Welsh Journals

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AUGUST. THE HADDINGTONS' HOUSEKEEPER. BY GRACE STEBBING. CHAPTER III. THE YOUNG HOUSEKKEPEK. EFORE her marriage, and for some little while after, Mrs. Haddington had been a visitor at the work- * house, and there she had made acquaintance with the workhouse child, Jane Beverley. The profoundest pity had moved her own young heart for the scarce¬ ly fourteen-year-old girl, under¬ sized in growth and depressed in manner, who was " promoted " from the children's quarters, with their young companionship, school, and play, to the women's depai'tment, with woman's work at the wash-tub, and in the wards. Week by week the observant visitor had noted the thin shoulders growing rounder and the face more sad, and within a few days of her wedding, sympathy had grown too strong to keep silence any longer, and she took counsel with the home parlourmaid, who was about to leave the mother's service for that of the bride. The rather dignified, self-respecting Emily Farn- combe had made some demur at first as to having a workhouse girl to train. "Workhouse girls were rough—she had always heard so—and had no manners. She didn't know that she could put up with such." " But you go to a Bible-class, Emily," had remon¬ strated her future mistress; "and you won't mind, No. 66. August, 1898. I suppose, when I come to you one day and tell you that the poor child has died of sadness and hard work and want of love ? " Tears of sympathy were in the speaker's eyes, and the good' parlourmaid's rather wavering op¬ position was thoroughly subdued. But she felt obliged to cover her retreat with one small parting shot. " Only you won't blame me, miss, if you get told lies, or if any of your pretty wedding presents get broken or chipped by clumsy hands." The fair girl laughed and blushed. " It is no use trying to frighten me, Emily. As if you could make me suppose that you will let any one touch my drawing-room but yourself! And as for the lies,"—more seriously,—" well, Jane Beverley has an honest face and a good character in the work¬ house. We won't terrify her by too great strictness, will we, Emily, into telling untruths from fear of us ? " A moment's pause, and then,—" I'll try to be on my guard with myself, miss," said Emily with great earnestness. And so the matter was settled, and six weeks later Emily herself had fetched Jane Beverley from the workhouse, according to her young mistress's wishes, that the new young housemaid might be ready, amidst the other servants, to welcome the home¬ coming of the bride and bridegroom that afternoon. From that day a new life, and one that seemed to the girl herself a wonderful life, had begun for Jane Beverley. After three years' training, first as under, then as upper housemaid under Emily Farncombe,