My favorite image:
“Mosca saw … a woman in a tattered black cambric shawl who had spread across her lap a dozen pigtails, all crudely severed. … Mosca guessed that she must be one of the notorious scissor women, who would snip the locks off unguarded children to sell to wigmakers. The pigtails lay like fat, silken ropes, their sad little ribbons still attached.”
– Frances Hardinge
Fly by Night, ch. XVII

(more quotations here)

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