Victoria reached up to the window and in one mighty effort dragged herself up onto the sill, threw her bundle out of the window and jumped out after it.
She landed on a patch of wet undergrowth that broke her fall. Sharp branches scratched at her skin. With her heart pumping so hard the palpitations filled her ears, she ran as if the Devil was after her towards the only place that offered a way over the eight-foot-high brick wall surrounding Gravestoke House. Her legs felt weightless. Fear gave her wings as she bounded the wall, using an old oak’s gnarled trunk as a launching pad. She heard the harridans’ shouts as she hit the ground on the other side, but she soon disappeared into the blackness. The hail stung her face, but her terror drove her on.