That first evening in Caledon, as I walked through the streets of what I later learned was Victoria City, I marvelled at the peaceful beauty of my surroundings. The architecture, the verdure, the very streets on which I trod, breathed refinement, civility and culture. Much as I loved and longed for the land of my birth, I knew I had come home. But mundane concerns soon claimed my attention.
As the pirates had absconded with my personal belongings, I had but the single dress and pair of thin shoes which the kind folk of Caledon had provided for for such as I. With neither cloak nor stout boots, I feared that my constitution (nurtured in warmer climes and always somewhat delicate) might prove unequal to the rigours of a Caledon winter. Also,I did not wish to throw myself upon the mercy of my Vandeverre cousins as a burdensome poor relation. Clearly, my greatest need was warm clothing suitable to a gentlewoman, after which I should seek honest employment.
As I walked through the darkened streets of Victoria City, I entered a square, to the side of which several gentlemen were conversing with a lady. I approached them timidly, and addressing the lady, asked to be directed to a dress shop where I could procure a cloak. Some of the gentlemen greeted me most courteously, but a young woman cannot be too careful about her reputation in a strange place, so I greeted them with the barest civilty and addressed myself to their female companion. She most kindly led me to the doorway of a shop and returned to her companions.
And such a shop it was as I had never before seen! I feasted my eyes on the sumptuous confections of velvets and silks which surrounded me on all sides, before recollecting that I no longer had the means to acquire them. I expended my last coins on the cheapest of plain black frocks and and a simple blue cloak. Shoes were beyond my means. Thus arrayed, I set out to seek employment.