Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

At Home with the Jardines   By: (1867-1929)

Book cover

First Page:

E text prepared by Al Haines

AT HOME WITH THE JARDINES

by

LILIAN BELL

Author of "Abroad with the Jimmies," "Hope Loring,", etc.

A. Wessels Company New York 1906

Copyright, 1902 by Harper & Brothers

Copyright, 1903 by the Ridgway Thayer Company

Copyright, 1904 by Ainslee Magazine Co.

Copyright, 1904 by L. C. Page & Company (Incorporated)

(All rights reserved)

TO

Dr. John Sedgwick Billings, Jr.

AND

Dr. John Clarendon Todd

WHOSE COURAGE, SKILL, AND WISDOM

SAVED A PRECIOUS LIFE

Contents

Chapter

I. MARY II. THEORIES III. ON THE SUBJECT OF JANITORS IV. THE ANGEL AND THE AGENT V. HOW WE TAMED THE COOK VI. THE BEST MAN'S STORY VII. THE PRICE OF QUIET VIII. MOVING IX. HOW BEE TRIED TO MAKE US SMART X. OUR FIRST HOUSE PARTY XI. ON THE GENTLE ART OF WASTING OTHER PEOPLE'S TIME XII. A LETTER FROM JIMMIE XIII. THE BREAKING UP OF MARY XIV. AND THEY LIVED HAPPY EVER AFTER

At Home with the Jardines

CHAPTER I

MARY

I have never dared even inquire why our best man began calling my husband the Angel. He was with us a great deal during the first months of our marriage, and he is very observing, so I decided to let sleeping dogs lie. I, too, am observing.

It is only fair to state, in justice to the best man, that I am a woman of emotional mountain peaks and dark, deep valleys, while the Angel is one vast and sunny plateau. With him rain comes in soothing showers, while rain in my disposition means a soaking, drenching torrent which sweeps away cattle and cottages and leaves roaring rivers in its wake. But it took Mary to discover that the smiling plateau was bedded on solid rock, and had its root in infinity.

Mary is my cook!

Yet Mary is more than cook. She is my housekeeper, mother, trained nurse, corporation counsel, keeper of the privy purse, chancellor of the exchequer, fighter of exorbitant bills, seamstress, linen woman, doctor of small ills, the acme of perpetual good nature, and my best friend.

Cheiro, when he read my palm, said he never before had seen a hand which had less of a line of luck than mine. He said that I was obliged to put forth tremendous effort for whatever I achieved. But that was before Mary selected me for a mistress, for Mary was my first bit of pure luck. Our meeting came about in this way.

We were at the Waldorf for our honeymoon, which shows how inexperienced we were, when a chance acquaintance of the Angel's said to him one night in the billiard room:

"Jardine, I hear that you are going to housekeeping!"

"Yes," said Aubrey, "we are."

"Has your wife engaged a cook yet?"

"Why, no, I don't believe she has thought about it."

"Well, I know exactly the woman for her. Elderly, honest, experienced, cooks game to perfection, doesn't drink, thoroughly competent in every way, and the quaintest character I ever knew. Lived in her last place twenty three years, and only left when the family was broken up. Shall I send her to see you?"

"Do," said Aubrey.

He forgot to tell me about it, so the next morning while he was shaving, a knock came, and in walked Mary. I was in a kimono, writing notes and waiting for breakfast to be sent up. Hearing voices, Aubrey came to the door with one half of his face covered with lather, and said:

"Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you. Are you the cook sent by Mr. Zanzibar?"

"Yes, sir," said Mary.

Aubrey retired to the bathroom again, communicating with me in pantomime.

I looked at Mary, and loved her. We eyed each other in silence for a moment.

"Won't you sit down?" I said, looking at her white hair.

"Thank you, but I'll stand."

That settled it. I didn't care if she stole the shoes off my feet if she knew her place as well as that. Her face beamed; her skin was fresh and rosy. Her blue eyes twinkled through her spectacles.

"Would you," I said, "would you like to take entire charge of two orphans?"

She burst into a fit of laughter... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books