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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Treating of a Novel Style of Burglar

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But her genius for expedients saved her from this humiliation. She had to purchase some sewing-cotton, and some other little things, and when she had bought them, she handed her bundle to the woman behind the counter, and asked her if she would not be so good as to have that wrapped up with the other things. It was a good deal to ask, she knew, and the woman smiled, for the articles she had bought would not make a package as large as her hand. However, her request was complied with, and she took away a very decent package, with the card of the store stamped on the outside. I suppose that there are not more than half a dozen people in this country who would refuse Euphemia anything that she would be willing to ask for.

So she took the work home, and she labored faithfully at it for about a week, She did not suppose it would take her so long; but she was not used to such very plain sewing, and was much afraid that she would not do it neatly enough. Besides this, she could only work on it in the daytime--when I was away--and was, of course, interrupted a great deal by her ordinary household duties, and the necessity of a careful oversight of Pomona's somewhat erratic methods of doing her work.

But at last she finished the job and took it into the city. She did not want to spend any more money on the trip than was absolutely necessary, and so was very glad to find that she had a remnant of pocket-money sufficient to pay her fare both ways.

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When she reached the city, she walked up to the place where her work was to be delivered, and found it much farther when she went on foot than it had seemed to her riding in the street cars. She handed over her bundle to the proper person, and, as it was soon examined and approved, she received her pay therefor.

It amounted to sixty cents. She had made no bargain, but she was a little astonished. However, she said nothing, but left the place without asking for any more work. In fact she forgot all about it. She had an idea that everything was all wrong, and that idea engrossed her mind entirely. There was no mistake about the sum paid, for the lady clerk had referred to the printed table of prices when she calculated the amount due. But something was wrong, and, at the moment, Euphemia could not tell what it was. She left the place, and started to walk back to the ferry. But she was so tired and weak, and hungry--it was now an hour or two past her regular luncheon time--that she thought she should faint if she did not go somewhere and get some refreshments.

So, like a sensible little woman as she was, she went into a restaurant. She sat down at a table, and a waiter came to her to see what she would have. She was not accustomed to eating-houses, and perhaps this was the first time that she had ever visited one alone. What she wanted was something simple. So she ordered a cup of tea and some rolls, and a piece of chicken. The meal was a very good one, and Euphemia enjoyed it. When she had finished, she went up to the counter to settle. Her bill was sixty cents. She paid the money that she had just received, and walked down to the ferry- -all in a daze, she said. When she got home she thought it over, and then she cried.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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