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-My name is Hetty Feather.
-Call me Matron, Matron Bottomly.
Nowhere is ever as good as home. We used to be so happy, Gideon.
Running through the fields and Jem chasing after us.
If you can't keep this hospital on an even keel,
I will have to find someone else to take command.
She's using us as slaves.
I told you we wouldn't sit round!
And I told you to leave me out of it!
Don't you trust us any more?
So long as we had each other, our plans and the tower,
there was no game Matron could play that we couldn't win.
When I was a little girl, I was free.
Every day I remember my happy life with my borrowed family,
running through the fields with Gideon and Jem.
But then I remember the horrible day when I had to leave them forever.
Remember, when you grow up, I'll be waiting for you.
On my word.
You are my borrowed sister.
I'll never forget you.
Jem always kept his word.
I knew that one day he would come back to save me,
but when would that be?
There was no freedom at the Foundling Hospital.
We had to obey their rules and do as we were told.
Left. Left, right, left...
We were supposed to forget our borrowed families.
But they couldn't control our memories.
Picture us a story, Hetty!
Tell us about the squirrel house.
-I like that one.
THEY MIMIC YAWNING
It was a hollow tree in the woods.
But for me and Jem, it was our own enchanted kingdom.
'A place where we could be free.
'I felt safe there,
'even when I learned I had to go back to the Foundling Hospital.'
I wish we were really squirrels.
Then we could run away and live here together.
Then that's what we'll do! As soon as I'm old enough,
I'll come to the Foundling Hospital and bring you back home.
-And we'll live here? In the squirrel house?
You won't tell anyone about this place, will you? Promise?
As if he'd remember that silly game.
Wait and see.
On the day I get out of here, he'll be there.
On the day you get out of here,
you'll be a servant like the rest of us.
No, I won't. Jem promised...
All older girls proceed to the dormitory immediately.
We need your help with the new admissions.
Off you go, girls. Be kind to the new little ones.
'New foundlings arrived all the time and always kicked up a stink.'
Let's just hope they don't cry so much this time.
I hope they do.
We should be on our recreation, not looking after these brats.
Get off me! Get off me!
Be quiet, you little spitfire!
That horrible matron cut my hair off!
Yeah, they do that. Here, put that on.
I'm not wearing that!
I'm sorry, but this is how it is. Now, be a good girl...
No! I won't be a good girl!
I want to go home to Mother and Jem.
This one's trouble. I'll fetch Matron...
No, don't bother Matron. I can look after her.
How do you know my name?
Cos I think we're sisters.
I'm Hetty Feather.
Oh, please, not another one!
So, you two are foundling sisters?
Yeah. Oh, it's so good to see you, Eliza.
You were just a little baby when I left.
I know. Mother told me all about you.
I'm sure Jem did, too.
No, I don't think so.
So Jem never spoke about Hetty?
He's a lot older than you. You probably never saw much of him.
Yes, I did!
We played together all the time in our squirrel house.
Your squirrel house?
Eliza, tell me about the squirrel house.
Please. It's important.
All right, seeing as you're my sister.
Jem said it was magical and nobody could ever find us
or hurt us.
It was our special place.
Your special place?
Yes. And one day, he'll save me. And we'll live together forever.
Just me and Jem.
Don't be sad, Hetty. You can come too if you like.
I'm sure Jem won't mind.
Hetty, what's wrong?
'I was wrong. I was wrong about everything.'
Are you all right?
Look lively, girls!
You'll never make decent servants if you stand around dawdling.
'In that moment, my whole life changed.
'Jem wasn't coming to save me.
'I was just like every other foundling.
'When I grew up, I'd become a servant.
'I would be a drudge for the rest of my days.'
I've never seen her like this. It's like she's given up hope.
He's forgotten her, why can't she just forget him?
Jem would never forget Hetty.
Well, she thinks he has.
Well, maybe if you talk to her...
-You're her brother. She'll listen to you.
-But how am I going to get over...?
-Leave it to me.
'We'll do it tomorrow.'
Left, left, left, right, left... Company, halt!
By the right.
Afternoon. I'm looking for Gertie.
I hear she's the guv'nor of this joint.
Matron Bottomly is the senior staff member, yes.
I see. Well, where is she?
What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?
CHILDREN GIGGLE I really think you should...
-This is hardly appropriate.
-The girls' wing.
Over there, miss.
Much obliged, young sir.
'All the new girls were expected to send a letter
'to their foster parents.
'But they could only write what they were told to...
'and Matron always checked.'
Is something wrong, Matron?
You come with me.
Where are we going?
To my office. Where I keep my cane.
You're going to hit me?
Surely not, Matron. She's just a baby.
She's old enough to learn to respect her betters.
What are you doing here?
I see you're as sweet and kindly as ever.
We'll speak in my office.
Let's hope she forgets about you.
