Last time, sorry, you got a heavy load of setting/world-stuff. This week is lighter, I swear:
Two girls, freshly purchased from the factories or dredge-line, still had the sun-blackened skin and shorn hair of the laborer class. Now their ragged tufts were adorned with tiny silver clips and bits of ribbon and their faces had been coated with a fine golden powder.
“It was my fault.”
Simon’s calm voice jolted Hector’s attention away from the girls. The madam’s hand was raised, but had paused in its downward arc, waiting for the rest of Simon’s words before choosing whether to strike again.
Simon raised his eyes, “but no one before us has had much success, otherwise you would not have bought us from the dredge-line.”