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do for you."
I just wish Mrs. Dunscombe had to eat it herself
, and nothing else !—I'm not going to wake her up for that, I know, till I sce whether something better ain't to be had for love nor money. So just you sleep on, darling, till I see what I can
In great indignation, down stairs went Miss Timmins; and at the foot of the stairs she met a rosy-cheeked, pleasantfaced girl coming up. Are you
the chambermaid ?" said Timmins. “I'm one of the chambermaids,” said the girl smiling; “there's three of us in this house, dear.”
“Well, I am a stranger here,” said Timmins, “but I want you to help me, and I am sure you will. I've got a dear little girl up stairs that I want some supper for-she's a sweet child, and she's under the care of some proud folks here in the tea-room that think it's too much trouble to look at her; and they've sent her up about supper enough for a mouse,--and she's half starving; she lost her breakfast this morning by their ugliness. Now ask one of the waiters to give me something nice for her, will you?--there's a good
“ James !”—said the girl in a loud whisper to one of the waiters who was crossing the hall. He instantly stopped and came towards them, tray in hand, and making several extra polite bows as he drew near.
“What's on the supper-table, James ?" said the smiling damsel.
“ Every thing that ought to be there, Miss Johns,” said the man, with another flourish.
Come, stop your nonsense,” said the girl," and tell me quick-I'm in a hurry."
“It's a pleasure to perform your commands, Miss Johns. I'll give you the whole bill of fare. There's a very fine beefsteak, fricasseed chickens, stewed oysters, sliced ham, cheese, preserved quinces, with the usual complement of bread and toast and muffins, and doughnuts, and new-year cake, and plenty of butter,- likewise salt and pepper,— likewise tea and coffee, and sugar,-- likewise, -"
“ Hush !” said the girl. “Do stop, will you?"—and then laughing and turning to Miss Timmins, she added, « What will you have ?"
guess I'll have some of the chickens and oysters,” said Timmins; that will be the nicest for her,—and a muffin
“Now, James, do you hear ?" said the chambermaid; “I want you to get me now, right away, a nice little supper of chickens and oysters and a muffin—it's for a lady up stairs. Be as quick as you can.
“I should be very happy to execute impossibilities for you, Miss Johns, but Mrs. Custers is at the table herself.”
“Very well—that's nothing-she'll think it's for somebody up stairs--and so it is."
“Ay, but the up-stairs people is Tim's business—I should be hauled over the coals directly."
“ Then ask Tim, will you? How slow you are! Now, James, if you don't, I won't speak to you again."
“Till to-morrow?-I couldn't stand that. It shall be done, Miss Johns, instantum."
Bowing and smiling, away went James, leaving the girls giggling on the staircase and highly gratified.
“ He always does what I want him to," said the goodhumoured chambermaid, "but he generally makes a fuss about it first. He'll be back directly with what you want.”
Till he came, Miss Timmins filled up the time with telling her new friend as much as she knew about Ellen and Ellen's hardships; with which Miss Johns was so much interested that she declared she must go up and see her; and when James in a few minutes returned with a tray of nice things, the two women proceeded together to Mrs. Dunscombe's room. Ellen had moved so far as to put herself on the floor with her head on the cushiou for a pillow, but she was as sound asleep as ever.
“Just see now!” said Timmins; "there she lies on the floor-enough to give her her death of cud; poor child, she's tired to death; and Mrs. Dunscombe made her walk up from the steamboat to-night rather than do it herself;I declare I wished the coach would break down, only for the other folks. I am glad I have got a good supper for her though,—thank you, Miss Johns."
“And I'll tell you what, I'll go and get you some nice hot tea,” said the chambermaid, who was quite touched by the sight of Ellen's little pale face.
“ Thank you," said Timmins,—“ you're a darling. This is as cold as a stone.
While the chambermaid went forth on her kind errand, Timmins stooped down by the little sleeper's side. “Miss Ellen!” she said ;—“Miss Ellen !-wake up, dear—wake up and get some supper-come! you'll feel a great deal better for it-you shall sleep as much as you like afterwards.” Slowly Ellen raised herself and opened her eyes.
" Where am I ?" she asked, looking bewildered. “Here, dear,” said Timmins;—"wake
and eat something—it will do you good."
With a sigh, poor Ellen arose and came to the fire. “You're tired to death, ain't you ?" said Timmins.
