“They want,” said Mrs. Lander, severely, “to be ca’eful how they drink of them cold brooks when they’re heated. Mr. Richling a married man?”
“Oh, yes’m! But they haven’t got any family.”
“If I could see his wife, I sh’d caution her about lettin’ him climb mountains too much. A’n’t your father afraid he’ll ovado?”
“I don’t know. He thinks he can’t be too much in the open air on the mountains.”
“Well, he may not have the same complaint as Mr. Landa; but I know if I was to climb a mountain,’ it would lay me up for a yea’.”
The girl did not urge anything against this conviction. She smiled politely and waited patiently for the next turn Mrs. Lander’s talk should take, which was oddly enough toward the business Clementina had come upon.
“I declare I most forgot about my polonaise. Mr. Landa said your motha thought she could do something to it for me.”
“Well, I may as well ’let you see it. If you’ll reach into that fuhthest closet, you’ll find it on the last uppa hook on the right hand, and if you’ll give it to me, I’ll show you what I want done. Don’t mind the looks of that closet; I’ve just tossed my things in, till I could get a little time and stren’th to put ’em in odda.”
Clementina brought the polonaise to Mrs. Lander, who sat up and spread it before her on the bed, and had a happy half hour in telling the girl where she had bought the material and where she had it made up, and how it came home just as she was going away, and she did not find out that it was all wrong till a week afterwards when she tried it on. By the end of this time the girl had commended herself so much by judicious and sympathetic assent, that Mrs. Lander learned with a shock of disappointment that her mother expected her to bring the garment home with her, where Mrs. Lander was to come and have it fitted over for the alterations she wanted made.
“But I supposed, from what Mr. Landa said, that your motha would come here and fit me!” she lamented.
“I guess he didn’t undastand, ’m. Motha doesn’t eva go out to do wo’k,” said Clementina gently but firmly.
“Well, I might have known Mr. Landa would mix it up, if it could be mixed; “Mrs. Lander’s sense of injury was aggravated by her suspicion that he had brought the girl in the hope of pleasing her, and confirming her in the wish to have her with them; she was not a woman who liked to have her way in spite of herself; she wished at every step to realize that she was taking it, and that no one else was taking it for her.
“Well,” she said dryly, “I shall have to see about it. I’m a good deal of an invalid, and I don’t know as I could go back and fo’th to try on. I’m moa used to havin’ the things brought to me.”
“Yes’m,” said Clementina. She moved a little from the bed, on her way to the door, to be ready for Mrs. Lander in leave-taking.