Workers that no amount of beating will prevent from leaving me and emigrating to North America? How long must I endure the loss of labour due to the number of floggings I must therefore administer to keep them in line?"'

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