Rose cradled her brother, jamming her thumb in his mouth to soothe him.
“Come, come, Petey. Less of that, please?”
The mewling bundle in her arms quietened, his teeth both sharp and persistent.
“We’ll be no fuss. I promise you.” She grinned endearingly up at the overseer. “He’s got a new tooth coming through now but he’s usually very quiet.”
The grizzled man nodded once, sealing the deal. “I’m making no concessions for the child. It’s hard enough to get you down-and-outs to work a full day without folk griping about losing sleep.” He cupped his chin, continuing, “You’ll have to keep him with you too. We don’t run no nursery here, you understand?”
The orphaned girl nodded back. “We’ll be your top berry-pickers soon, Petey and me. I swear it, Sir.”
“Hmmph. We’ll see.” The overseer walked away, grumbling under his breath.
“Come on, Petey,” Rose cooed. “Let’s go make some new friends.”