Ginger: The Suspicious Woman
Until that point I hadn’t realized how accustomed to near-blindness I’d become. When the daylight struck my eyes it was like seeing the world for the first time.
The figure of a woman stood about a yard over my head, a silhouette eclipsed in the light above the trapdoor. “Who are you?” she again demanded.
“I’m sorry,” I stammered, “My name is Ginger. I come from Harken. I am a friend of the Underground. I’ve come to talk to Corkscrew.”
“Corkscrew, eh? Let me see your hands.”
I lifted them up, covered in mud as they were, for the woman to see both of them and to count my fingers.
“And your feet?” she asked.
“Two of them as well,” I replied, raising them in turn.
“Are you alone?” The woman craned her neck to look down into the tunnel.
“Yes, it’s only me. Please, may I come up?”
A pause. “Very well.” She lowered a rope ladder for me to climb. “Sorry for the rude welcome,” the woman said when I stood beside her. “We can’t be too careful. My name is Looking-Glass. Now, let’s get you cleaned up, shall we?”