“Then you can cook for us. Mother is always having trouble with her kitchen,” said Rachel, understanding well enough she was now dependent for her very food and shelter upon the kindness of family friends. It is true the girls received a little something out of the wreck of their father’s fortune, but with a speculator’s mad folly he had managed to involve both his wife’s and his children’s portion in the common ruin.
“Can I? Can I?” Felicia responded to Rachel’s proposition as if it were to be considered seriously. “I am ready to do anything honorable to make my living and that of Rose. Poor Rose! She will never be able to get over the shock of our trouble.”
“We will arrange the details when we get to Raymond,” Rachel said, smiling through her tears at Felicia’s eager willingness to care for herself.
So in a few weeks Rose and Felicia found themselves a part of the Winslow family in Raymond. It was a bitter experience for Rose, but there was nothing else for her to do and she accepted the inevitable, brooding over the great change in her life and in many ways adding to the burden of Felicia and her cousin Rachel.
Felicia at once found herself in an atmosphere of discipleship that was like heaven to her in its revelation of companionship. It is true that Mrs. Winslow was not in sympathy with the course that Rachel was taking, but the remarkable events in Raymond since the pledge was taken were too powerful in their results not to impress even such a woman as Mrs. Winslow. With Rachel, Felicia found a perfect fellowship. She at once found a part to take in the new work at the Rectangle. In the spirit of her new life she insisted upon helping in the housework at her aunt’s, and in a short time demonstrated her ability as a cook so clearly that Virginia suggested that she take charge of the cooking at the Rectangle.
Felicia entered upon this work with the keenest pleasure. For the first time in her life she had the delight of doing something of value for the happiness of others. Her resolve to do everything after asking, “What would Jesus do?” touched her deepest nature. She began to develop and strengthen wonderfully. Even Mrs. Winslow was obliged to acknowledge the great usefulness and beauty of Felicia’s character. The aunt looked with astonishment upon her niece, this city-bred girl, reared in the greatest luxury, the daughter of a millionaire, now walking around in her kitchen, her arms covered with flour and occasionally a streak of it on her nose, for Felicia at first had a habit of rubbing her nose forgetfully when she was trying to remember some recipe, mixing various dishes with the greatest interest in their results, washing up pans and kettles and doing the ordinary work of a servant in the Winslow kitchen and at the rooms at the Rectangle Settlement. At first Mrs. Winslow remonstrated.
“Felicia, it is not your place to be out here doing this common work. I cannot allow it.”