The owner of the beer-garden looked on them in surprise.
“Got it all framed up,” he said, “that Dutchy is to have the job, have you?” He turned, then, to Kreutzer. “That’s all right, too, I guess. Showed you can play real fast and that is somethin’ with a crowd, all right, all right. But don’t you know some really good music?”
“Good music!” Kreutzer faltered, at a loss. That which he had played had been among the best the world has ever known.
“Yes; rag-time stuff, an’ such. Real pop’lar.”
“No,” said Kreutzer, sadly, “I fear I do not know good music of the kind you name.” He made as if to turn away, but then bethought himself and whirled back hopefully. “But I can learn,” he said. “Simple things, without a doubt, I could play on sight.”
“Off the notes, you mean?”
“Take this, then.” The manager held toward him a thick book of rag-time melodies.
Kreutzer, too desperate to be disgusted, ran through half-a-dozen of them rapidly. Now the manager beamed pleasantly.
“Say, you’ll do, all right, all right,” he told the flute-player. Then, turning to the rest he motioned them away. “Beat it, you guys,” he commanded. “Father Rhine here’s got the job.”
Down in the new tenement Anna and her little slave, M’riar, worked hard, that day, at cleaning.
“W’ere Hi wuz born,” M’riar gravely commented, “we wuz brought up on dirt an’ liked hit, but we never wusn’t greedy for hit, like th’ way these folks, ’ere, ’as been.”
Anna, in the next room, was for the first time in her life working with a scrubbing-brush, and, presently, M’riar heard its swish.
“Hi s’y!” she cried, and dashed into the gloomy cubby-hole. “Wot’s this? You scrubbin’? Drop it, now, you ’ear? Hit ’yn’t fer me to show no disrespeck, Frow_line_, but—drop it. Hi ‘yn’t a-goin’ to have them pretty ’ands hall spoilt.”
“But, M’riarrr, I just love to scrub.”
“Don’t love hanythink so vulgar,” M’riar replied without a moment’s hesitation. “Don’t you bother lovin’ hanythink but just the guvnor, and—and—Mr. Vanderlyn.” She looked down at blushing Anna who, upon her knees, was astonished almost into full paralysis. And then she shrilly laughed.
“Hi knows!” said she. “Hi knows.”
“M’riarrr,” said Anna slowly, rising, “you are crrazy.”
“Not so cryzy as a ’ackman ‘ammerin’ ’is ’ead hagainst a ’ouse.” said M’riar. “There’s cryzier. Love mykes ’em that w’y.”
“Quite crrazy,” Anna answered; but she was blushing furiously.
“Blushin’ red as beefstykes,” M’riar commented as she took the brush and started to do Anna’s painfully accomplished task all over, from the big crack by the door where she had started. “’Ow’s ‘e hever goin’ to know w’ere we ’ave moved to?” she asked her mistress, now.