What on earth did you say, Eliza?
I said that she's hateful and cruel.
She cut my hair and she took my clothes.
And she definitely looks like a pig.
I told you never to come here.
But I've got something to tell you, Gertie.
It's about Mother.
I wrote to you. About the consumption.
You never replied.
I had nothing to say.
She's dying, Gertie.
And that concerns me how?
She wants to see you.
To say goodbye.
We said goodbye a long time ago.
If that is all you have to say, you can leave now.
Oh, no. No, I've got a lot more to say, Gertie.
And I'm not leaving this place without you.
Then you'll have a very long wait.
Right, I got it.
Used up half my sweet stash in bribes.
You are going to go through with this, aren't you?
I will. I will. Hetty needs me.
'The hospital servants worked in the kitchen and laundry
'from dawn until late at night.
'They always looked tired and miserable.
'And now I knew I was destined to be just like them.'
Put them over there, I'll get to them in a minute.
All right, Hetty?
Gid! Get out of here. It's far too dangerous.
Why didn't you come to the tower last night?
I just don't feel like fighting any more.
We're never going to change anything.
-You told us we could win!
-I was deluded.
No, you weren't. We need you, Hetty.
You can't give up now - just because of Jem.
It's not about Jem!
It's not just like losing a brother.
It's like losing part of me...
Hetty, have you seen your sister Eliza?
She's supposed to be in my sewing class.
I'll find her. Please, just don't say anything to Matron.
What do you take me for? Thank you.
That's a very fetching bonnet.
You'd better get back to the boys' class
before they miss you.
Looking for Eliza?
You won't find her out here.
What have you done to my sister?
-We helped her.
What did you do?
She wanted to know where Matron's private room is.
So we told her.
I'm not going away, Gertie.
How much do you want?
Five pounds? Ten?
You know what I want.
And you know my answer.
How long do you intend to keep up this ridiculous performance?
I assure you I have no intention of seeing that woman.
KNOCK ON DOOR Yes?
Matron, do you have some sort of connection with this...person?
-I should think so, dearie.
She's my sister.
None of us can help our relations.
However, at least we can choose to avoid them.
No, you don't, Gertie.
You don't get away that easily!
Eliza! What are you doing?
She cut my hair and she took my clothes,
so I am cutting hers.
Right. You were in sewing class all afternoon, you understand?
Now we need to go.
No. I want Matron to know I did it.
If you tell Matron you did this, she'll put you in the Tench.
You'll be by yourself, in the dark, day after day.
Do you want that? Do you?
Come on, then.
'Will you stop following me?!
'Not until you agree to see her!
'You won't even have to go to the workhouse.
-'I got Mother out of there.
-Do not mention that place to me!'
Did you do this?
I knew you were a sly one, but...
..I never imagined any girl would do something so wantonly destructive.
Why? Why would you do such a sinful thing?
I see. Come with me.
SOBBING AND SNIFFLING
Come on. Come on, don't be scared, I won't bite.
Did you do that?
Was that big girl covering for you?
She's a brave one, isn't she?
Standing up to Gertie, I'll give her that.
She's my sister. Please help her.
She's going to put her in the Tench.
This place used to be an ice-house.
So it should cool your temper nicely.
The rats don't bite if you keep moving around.
Matron, please, you can't! I'll do anything... Please!
The only thing you can do is pray to God to make you a better girl.
Guess what! Hetty Feather's in the Tench!
-Thank you! At last!
Are you still here?
Is this what you've come to? Torturing innocent children!
These children aren't innocent.
They are born of sin, destined to shame and squalor.
You know, you sound just like the old Matron from the workhouse.
-I told you...
-I KNOW what you went through. We all did.
But you can't blame Mother.
That woman is no mother to me.
She's dying, Gertie. Can you not try to forgive her?
We're your only family.
You are not welcome here.
Then you'd better take this now then.
It's a lock of her hair.
What was she thinking? Getting herself thrown in Tench?
She was standing up for Eliza.
How long do you think they'll keep her there?
After what she did? She'd be lucky to see the light of day again.
-Hetty will be all right. She'll soon be out soon.
No. Hetty's never getting out of there.
Talk sense, girl! Even Matron can't keep her there forever.
Someone will come back. But not Hetty.
Laugh a minute, you are.
-Don't you start!
-The Tench changes people.
How can it? It's just a stinking outhouse!
It's more than that...
When it's just you...in the dark...
you don't know what's real any more.
You don't know how long you've been in there.
You don't remember who you are.
You don't know if you're even real...
Who are you?
My name's Annie.
You must be frozen half to death!
All right, come on.
Let's get this round you. Golly!
I've got you this for you as well.
Bet you don't get many meat pies down here.
Annie, I've got to ask.
Why are you doing this?
I suppose it's my way of making amends for my sister.
The way I see it, this whole thing
is all about family.
