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for his best coat, which had been worn only for a few months.

“Jane!” he called to me suddenly, in a voice that made me start. “Jane! Where is

my best

coat?"

one ?

“ In the clothes press," I replied, coming out from our chamber into the passage, as I spoke. “No; it's not here," was his reply. “And, I

, shouldn't wonder if you had sold my good coat for those china vases.

“ No such thing!” I quickly answered, though my heart gave a great bound at his words; and then sunk in my bosom with a low tremor of alarm.

“Here's my old coat,” said Mr. Smith, holding up that defaced garment—"Where is the new

“ “ The old clothes man has it, as sure as I live!" burst from my lips.

“Well, that is a nice piece of work, I must confess!”

This was all my husband said ; but it was enough to smite me almost to the floor. Covering my face with my hands, I dropped into a chair, and sat and sobbed for a while bitterly.

“It can't be helped now, Jane," said Mr. Smith, at length, in a soothing voice. “The coat is gone, and there is no help for it. You will know better next time."

That was all he said to me then, and I was grateful for his kind consideration. He saw that I was punished quite severely enough, and did not add to my pain by rebuke or complaint.

An attempt was made during the week to re

66

cover the coat, valued at some twenty dollars; but the china ornament-man was not to be found -he had made too good a bargain to run the risk of having it broken.

About an hour after the discovery of the loss of my husband's coat, I went quietly down into the parlor, and taking from the mantle-piece the china vases, worth, probably, a dollar for the pair, concealed them under my apron, lest any one should see what I had; and, returning up stairs, hid them away in a dark closet, where they have ever since remained.

The reader may be sure that I never forgot this, my first and last speculation in china ware.

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CHAPTER II.

SOMETHING ABOUT COOKS.

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Was there ever a good cook who hadn't some prominent fault that completely overshadowed her professional good qualities? If my experience is to answer the question, the reply will be

I had been married several years before I was fortunate enough to obtain a cook that could be trusted to boil a potato, or broil a steak. I felt as if completely made up when Margaret served her first dinner. The roast was just right, and all the vegetables were cooked and flavored as well as if I had done it myself—in fact, a little better. My husband eat with a relish not often exhibited, and praised almost every thing on the table.

For a week, one good meal followed another in daily succession. We had hot cakes, light and fine-flavored, every morning for breakfast, with coffee not to be beaten—and chops or steaks steaming from the gridiron, that would have gladdened the heart of an epicure. Dinner was served, during the time, with a punctuality that wąs rarely a minute at fault, while every article of food brought upon the table, fairly tempted the appetite. Light rolls, rice cakes, or “Sally Luns," made without suggestion on my part,

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