“There has been some mistake about the servants, Marvel, but it will be remedied as soon as possible. And I told you before I married that Mr. Carlyle’s establishment would be a limited one.”
“My lady perhaps I could put up with that; but I never could stop in the house with—” “that female Guy” had been on the tip of Marvel’s tongue, but she remembered in time of whom she was speaking—“with Miss Carlyle. I fear, my lady, we have both got tempers that would slash, and might be flying at each other. I could not stop, my lady, for untold gold. And if you please to make me forfeit my running month’s salary, why I must do it. So when I have set your ladyship’s things to rights, I hope you’ll allow me to go.”
Lady Isabel would not condescend to ask her to remain, but she wondered how she should manage the inconvenience. She drew her desk toward her. “What is the amount due to you?” she inquired, as she unlocked it.
“Up to the end of the quarter, my lady?” cried Marvel, in a brisk tone.
“No,” coldly answered Lady Isabel. “Up to to-day.”
“I have not had time to reckon, my lady.”
Lady Isabel took a pencil and paper, made out the account, and laid it down in gold and silver on the table. “It is more than you deserve, Marvel,” she remarked, “and more than you would get in most places. You ought to have given me proper notice.”
Marvel melted into tears, and began a string of excuses. “She should never have wished to leave so kind a lady, but for attendant ill-conveniences, and she hoped my lady would not object to testify to her character.”
Lady Isabel quitted the room in the midst of it; and in the course of the day Marvel took her departure, Joyce telling her that she ought to be ashamed of herself.
“I couldn’t help myself,” retorted Marvel, “and I am sorry to leave her, for she’s a pleasant young lady to serve.”
“Well, I know I’d have helped myself,” was Joyce’s remark. “I would not go off in this unhandsome way from a good mistress.”
“Perhaps you wouldn’t,” loftily returned Marvel, “but my inside feelings are delicate and can’t bear to be trampled upon. The same house is not going to hold me and that tall female image, who’s more fit to be carried about at a foreign carnival than some that they do carry.”
So Marvel left. And when Lady Isabel went to her room to dress for dinner, Joyce entered it.
“I am not much accustomed to a lady’s maid’s duties,” began she, “but Miss Carlyle has sent me, my lady, to do what I can for you, if you will allow me.”
Isabel thought it was kind of Miss Carlyle.
“And if you please to trust me with the keys of your things, I will take charge of them for you, my lady, until you are suited with a maid,” Joyce resumed.
“I don’t know anything about the keys,” answered Isabel; “I never keep them.”
Joyce did her best, and Lady Isabel went down. It was nearly six o’clock, the dinner hour, and she strolled to the park gates, hoping to meet Mr. Carlyle. Taking a few steps out, she looked down the road, but could not see him coming; so she turned in again, and sat down under a shady tree out of view of the road. It was remarkably warm weather for the closing days of May.