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The Green Casket and other stories   By: (1839-1921)

The Green Casket and other stories by Mrs. Molesworth

First Page:

[Illustration: FLOSSIE'S CONFESSION. Page 44.]

THE GREEN CASKET

AND OTHER STORIES

BY Mrs. MOLESWORTH

AUTHOR OF 'THE CUCKOO CLOCK,' 'US,' 'CARROTS,' 'THE RECTORY CHILDREN,' 'NESTA,' ETC.

W. & R. CHAMBERS LONDON AND EDINBURGH 1890

Edinburgh: Printed by W. & R. Chambers.

[Illustration]

CONTENTS.

PAGE

THE GREEN CASKET 9 LEO'S POST OFFICE 55 BRAVE LITTLE DENIS 77

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The Green Casket.

CHAPTER I. RUTH'S START IN LIFE.

'Then good morning, Mrs. Perry. It all promises very nicely, I think. You may depend upon our taking good care of Ruth, and doing our best to train her well. Naylor takes great pride in her training. You will tell Ruth what I say, and impress upon her those two or three broad rules, and if she attends to those, it will be all right.'

Mrs. Perry courtesied her best courtesy, you may be sure; for it was not every day she was honoured with an interview by so grand a personage as old Lady Melicent Bourne of the Tower House, at Hopley. She had known Lady Melicent all her life, for before she married, Mrs. Perry's own home had been at Hopley; but I hardly think this in any way lessened her awe of the great old lady rather the opposite. And there had been no small excitement in the neat cottage beside the forge at Wharton, five miles from Hopley, when the postman brought a letter from my lady's own maid, own cousin to Mrs. Perry, the blacksmith's wife, to say that the place of under housemaid was vacant at last, and Ruth was to be sent over to be seen by Lady Melicent herself. Ruth went, and was approved of, and came home with a message desiring her mother to go in her turn to the Tower House for a talk with her daughter's future mistress. For Lady Melicent was old fashioned enough to take personal interest in her servants; even the younger ones were safe to be 'known all about' by her.

'And she said it that nicely, mother,' Ruth added eagerly, for she had returned full of admiration and enthusiasm about the sweet old lady. 'You are not to ill convenience yourself; any morning saving Friday would do, she said, from eleven to twelve, and Cousin Ellen is to see that you stay to dinner. Her ladyship remembers you as well as can be; she thinks I favour you a bit, and she hopes as I'll favour you in my ways too. And so do I, I'm sure, dear mother.'

And on the child chattered, for a child she was not yet sixteen and the only sister among several brothers who had joined with their parents in taking 'choice care' of little Ruth. Yet she was not spoilt; her mother was too sensible to have allowed anything of that kind. Ruth was unselfish, well meaning, and straightforward, though with some weak points which her sheltered life at home had scarcely yet tested fairly.

She was standing at the cottage door 'father' allowed no hanging about the forge or gossip with the neighbours scarcely in sight herself, but eagerly looking out for her mother, when Mrs. Perry appeared, walking rather slowly up the hill which led from the little railway station. In a moment Ruth's hat was on, and she had flown to meet her mother.

'Yes, love,' said Mrs. Perry, in answer to the girl's breathless, half unspoken inquiry. 'It's all right. You're to go on Thursday week. And a very lucky girl you are, take it all together. Eight pounds wages, to be raised to ten in a year if you stop on and do well, church and Sunday school every Sunday, and now and then an evening service if Cousin Ellen can take you; pleasant work and not too much of it, and best of all, a real good kind lady for your mistress.'

'I don't see as how it could be nicer, and not so far from home neither,' said Ruth. 'Why do you say "take it all together," mother? I see no wrong side at all.'

Mrs. Perry smiled.

'There's that to most things in this world, I misdoubt me, Ruthie. But I'm rather tired, child... Continue reading book >>




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