The crankily cart lumbered up the windy hill and ultimately came upon two nuns who were still working the fields in the twilight. Mr. Houser tipped his hat to them saying:
Evening sisters, we have Eloise here. Is Mother Teresa finished evening prayers yet?”
One of the nuns looked at Eloise and nodded saying to her silent friend:
“Well at least this one looks to have good strong back. She can work the fields.
Praise be to the Rector.”
Up the hill the cart went until it came to the big gate which had a huge bolt across it. Mr. Houser got down from the cart and moved to the huge door knocker and banged it hard three times.
He waited a moment and banged again, this time two times. There was utter silence until a small door in the gate opened and the face of a nun appeared in the dimming light.
Mr. Houser said “Open up sister, we’ve been on the road a long time and need some rest.”
The nun closed the little door and disappeared. I could hear her calling for help with the door.
After a time I could hear the inner bolt of the door being slide backwards an unlatching sound. Mr. Houser stepped up and pushed the bolt to the right and it slid over easily and half of the massive door started to roll aside.
Mr. Houser remounted the cart looking at me momentarily saying:
“Well Eloise, this is going to be your new home.”
The cart rolled through the door and I was astonished to see a line of girls walking to my right over fifty of them with five nuns walking along side of them. Right inside the walls of the castle was a massive inner courtyard where these fifty girls were marching. They all seemed young tens years old to twenty years old. They were dressed in what looked to be burlap dresses dirty, I imagined from working the fields.
I had never seen that many girls in my life in one place. Their faces were blank and staring. Right away I could see that this was not a happy place.