“No?” Hilda looked at Joey in blank disbelief. “You don't mean that, surely, Joey?”
“I can't do it, Hilda. I can't take on one more thing.”
“But Joey...!” Joey sat straight in the chair and looked uncompromisingly at Miss Annersley.
“Joey,” said Hilda urgently, “imagine it was your daughter – your child who had just lost all the family she had ever known.
Wouldn't you be grateful to know that someone was prepared to look after her?”
“Hilda,” said Joey gently, “that's emotional blackmail, and you know it.”
Hilda Annersley bit her lip. Joey had always been so reliable before this, agreeing to take on any and every child thrown in her direction.
And even when she had put up a mild protest, a call to her conscience, to her feelings for her own children, had always sufficed to bring her around. She didn't recognise this firm, cool, Jo.
“It's still true, blackmail or not,” she offered.
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