Babe and Constance share a common and privileged ancestry: they are, in fact, distant cousins. At its founding in 1901, the first students to be enrolled at Girls School were the eight orphaned daughters of the previous school's headmaster; by permanent order of the Trustees, their descendants, both natural and adopted, have been carefully charted and the parents of girl children among them courted with favors by the Admissions office for many decades now. Babe can claim relation with the fifth sister, Eulalie Greenwich, and Constance with Hortensia, the second. Far from finding anything troublesome or Egyptian in this (as she suspects that Babe, somewhere in the infinitely obscure and small region of her being which corresponds to the location of an active moral sense in others, might), Constance treasures her kinship with Babe for the historical significance it grants their strange affair. However brilliant a scholar the junkie headmistress may be, she is not descended from the sisters, and Constance intends to make something of a point of this in her history of Girls School. She believes lineage to be central to the life of the mind; she believes in blood. It amuses her to trace her own interest in history to Hortensia's Mesopotamian explorations, and Babe's love of roasted meats to their common ante-sires, the doomed but still imposing Doctors Greenwich. When Babe, after an unerring descent, finally passes out of sight beneath Damnation's portico, Constance hurries away from her window into the Hall of Reprobates and makes for its common kitchen: she has lamb chops for Babe tonight--freshly-butchered, three inches thick, their favorite.



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