Lyddie's routine while working at the mill is very grueling. A typical day goes something like this:
- At four-thirty in the morning a bell awakens all the girls in the boarding house.
- Within a half-hour, the girls must be at their stations in the mill, as work begins promptly at five o'clock.
- The girls work until seven o'clock, at which time they rush back to the boarding house for breakfast.
- They have a mere thirty-five minutes to rush home, wolf down a hearty meal, and hurry back to their looms, where work begins again at seven-thirty-five.
- Sometime around noon, the girls are again released to go back to the boarding house for lunch.
- The mid-day break only lasts for a half-hour, after which they again hurry back to the mill to continue their work.
- Upon returning to the mill after lunch, the girls work until the evening bell rings; although I do not believe that the book specifies exactly what time this is, it is most likely around seven o'clock, as the workday is thirteen hours, and there is an hour break for meals.
- After they are dismissed, the girls eat supper.
- They then are free to do what they want. On the evening of her first full day of work, Lyddie goes straight to her room in exhaustion, and listens to Betsy read from Oliver Twist. As she gets used to the routine, she sometimes goes to visit Diana Goss in the evenings as well.
- Although I do not believe the length of this period of free time is specified, it probably only lasts until nine or perhaps ten o'clock. At that time, a bell rings for curfew, and the girls must go to bed, to be ready to perform the routine all over again the next day (Chapter 10).