Imagined consequences tortured Malcolm as he dogged the flashing knitting-needle heels downstairs, forth into the balmy afternoon and thence to an unkempt terrace behind the old manor house. Cressada strutted upon the balustraded enclosure, her heel tips smiting sparks from the flagstones. “You…” she leashed him to a suds-filled pail, “will now scrub these flagstones… to the bone. At any sign of a let-up, there’ll be th’ whuppin’. Pick up that brush.” Malcolm groped for the heavy scrub brush, blinded by the sunlight reflected from her patent leather boots. He vaguely noticed that two straps were a-dangle from the hand grip. “You’ll scrub in the meanest way,” smirked Sada, “so the lesson sinks in. Open that mouth.” She wrenched his head back roughly by the hair, jammed the brush handled between his teeth and buckled the straps around his head until his skull creaked.