Chapter 12 Summary

Madam faints after Master Lockton is taken away. Becky is concerned, and she sends Isabel to fetch Lady Seymour. After memorizing Becky's instructions, Isabel wends her way through the streets of New York and soon finds the right house. Following the usual protocol, she knocks on the back door instead of the front. A pale-skinned white girl answers. She speaks in Dutch and does not appear to understand what Isabel says. This mystifies Isabel, who has never before encountered a foreign language. The girl goes away, and Isabel hovers on the doorstep, wondering whether or not to leave.

Eventually Lady Seymour herself appears at the door. Isabel curtsies and explains what has happened. Lady Seymour does not look surprised. She explains that she has been hearing similar stories all day. Apparently the rebels have been arresting Tories all over the city. Calling Isabel by her real name instead of Sal, Lady Seymour invites her inside to tell the story from start to finish.

In the kitchen, Isabel is surprised when Lady Seymour serves her a glass of milk and sets out a plate of cookies. Never before has “a proper lady” waited on Isabel like this. Lady Seymour notices Isabel’s surprise. By way of explanation, she says, “You look like you need some building up.”

At Lady Seymour’s prompting, Isabel tells the story of Master Lockton’s arrest. Naturally, she leaves out the part about her own role as a spy, but she is careful to include all the rest of the details. After hearing everything, Lady Seymour asks if Master Lockton gave up any information or names. Isabel says that he did not, and the lady looks relieved.

Next, Lady Seymour asks after Madam Lockton, and Isabel explains that Madam is talking about leaving town and going to Charleston. According to Lady Seymour, this is a bad idea because the rebels will immediately confiscate any possessions the Locktons abandon in New York. She says that it is fair for Madam to be upset, but that it is important for everyone to behave intelligently. After musing on the problem a bit, Lady Seymour says that she will write a note for Isabel to deliver to a lawyer.

Hearing this, Isabel takes a big bite of her cookie, sure that she will be sent away immediately. However, the lady surprises Isabel by commanding her to finish the cookies and drink more milk. “You can’t run errands for me unless properly nourished,” Lady Seymour says.