A Daughter of To-Day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
by-way of Fleet Street, and did a little bit of excellent work for the Illustrated Age every day.  If it had not been for the editor-in-chief, Rattray would have extended her scope on the paper; but the editor-in-chief said no, Miss Bell was dangerous, there was no telling what she might be up to if they gave her the reins.  She went very well, but she was all the better for the severest kind of a bit.  So Miss Bell wrote about colonial exhibitions and popular spectacles, and country outings for babies of the slums, and longed for a fairer field.  As midsummer came on there arrived a dearth in these objects of orthodox interest, and Rattray told her she might submit “anything on the nail” that occurred to her, in addition to such work as the office could give her to do.  Then, in spite of the vigilance of the editor-in-chief, an odd unconventional bit of writing crept now and then into the Age—­an interview with some eccentric notability with the piquancy of a page from Gyp, a bit of pathos picked out of the common, streets, a fragment of character-drawing which smiled visibly and talked audibly.  Elfrida in her garret drew a joy from these things.  She cut them out and read them over and over again, and put them sacredly away, with Nadie’s letters and a manuscript poem of a certain Bruynotin’s, and a scrawl from one Hakkoff, with a vigorous sketch of herself, from memory, in pen and ink in the corner of the page, in the little eastern-smelling wooden box which seemed to her to represent the core of her existence.  They quickened her pulse, they gave her a curious uplifted happiness that took absolutely no account of any other circumstance.

There were days when Mrs. Jordan had real twinges of conscience about the quality of Miss Bell’s steak.  “But there,” Mrs. Jordan would soothe herself, “I might bring her the best sulline, and she wouldn’t know no difference.”  In other practical respects the girl was equally indifferent.  Her clothes were shabby, and she did not seem to think of replacing them; Mrs. Jordan made preposterous charges for candles, and she paid them without question.  She tipped people who did little services for her with a kind of royal delicacy; the girl who scrubbed the landings worshipped her, and the boy who came every day for her copy once brought her a resplendent “button-hole” consisting of two pink rosebuds and a scarlet geranium, tendering it with a shy lie to the effect that he had found it in the street.  She went alone now and again to the opera, taking an obscure place, and she lived a good deal among the foreign art exhibitions of Bond Street.  Once she bought an etching and brought it home under her arm.  That kept her poor for a month, though she would have been less aware of it if she had not, before the month was out, wanted to buy another.  A great Parisian actress had made her yearly visit to London in June, and Elfrida conjuring with the name of the Illustrated Age, won an appointment from her. 

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A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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