That's what Hetty cares about more than anything.
All right. I know what we need to do.
We need a kitchen raiding party.
Walter and Ned.
We need lemons. Baking soda.
Sugar. Onions at a pinch...
-Trust me. And I'll pilfer some writing paper.
Gideon, look for birds' feathers. Big ones.
And you two, get Eliza to help us.
-We can't do this without her.
I can't believe Matron was brought up in the workhouse!
Oh, kept quiet about that, did she?
Well, I'm not surprised.
Gertie always was a proud one.
But you're not ashamed.
Why should I be?
Hey... You can't help where you've come from,
only where you go.
But Matron says we was born in sin and shame,
and that's why we're only fit to be servants.
Yeah, well, Gertie always did talk a lot of...horse manure.
If you know what I mean.
Always full of judgment that one, never any pity.
Was she always like that? Even when she was a little girl?
But she changed when we went to that workhouse.
It were a terrible, cruel place, Hetty.
But you were there too. And you're not like her.
I knew that we was in there because we were down on our luck.
But our Gertie, she never thought like that.
See, in her mind, someone had sinned,
and someone had to pay.
And that's what she's been like, all her life.
Anyway, why are we talking about her?
-Let's get you out of here.
-I can't go.
If Matron finds out you've helped me,
she'll just throw me back in here.
But I can't leave you, not in here.
You can. I'll be all right, I promise.
I promised your little sister
I'd help you.
You have. More than you know.
'Thanks to Annie, I realised Matron had a secret.
'There was something she was afraid of.
'She wasn't invincible after all.
Here it is.
It must have fallen from the hook.
'I don't know how long they left me there. Hours? Days? Weeks?
'Time works differently in the Tench.
'But I did have plenty of time to think, and plan
'for the next stage in my war with Matron.'
She looks suitably chastened...
Indeed I am.
Please forgive my wicked deeds.
I'm just a poor, ignorant foundling.
You are forgiven.
Thank you. Oh, thank you, Matron.
I don't deserve such benevolence.
I deserve to be in the workhouse.
If only I hadn't been born
with such a low, sinful birth.
Or if I'd had a mother's love, I wouldn't be such a bad girl.
Take her to the infirmary and give her a thorough cleansing.
Check for fleas and lice. And rat bites!
Yes, Matron. But aren't...?
'The Tench was the most terrible place I'd ever been.
'But I'd learned a lot about myself in there.
'And even more about Matron.'
KNOCK ON DOOR Yes?
-CLEARING HIS THROAT:
Would you care to join me for a spot of light supper?
A brace of partridge perhaps or a kidney pudding?
A chop, a cutlet perhaps?
I'm going out.
This is quite unnecessary.
It's too late.
Thank you for letting me know.
'Even after several days had passed, I still wasn't my normal self.
'I couldn't help mourning for what I'd lost -
'my dreams of a life with Jem.'
-Why are you here?
-Gideon said you needed me.
He wrote on Eliza's letter with invisible ink.
'Yes. Made from lemon juice, with a feather quill.
'And all your friends helped him.
'Then Eliza copied the usual letter over the top,
'but added one extra line.'
'I hope you are reading this by your lovely warm fire.'
I realised something was up, so I held the letter to the fire,
got the real message.
He told me that you needed me. And how to get in.
I got over the wall about midnight.
Gid and his friends were waiting for me.
-And the clothes?
I borrowed them from one of the servants.
You all took such a risk, for me?
Of course. Remember our promise?
But I thought you forgot about me.
But you never told Eliza about me.
It just hurt too much.
When I thought about you - in this place - I got so angry.
I didn't want Eliza to know how I felt.
I just wanted her to enjoy being a child.
-Like we did.
All the letters we wrote to you.
We're not allowed to receive letters.
I realised that soon enough. They all got sent back.
But I kept on writing. All these years.
Until I thought you might have forgotten about me.
And I'll keep writing. Even if you never get the letters.
I will get them.
There must be a way.
Write them to Nurse Winterson.
-I'm sure she'll pass them on.
I think about you every day...
'And so, life at the Foundling Hospital continued
'as it always had...'
Left, left, left, right, left.
Left, left, left, right, left.
'Nothing had changed...'
Left, left, left, right, left.
'Something had changed for me.
'I was still a foundling girl and I still had to obey their rules.
'But now I had something more than my memories.
'I had my letters and I had Jem.
'Because of my wonderful friends, I could write to Jem
'whenever I wanted.
'And I knew that one day, somehow, we would be together again.
'I had the next best thing to freedom - I had hope.'
I think the first verse would work better as a solo.
Don't you agree?
Are you going to audition?
CHILDREN SING MERRILY
You are relieved of your duties.
No, this is a strike.
Break up their riot, and we break Feather!
This isn't about you, all right?
-This is about getting Winterson back.
This is completely about you!
Those who do not surrender will be punished.