pretty, not a new one. In the firelight, the handsome fea-
tures of the second operation were obvious: broad shoul-
ders and a firm jaw, a sharp nose and high cheekbones. The
woman carried the same unquestionable authority as Tally’s
teachers back in Uglyville.
Tally swallowed. New pretties had their own wardens.
There was only one reason why a middle pretty would be
here in New Pretty Town: The wardens were looking for
someone, and they were serious about finding him or her.
The woman flashed her light at a couple on a bench, illu-
minating them for the split second it took to confirm that they
were pretty. The couple jumped, but the warden chuckled and
apologized. Tally could hear her low, sure voice, and saw the
new pretties relax. Everything had to be okay if she said it was.
Tally felt herself wanting to give up, to throw herself on
the wise mercy of the warden. If she just explained, the
warden would understand and fix everything. Middle pret-
ties always knew what to do.
But she had promised Peris.
Tally pulled back into the darkness, trying to ignore
the horrible feeling that she was a spy, a sneak, for not
surrendering to the woman’s authority. She moved through
the brush as fast as she could.
Close to the river, Tally heard a noise in front of her. A dark
form was outlined in river lights before her. Not a couple, a
lone figure in the dark.