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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 97 pages of information about Ragged Lady Volume 1.
from Mrs. Lander how Miss Claxon was to be regarded.  He managed delicately, by saying he would give the Sunday paper she had ordered to her nurse, “Or, I beg your pardon,” he added, as if he had made a mistake.  “Why, she a’n’t my nuhse,” Mrs. Lander explained, simply, neither annoyed nor amused; “she’s just a young lady that’s visiting me, as you may say,” and this put an end to the misgiving among the ladies.  But it suggested something to Mrs. Lander, and a few days afterwards, when they came out from Boston where they had been shopping, and she had been lavishing a bewildering waste of gloves, hats, shoes, capes and gowns upon Clementina, she said, “I’ll tell you what.  We’ve got to have a maid.”

“A maid?” cried the girl.

“It isn’t me, or my things I want her for,” said Mrs. Lander.  “It’s you and these dresses of youas.  I presume you could look afta them, come to give youa mind to it; but I don’t want to have you tied up to a lot of clothes; and I presume we should find her a comfo’t in moa ways than one, both of us.  I don’t know what we shall want her to do, exactly; but I guess she will, if she undastands her business, and I want you should go in with me, to-morror, and find one.  I’ll speak to some of the ladies, and find out whe’s the best place to go, and we’ll get the best there is.”

A lady whom Mrs. Lander spoke to entered into the affair with zeal born of a lurking sense of the wrong she had helped do Clementina in the common doubt whether she was not herself Mrs. Lander’s maid.  She offered to go into Boston with them to an intelligence office, where you could get nice girls of all kinds; but she ended by giving Mrs. Lander the address, and instructions as to what she was to require in a maid.  She was chiefly to get an English maid, if at all possible, for the qualifications would more or less naturally follow from her nationality.  There proved to be no English maid, but there was a Swedish one who had received a rigid training in an English family living on the Continent, and had come immediately from that service to seek her first place in America.  The manager of the office pronounced her character, as set down in writing, faultless, and Mrs. Lander engaged her.  “You want to look afta this young lady,” she said, indicating Clementina.  “I can look afta myself,” but Ellida took charge of them both on the train out from Boston with prompt intelligence.

“We got to get used to it, I guess,” Mrs. Lander confided at the first chance of whispering to Clementina.

Within a month after washing the faces and combing the hair of all her brothers and sisters who would suffer it at her hands, Clementina’s own head was under the brush of a lady’s maid, who was of as great a discreetness in her own way as Clementina herself.  She supplied the defects of Mrs. Lander’s elementary habits by simply asking if she should get this thing and that thing for the toilet, without criticising its absence,—­and then asking whether she

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