“Not quite,” said Ellen. « I shouldn't mind that if my legs would not ache so-and my head, too.” “Now I'm sorry!" said Timmins ; " but your
head will be better for eating, I know. See here—I've got you some nice chicken and oysters,—and I'll make this muffin hot for you by the fire; and here comes your tea. Miss Johns, I'm your servant, and I'll be your bridesmaid with the greatest pleasure in life. Now, Miss Ellen, dear, just you put yourself on that low chair, and I'll fix you
off.” Ellen thanked her, and did as she was told. Timmins brought another chair to her side, and placed the tray with her supper upon it, and prepared her muffin and tea; and having fairly seen Ellen begin to eat, she next took off her shoes, and seating herself on the carpet before her, she made her lap the resting place for Ellen's feet, chafing them in her hands and heating them at the fire, saying there was nothing like rubbing and roasting to get rid of the leg-ache. By the help of the supper, the fire, and Timmins, Ellen mended rapidly. With tears in her eyes, she thanked the latter for her kindness.
“Now just don't say one word about that,” said Timmins; I never was famous for kindness, as I know; but people must be kind sometimes in their lives,-unless they happen to be made of stone, which I believe some people are. You feel better, don't “A great deal," said Ellen. “Oh, if I only could go to A ”
“ bed, now !"
“ And you shall,” said Timmins. “I know about your
bed, 'and I'll go right away and have it brought in.” And away she went.
While she was gone, Ellen drew from her pocket her little hymn-book, to refresh herself with looking at it. How quickly and freshly it brought back to her mind the friend who had given it, and his conversations with her, and the resolve she had made; and again Ellen's whole heart offered the prayer she had repeated many times that day,
Open my heart, Lord, enter in;
Slay every foe, and conquer sin." Her head was still bent upon her little book when Timmins entered. Timmins was not alone ; Miss Johns and a little cot bedstead came in with her. The latter was put at the foot of Mrs. Dunscombe's bed, and speedily made up by the chambermaid, while Timmins undressed Ellen; and very soon all the sorrows and vexations of the day were forgotten in a sound, refreshing sleep. But not till she had removed her little hymn-book from the pocket of her frock to a safe station under her pillow; it was with her hand upon it that Ellen went to sleep; and it was in her hand still when she was waked the next morning.
The next day was spent in a wearisome stage-coach, over a rough, jolting road. Ellen's companions did nothing to make her way pleasant, but she sweetened theirs with her sugar-plums. Somewhat mollified, perhaps, after that, Miss Margaret condescended to enter into conversation with her, and Ellen underwent a thorough cross-examination as to all her own and her parents' affairs, past, present, and future, and.likewise as to all that could be known of her yesterday's friend, till she was heartily worried, and out of patience.
It was just five o'clock when they reached her stoppingplace.: Ellen knew of no particular house to go to; so Mrs. Dunscombe set her down at the door of the principal inn of the town, called the “Star” of Thirlwall.
The driver smacked his whip, and away went the stage again, and she was left standing alone beside her trunk before the piazza of the inn, watching Timmins, who was looking back at her out of the stage window, nodding and waving good-by.
Gadsby.-Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London ?
KING HENRY IV.
TELLEN had been whirled along over the roads for so
many hours,--the rattle of the stage-coach had filled her ears for so long,—that now, suddenly still and quiet, she felt half stunned. She stood with a kind of dreamy feeling, looking after the departing stage-coach. In it there were three people whose faces she knew, and she could not count a fourth within many a mile. One of those was a friend, too, as the fluttering handkerchief of poor Miss Timmins gave token still. Yet Ellen did not wish herself back in the coach, although she continued to stand and gaze after it as it rattled off at a great 'rate down the little street, its huge body lumbering up and down every now and then, reminding her of sundry uncomfortable jolts; till the horses naking a sudden turn to the right, it disappeared round a cor. ner. Still for a minute Ellen watched the whirling cloud
, of dust it had left behind; but then the feeling of strangeness and loneliness came over her, and her heart sank. She cast a look up and down the street. The afternoon was lovely; the slant beams of the setting sun came back from gilded windows, and the houses and chimney-tops of the little town were in a glow; but she saw nothing bright anywhere ;-in all the glory of the setting sun the little town looked strange and miserable. There was no sign of her having been expected; nobody was waiting to meet her. What was to be done next? Ellen had not the slightest idea.
Her heart growing fainter and fainter, she turned again to the inn. A tall, awkward young countryman, with a cap set on one side of his head, was busying himself with sweeping off the floor of the piazza, but in a very leisurely