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The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII. No. 358, November 6, 1886.   By:

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THE GIRL'S OWN PAPER

VOL. VIII. NO. 358.

NOVEMBER 6, 1886.

PRICE ONE PENNY.

MERLE'S CRUSADE.

BY ROSA NOUCHETTE CAREY, Author of "Aunt Diana," "For Lilias," etc.

[Illustration: "I WAS UNDRESSING THE BOY BY THE BEDROOM FIRE."]

CHAPTER V.

MRS. GARNETT'S ROCKERS.

I had plenty of time for such introspective thoughts as these during my brief railway journey, and before my luggage and I were safely deposited at 35, Queen's Gate.

Again I rang the bell, and again the footman in plush and powder answered the door, but this time there was no hesitation in his manner.

"Miss Fenton, I believe," he said, quite civilly. "If you step into the waiting room a moment I will find someone to show you the way to the nursery," and in two or three minutes a tall, respectable young woman came to me, and asked me, very pleasantly, to follow her upstairs.

On the way she mentioned two or three things; her mistress was out in the carriage, and Miss Joyce was with her. The nurse had left the previous night, and Master Reginald had been so fretful that the housekeeper had been obliged to sleep with him, as Hannah had been no manner of use "girls never were," with a toss of her head, which showed me the rosy cheeked Hannah was somewhat in disfavour. Mrs. Garnett was with him now, and had had a "great deal of trouble in lulling him off to sleep, the pretty dear."

We had reached the children's corridor by this time, and I heard the full, cosy tones of Mrs. Garnett's voice in "Hush a bye, baby," and the sound of rockers on the floor. The sound made me indignant that my baby should be soothed with that wooden tapping. No wonder so many children suffered from irritability of the brain; for I was as full of theories as a sucking politician.

"Ook, gurgle da," exclaimed baby, and pointed a fat finger at me over Mrs. Garnett's shoulder. Of course he was not asleep; it would have been an insult to his infantine wisdom to suppose it.

"Oh, Master Baby," exclaimed Hannah, reproachfully. "I did think he had gone off then, Mrs. Garnett; and you have been rocking him for the best part of an hour."

"Ah, he misses his old nurse," returned Mrs. Garnett, placidly. She was a pretty looking woman, with flaxen hair, just becoming streaked with grey. Perhaps she was a widow, for she wore a black gown, and a cap with soft floating ends, and had a plaintive look in her eyes. "I hope he will take to you, my dear, for he nearly fretted his little heart out last night, bless him; and Mrs. Morton crept up at two o'clock in the morning, when Mr. Morton was asleep, but nothing would do but his old nurse; he pushed her away, and it was 'Nur, nur,' and we could not pacify him. Poor Mrs. Morton cried at last, and then he took to patting her and laughing at her in the drollest way."

"I will just take off my bonnet and try and make friends with him," I returned, and Hannah, who really seemed a good natured creature, ushered me into the night nursery a large, cheerful room, with a bright fire, and a comfortable looking bed, with a brass crib on each side and pointed out to me the large chest of drawers and hanging wardrobe for my own special use, and then went down on her knees to unstrap my box.

"Thank you, Hannah, I will not wait to unpack now, as I daresay Mrs. Garnett is wanted downstairs," and as soon as she had left the room I opened the box and took out the pretty cap and apron, and proceeded to invest myself in my nurse's livery. I hope Aunt Agatha had not made me vain by that injudicious praise, but I certainly thought they looked very nice, and gave me a sense of importance.

The tall housemaid Rhoda they called her stared at me as I re entered, but Mrs Garnett gave me an approving glance; but it was baby who afforded me most satisfaction, for he screwed up his little rosebud of a mouth in the prettiest fashion and said, "Nur, nur," at the same time holding out his arms for me to take him. I must confess I forgot Aunt Agatha in that moment of triumph.

"He takes to you quite nicely, my dear," observed Mrs... Continue reading book >>


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