I hear you are yourself of low birth, Monsieur de la Martinière, and so may understand what it’s like to experience, for the first time, not even luxury but safety. You might understand how just the taste of it fills you up as if for the first time and you can never again be content with the same old hungry fear. So mayhap, Monsieur, you have been right all along, though not quite in the way you suppose.
I visited her in the well thrice a day, bringing food. She was shrinking at all sides, becoming misshapen, like a weathering termite mound, face receding into a lump, mouth tightening into a tiny pout, hair curling into distinct frills, and I could feel the powder of her skin, as though a mere stare could puff it off. Soon, she couldn’t eat much; could barely finish a scone or cup of gruel and began to prefer only boiled plums.