ページの画像
PDF
ePub

was sick.

Leaving my tub of fish in her yard, I accepted the kind offer. It so happened that the cook was making tea for some one in the house who

The lady asked me if I would not like to have a cup. I said yes; for my head was aching badly, and I felt faint; and besides, I had not tasted a cup of tea for several days. She poured it out with her own hands, and with her own hands brought it to me. I think I never tasted such a cup of tea in my life. It was like

. cordial. God bless her !—When I again went out upon the street my headache was gone, and I felt as fresh as ever I did in my life. Before I stopped at this kind lady's house, I was so worn down and out of heart, that I determined to go home, even though not more than half my fish were sold. But now I went on cheerful and with confidence. In an hour my tray was empty, and my fish sold at fair prices.

“ You do not know, madam,” continued the woman, “how much good a few kindly spoken words, that cost nothing, or a little generous regard for us, does our often discouraged hearis. But these we too rarely meet.

Much oftener we are talked to harshly about our exorbitant prices —called a cheating set-or some such name that does not sound very pleasant to our ears.

That there are many among us who have no honesty, nor, indeed, any care about what is right, is too true. But all are not so. To judge us all, then, , by the worst of our class, is not right. It would not be well for the world if all were thus judged.”

CHAPTER XIII.

SOMETHING MORE ABOUT COOKS.

[ocr errors]

66

For sometime I had a treasure of a cook; a fine Bucks county girl, whose strongest recommendation in my eyes, when I engaged her, was that she had never been out of sight of land. But she left my house for a “better place,” as she said. I might have bribed her to remain, by an offer of higher wages; but, experience had demonstrated to my satisfaction, that this kind of bribery never turns out well. Your servant, in most instances, soon becomes your mistress—or, at least, makes bold efforts to assume that position.

So, I let my Bucks county girl go to her “better place." As to how or why it was to be a better place, I did not make enquiry. That was her business. She was a free agent, and I did not attempt to influence her. In fact, being of rather an independent turn of mind myself, I sympathize with others in their independence, and rarely seek to interfere with a declared course of action.

My new cook, unfortunately, had been out of sight of land, and that for weeks together. She was fresh from the Emerald Island. When she presented herself I saw in her but small promise. Having learned on enquiry that her name was Alice Mahoney, I said :

110

a

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

“ How long have you been in this country, Alice ?"

There was a moment or two of hesitation. Then she answered:

“Sax months, mum.”

I learned afterwards that she had arrived only three days before.

“Can you cook ?" I enquired. “Och, yis! Ony thing, from a rib of bafe

! down till a parate.

“ You're sure of that, Alice ?"
“ Och! sure, mum.'
“Can you give me a reference ?"

“ I've got a character from Mrs. Jordan, where I lived in New York. I've only been here a few days. Biddy Jones knows me. ” And she produced a written testification of

a ability, signed “Mary Jones, No. William street, New York." There was a suspicious look about this “character;" but of course I had no means of deciding whether it were a true or false document.

After some debate with myself, I finally decided to give Alice a trial.

It so happened that on the very day she came, an old lady friend of my mother's, accompanied by her two daughters, both married and housekeepers, called to spend the afternoon and take tea. As they lived at some distance, I had tea quite early, not waiting for Mr. Smith, whose business kept him away pretty late.

During the afternoon, my “butter man” came. Occasionally he brings some very nice country sausages, and I always make it a point to secure

« 前へ次へ »