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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

The New Rudder Grange

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One afternoon I found Euphemia quite annoyed.

"Look here," she said, "and see what that girl has been at work at, nearly all this afternoon. I was upstairs sewing and thought she was ironing. Isn't it too provoking?"

It WAS provoking. The contemplative German had collected a lot of short ham-bones--where she found them I cannot imagine--and had made of them a border around my wife's flower-bed. The bones stuck up straight a few inches above the ground, all along the edge of the bed, and the marrow cavity of each one was filled with earth in which she had planted seeds.

"'These,' she says, 'will spring up and look beautiful,'" said Euphemia; "they have that style of thing in her country."

"Then let her take them off with her to her country," I exclaimed.

"No, no," said Euphemia, hurriedly, "don't kick them out. It would only wound her feelings. She did it all for the best, and thought it would please me to have such a border around my bed. But she is too independent, and neglects her proper work. I will give her a week's notice and get another servant. When she goes we can take these horrid bones away. But I hope nobody will call on us in the meantime."

"Must we keep these things here a whole week?" I asked.

"Oh, I can't turn her away without giving her a fair notice. That would be cruel."

I saw the truth of the remark, and determined to bear with the bones and her rather than be unkind.

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That night Euphemia informed the girl of her decision, and the next morning, soon after I had left, the good German appeared with her bonnet on and her carpet-bag in her hand, to take leave of her mistress.

"What!" cried Euphemia. "You are not going to-day?"

"If it is goot to go at all it is goot to go now," said the girl.

"And you will go off and leave me without any one in the house, after my putting myself out to give you a fair notice? It's shameful!"

"I think it is very goot for me to go now," quietly replied the girl. "This house is very loneful. I will go to-morrow in the city to see your husband for my money. Goot morning." And off she trudged to the station.

Before I reached the house that afternoon, Euphemia rushed out to tell this story. I would not like to say how far I kicked those ham-bones.

This German girl had several successors, and some of them suited as badly and left as abruptly as herself; but Euphemia never forgot the ungrateful stab given her by this "ham-bone girl," as she always called her. It was her first wound of the kind, and it came in the very beginning of the campaign when she was all unused to this domestic warfare.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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