My Life as Nancy Yeats

Sebuah cerita yang ditulis kakak Nisrina (Saat ia kelas 4 SD), sebagai bagian dari tugas sekolahnya. Ia bertugas untuk mempelajari sejarah tentang apa, siapa, mengapa dan dimana suatu kejadian terjadi di masa lalu, kemudian membuat sebuah cerita fiksi diatas fakta tersebut (i.e. inspired by true story). Ceritanya seperti ini ….


Chapter 1: Life in England


“After her!” Men were shouting, people were chasing me, shouting, huffing, puffing and yelling to me. My feet were too tired to run away and hide in my little part of the street.
“Come on Nancy, keep running!” I said quietly in my heart.
I know it’s wrong to steal, but I only stole 100 shillings and a soft cozy pillow. It’s nothing compared to the very rich people. It’s the only way I could survive!
I’m sure you wondered what happened. Well, if you want to know, it all started 3 months ago. My old job was to be a milliner, and if you asked what’s it like, well, it’s horrible! It’s tiring, it’s stinky, and I don’t get much money or nice treatments from mistress Rose.
”That’s impossible!” people think she’s nice and kind and pretty; when really, she’s not. She forced me to make pretty hats for rich women and paid no more than 1 shilling. She treated me like rubbish on the streets in London, and we know what’s London streets are like; stinky and smelly! That’s why I run away from the shop.
I’ve been stealing stuff and sleeping on the streets since then, but it was better than making hats and hats and hats for Mistress Nellie. I’ve never been caught before, (even though my heart beats so fast and loud like a drum) until today.
I was trying to steal something from a big house far away from my ‘house’. But I was caught, by a man, a fancy, a well-dressed man. When he saw me, he gasped, and suddenly he shouted, “Thief! Thief! The girl is trying to steal from ‘ouse’!” he yelled, then it all started. Screaming, yelling, running,…
My feet slipped at the rickety road because of the heavy karts. I fell down, men were holding my hands very tight like there’s a 500 pounds of chains around my wrists pulling me up.
“So little girl, you’re trying to steal from me ‘ouse’ eh?” the man said.
“Well, I don’t ‘ink so you filthy little peasant!” he giggled and then chuckled and then he laughed as he take me to the Old Bailey.


Chapter 2: Sentenced to death


“So, guilty or not guilty?” asked the judge with his low voice.
“G…guilty s…s…sir,” I admitted.The crowd gasped and boomed at me.
“Ha, serves you right, serves you right! You should be ‘anged in front of my eyes,” a man said. The judge looked at him with his cold scary eyes.
“S…sorry, Sir,” the man said.
“OK young lady… Guilty!”
“You are sentenced to death!” he said.
I was carried by guards to the old, stinky, and smelly gaol. All I have left was my dirty grey work dress from Mistress Nellie’s hat shop. The guards put me in a cell. It was crowded with women crying and yelling. I just sat at the corner, whimpering, crying, and sobbing. I was scared… very scared. Tears fell down from my eyes.
Then I realized that I made a mistake! I should’ve stayed in the hat shop with Mistress Nellie, and none of this would happen. Oh, I’m crazy! I really am! My mind was full of thoughts, then suddenly I fell asleep.


Chapter 3: All Changed


“Oy!! Wake up! Wake up you lazy lady!” the guard shouted. I was shocked and I jump up and woke up from my sleep.

“Here’s your grub,” he said handing out a little bit of food. I looked at it. Dried and salty meat and peas and about 3 pints of water.

“You won’t get much! You’re leaving in the middle of the day, you lucky lad!” he said.

Lucky? Lucky?

In my whole life I never ever think that I’m lucky! And what’s with ‘leaving in the middle of the day’? I think that was meant to be ‘you will be hanged in the middle of the day’. Ha ha ha!

I ate my food as well as remembering my past. Oh mama, I guess I’m joining you now. My mama died when I was born. My father gave me my name but it was half-hearted, and when I was 5 he sold me to Mistress Nellie because he had a new wife. With tears in my eyes and sad memories in my head, I lie down back on the floor. It was midday. Suddenly two guards grabbed my arms and took me to a place that looked like the Old Bailey.

