On the day that Tata Sous-sus was escorted from her imprisonment, the sun was shining so brightly that she feared it would scorch her flesh and leave her blind. In light of this concern, her maid deployed a parasol above her head. In addition to her long white gown, Tata wore a kerchief to protect her hair and gloves over her hands. Thanks to a fine, muslin veil, not even her face was exposed to the elements. To the gawking crowds, she resembled nothing so much as a ghostly wraith.
“What’ve they done to that poor woman?” Said one common fishwife, pointing at Tata as she was led on foot to Her Majesty’s Court of Common Pleas, an imposing building of red brick with bars over the windows. Tata paused at the foot of the steps, turned around and waved. “God bless you!” Shouted her many well-wishers, mostly women of a certain age who, more often than not, were widowed or abandoned. “Pray for me!” Shouted Tata in return. “Please pray for me!”