Who is Dame Clarice?
Dame Clarice is the innkeeper's wife at the Burford Bridge Inn on Westhumble Lane. She is described as a diminutive, energetic woman. Dame Clarice has an extroverted and commanding personality. She frequently barks orders at her husband and the employees of the inn. Adam describes her as a busy worker: she is either cooking, giving orders, or nudging people out of her way. Dame Clarice seems to supply all the energy in the inn.
Adam bristles when Dame Clarice calls him a "little fellow." He worries that she will strip him of his muddy clothes and scrub him down in the kitchen. However, Dame Clarice doesn't do this; she merely hands him a towel and shows him a shed in the stableyard, where he and Roger (his father) can wash in privacy.
Adam doesn't visit the inn again until four months later. However, this time Roger is not with him. Dame Clarice tells Adam that Roger has been hunting for him all over the south of England. The innkeeper eventually discloses that Roger is in London.