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Mrs. Korner Sins Her Mercies   By: (1859-1927)

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By Jerome K. Jerome

"I do mean it," declared Mrs. Korner, "I like a man to be a man."

"But you would not like Christopher I mean Mr. Korner to be that sort of man," suggested her bosom friend.

"I don't mean that I should like it if he did it often. But I should like to feel that he was able to be that sort of man. Have you told your master that breakfast is ready?" demanded Mrs. Korner of the domestic staff, entering at the moment with three boiled eggs and a teapot.

"Yus, I've told 'im," replied the staff indignantly.

The domestic staff at Acacia Villa, Ravenscourt Park, lived in a state of indignation. It could be heard of mornings and evenings saying its prayers indignantly.

"What did he say?"

"Said 'e'11 be down the moment 'e's dressed."

"Nobody wants him to come before," commented Mrs. Korner. "Answered me that he was putting on his collar when I called up to him five minutes ago."

"Answer yer the same thing now, if yer called up to 'im agen, I 'spect," was the opinion of the staff. "Was on 'is 'ands and knees when I looked in, scooping round under the bed for 'is collar stud."

Mrs. Korner paused with the teapot in her hand. "Was he talking?"

"Talkin'? Nobody there to talk to; I 'adn't got no time to stop and chatter."

"I mean to himself," explained Mrs. Korner. "He he wasn't swearing?" There was a note of eagerness, almost of hope, in Mrs. Korner's voice.

"Swearin'! 'E! Why, 'e don't know any."

"Thank you," said Mrs. Korner. "That will do, Harriet; you may go."

Mrs Korner put down the teapot with a bang. "The very girl," said Mrs. Korner bitterly, "the very girl despises him."

"Perhaps," suggested Miss Greene, "he had been swearing and had finished."

But Mrs. Korner was not to be comforted. "Finished! Any other man would have been swearing all the time."

"Perhaps," suggested the kindly bosom friend, ever the one to plead the cause of the transgressor, "perhaps he was swearing, and she did not hear him. You see, if he had his head well underneath the bed "

The door opened.

"Sorry I am late," said Mr. Korner, bursting cheerfully into the room. It was a point with Mr. Korner always to be cheerful in the morning. "Greet the day with a smile and it will leave you with a blessing," was the motto Mrs. Korner, this day a married woman of six months and three weeks standing had heard her husband murmur before getting out of bed on precisely two hundred and two occasions. The Motto entered largely into the scheme of Mr. Korner's life. Written in fine copperplate upon cards all of the same size, a choice selection counselled him each morning from the rim of his shaving glass.

"Did you find it?" asked Mrs. Korner.

"It is most extraordinary," replied Mr. Korner, as he seated himself at the breakfast table. "I saw it go under the bed with my own eyes. Perhaps "

"Don't ask me to look for it," interrupted Mrs. Korner. "Crawling about on their hands and knees, knocking their heads against iron bedsteads, would be enough to make some people swear." The emphasis was on the "some."

"It is not bad training for the character," hinted Mr. Korner, "occasionally to force oneself to perform patiently tasks calculated "

"If you get tied up in one of those long sentences of yours, you will never get out in time to eat your breakfast," was the fear of Mrs. Korner.

"I should be sorry for anything to happen to it," remarked Mr. Korner, "its intrinsic value may perhaps "

"I will look for it after breakfast," volunteered the amiable Miss Greene. "I am good at finding things."

"I can well believe it," the gallant Mr. Korner assured her, as with the handle of his spoon he peeled his egg. "From such bright eyes as yours, few "

"You've only got ten minutes," his wife reminded him. "Do get on with your breakfast."

"I should like," said Mr. Korner, "to finish a speech occasionally."

"You never would," asserted Mrs. Korner.

"I should like to try," sighed Mr. Korner, "one of these days "

"How did you sleep, dear? I forgot to ask you," questioned Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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