“Teach them a lesson!” muttered the proprietor with satisfaction. “Serves them right! I’m rather glad of the row.”
Cheerily the guests fell to work in their several departments, and if more than one match for life was not made among the young people, it was from no lack of genuine admiration in their new roles. The lads and lassies were happy and rosy and busy at their self-appointed tasks. The white-coated waiters were dubbed “No. 47,” “No. 50,” and so on, and right nobly they served the well-spread tables, which lacked nothing, not even the boon of contentment, which so helps digestion.
The flushed matrons behind big kitchen aprons, with diamonds locked away in the hotel safe, took turns to perfection. Many guests took their ease, and were mere lookers-on at the frolic; but a right goodly company put their shoulders to the wheel.
When the new corps of “help” were installed, they found the hotel clean and tidy from attic to cellar, and everything in its proper place.
The episode was one to be remembered by the malcontents, who had had a severe lesson; by the host, who had seen a genuinely good side of human nature; and the ladies who had so nobly stepped into the breach, learned during their brief period of servitude to be more patient and considerate to those who serve.
“Well, tell me about Henry Woodruff. How did that match turn out?”
“Bad enough thus far. He is the same delightful, good-hearted fellow as of old; always ready to do a kind, or courteous act. But this woman will be the ruin of him.”
“How? What is the trouble?”
“The trouble is she is spoiled to death! She fancies herself an invalid, lies around, does nothing but read Charlotte Braeme and Bertha M. Clay—has every foolish whim gratified, and, in fact, I don’t see how he stands it.”
“Did she have any property?”
“Not a cent. It was an out-and-out love match. She has expensive tastes; she is indolent and extravagant. Why, his carriage hire is a big item of itself. She couldn’t walk a block, you know.”
“Perhaps she really is a sufferer.”
“Nonsense; nobody believes it. She had that fall, you recollect at the skating rink. At first her spine was thought to be seriously injured. Woodruff paid out several hundred dollars to have her cured, and the doctors discharged her, well, they said. But it has pleased her to drag around, a load on his hands, ever since. It is thought that he is much crippled financially. I know positively that he has lately mortgaged his interest in the firm. If he can’t manage to make, or save five thousand dollars by the end of this year, it is all up with him. And he will never do it at his present rate of living,”
“Why doesn’t he tell her? Has she no sense, or feeling at all?”