“My servant informs me your name is Miss Roscom.”
I replied in the affirmative, and added, “I have the pleasure, I presume, of addressing Mrs. Leighton?”
The lady acknowledged her claim to that name, and I continued,—“Seeing your advertisement for a governess, I have made bold to apply for the situation.”
The lady bent upon me a searching look, as she replied,—
“Pray be seated Miss, and we will converse upon the matter.”
I gladly obeyed her request that I should be seated, for I felt nervous and agitated. After a moment’s silence she addressed me, saying,—
“You look rather young, for the responsible duties of a governess.”
I replied that I was not yet nineteen years of age, that I had not as yet been engaged in teaching, having only myself left school three months since,—but that I found it necessary that I should do something for my own support and that of my widowed mother,—and that I would gladly do my utmost to give satisfaction, could I obtain a situation.
Mrs. Leighton, after a moment’s thought, said,—“Although you are young for the position, your countenance pleases me, and I feel inclined to give you a trial.”
She then informed me that my pupils would consist of two girls, the eldest twelve, the other ten years of age, also a little boy of seven. She added, “I had almost forgotten to enquire if you have brought any references?”
Whereupon I handed her the certificate of qualifications given me by Mrs. Wentworth when I left school. She looked pleased as she replied,
“Your being for four years a member of Mrs. Wentworth’s school is in itself a recommendation.”
I also handed her the names of several ladies well known in the city, telling her she was at liberty to make any enquiries of them she might think proper. She replied that she felt almost certain she would engage me, but that she would send me a decided answer in the course of two or three days. I thanked her, and, bidding her good morning, set out on my return home, much elated with the success of this my first application.
The salary offered by Mrs. Leighton was a weighty consideration to me, and although aware that my duties would often prove unpleasant and irksome, I felt that I could endure much with the consciousness that I was assisting my dear mother.
My mother advised me not to be too sanguine as I might not obtain the situation; but, on the third day after my application, my suspense was relieved by receiving a note from Mrs. Leighton, saying that she would gladly engage me, if I still wished for the situation; and she named an early day when she wished me to enter upon my duties. I replied that I gladly accepted the situation, and would be ready to begin duties at the day appointed.