Then I had an idea.

“But what about my grub? Surely we can’t left those good things away. It’s a waste of food, don’t you think?” I said trying to make an excuse to go back and maybe, just maybe, to run away.

“No way! Am I going to fall to your trap, you liar!” one of the guard say.

I didn’t know what to do. But then, I saw the Old Bailey and then I realized that I didn’t have to do anything, because….it’s too late for me.

Chapter 4: Yay???


“Nancy Yeats!” the judge shouted.

“Yes, Sir?” I replied. I was confused because if they wanted to hang me, then why did the guards send me here?

“I have changed my mind,” he said. The crowd gasped and started whispering to each other.

“Silence!” the judge said in a very loud voice.

“Nancy Yeats, I have changed your sentence,” he said.

“Changed my sentence, Sir?” I said, trying to be polite so may be he will free me. But I knew he won’t.

“I haven’t finished yet, Nancy,” he said.

“Your sentence has changed into seven years transportation to New South Wales!”

The judge has finalized his verdict and the crowd were making their way home. I was taken to the gaol again. I guess I have to wait ‘till it’s time. The judge smiled at me as I walked out from the Old Bailey. I bowed a courtesy at him as a sign of gratitude, for letting me keep my life.


Chapter 5: On the boat

Days passed. It was the 13th of March 1787. I was taken to a ship that says ‘Lady Penrhyn’ written on the side. The guards put chains around my wrists, legs and neck when I was on the boat. I’ll miss London. I’ll miss the place where my mama once lived. The guard took me to the ship.

I spotted a girl about my age crying at the corner, just like me when I was in the gaol. There were many women, yelling and crying, just like the ones in the gaol. There was much violence too. The girl at the corner looked sad and had given up on hope. The guard gave me a grey blanket, a little one, and the same food they gave me in the gaol, and then left.

I quickly ran to the girl, well…kind of. You see, the ship is starting to sail, and boy! The chains are so annoying. I managed to reach her, and suddenly, she got up and gasped.

“Who are you? What do you want from me?” she said.

“I don’t want anything from you!” I said. “I’m just worried because I saw you crying,” I said calmly.

“Well… go away!” she said. But I didn’t.

“Look. I know you need someone to comfort you, and I volunteer to. I know how it feels, it’s alright,” I said. She calmed down a little and stopped crying.

“I’m Sarah. Sarah Bellamy. What’s your name?”

“Nancy Yeats,” I said.

We chat and spoke to each other, and fortunately we became friends. “I’m going to miss England,” she said.

“I don’t believe it but… I agree with you Sarah,” I said.

The day passed. The sun went down and the moon took over. The other woman in the corner was having a fight with somebody and distracted me.

“Night, Sarah.” But it appeared that she already fallen asleep.

An old woman tried to get my blanket, but I refused and fight back. I lied on the floor and put my blanket on. A rat crawled over my feet and made me jump. But, I managed to fall asleep.

“Sarah! Sarah, wake up! It’s morning already!” I shouted waking Sarah up. She woke up and said, “Nancy, I think I’m going over there to explore this ship.”

“Go on then,” I said.

It was a weird morning. Some women were looking very sick and the buckets were full of-oh yucky stuff, you know.- And some other women were getting diseases already. The ship smelled like a rubbish bin. And, some other women have born babies! Poor them, this must ‘ve been hard for them.

A month passed and I’m getting used to this condition. And Sarah is starting to play games with me too, so I won’t be alone all the time. It is getting hotter and hotter by the time we go soooo far away from England.

The night has come and the storm comes, washing some women, marines, and the people who can’t hang on any longer. But Sarah and I hold on. The storm passed and so was the time.

The month also passed and the ship reached the land. The marines let us go upper deck to let us see the land. The guards and marines said that this is Tennerife, a little island far away from England. I’m starting to love the trip, because, unlike in England, this island is much better than England. A lot more better than England.

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