And then Thaddeus came, and made all plain to the little woman, and when he was all through she was satisfied. He had discharged the tyrants, and had supplied their places. The latter was the important business which had taken him to town.
“But, Teddy,” Bessie said, with a smile, when she had heard all, “how did poor mild little you ever have the courage to face those two women and give them their discharge?”
Teddy blushed. “I didn’t,” he answered, meekly; “I wrote it.”
Five years have passed since then, and all has gone well. Thaddeus has remained free, and, as he proudly observes, domestics now tremble at his approach—that is, all except Norah, who remembers him as of old. Ellen and Jane are living together in affluence, having saved their wages for nearly the whole of their term of “service.” Bessie is happy in the possession of two fine boys, to whom all her attention—all save a little reserved for Thaddeus—is given; and, as for the dubious, auburn-haired, and distinctly Celtic Norah, Thaddeus is afraid that she is developing into a “treasure.”
“Why do you think so?” Bessie asked him, when he first expressed that fear.
“Oh, she has the symptoms,” returned Thaddeus. “She has taken three nights off this week.”
Thaddeus was tired, and, therefore, Thaddeus was grumpy. One premise only was necessary for the conclusion—in fact, it was the only premise upon which a conclusion involving Thaddeus’s grumpiness could find a foothold. If Thaddeus felt rested, everything in the world could go wrong and he would smile as sweetly as ever; but with the slightest trace of weariness in his system the smile would fade, wrinkles would gather on his forehead, and grumpiness set in whether things were right or wrong. On this special occasion to which I refer, things were just wrong enough to give him a decent excuse— outside of his weariness—for his irritation. Norah, the housemaid, had officiously undertaken to cover up the shortcomings of John, who should have blacked Thaddeus’s boots, and who had taken his day off without preparing the extra pair which the lord of the manor had expected to wear that evening. It was nice of the housemaid, of course, to try to black the extra pair to keep John out of trouble, but she might have been more discriminating. It was not necessary for her to polish, until they shone like Claude Lorraine glasses, two right boots, one of which, paradoxical as it may seem, was consequently the wrong boot; so that when Thaddeus came to dress for the evening’s diversion there was nowhere to be found in his shoe-box a bit of leathern gear in which his left foot might appear in polite society to advantage. Possibly Thaddeus might have endured the pain of a right boot on a left foot, had not Norah unfortunately chosen for that member a box-toed boot, while for the right she had selected one with a very decided acute angle at its toe-end.