“Why, my dear?” he asked.
“Because, Teddy, she was too perfect to be in her right mind.”
And Thaddeus, after thinking it all over, was inclined to believe that Bessie was in the right.
“Yes, Bess, she was perfect—perfect in the way she did her work, perfect in the way she smashed things, and nowhere did she more successfully show the thoroughness with which she did everything than when it came to removing the buttons from my vest. Isn’t it too bad that the only perfect servant that ever lived should turn out to be a hopeless maniac? But I must hurry off, or I’ll miss my train.”
“You are not going down to town to-day?” asked Bessie.
“To-day, above all other days, am I going down,” returned Thaddeus. “I am enough of a barbarian to be unwilling to lose the chance of seeing Bradley, and asking him how he and his jewel get along.”
“Why not, my dear?”
“It would be too mean for anything.”
“Well, perhaps you are right. I guess I won’t. But he has rubbed it into me so much about our domestics that I hate to lose the chance to hit back.”
“Has he?” said Bessie, her face flushing indignantly, and, it may be added, becomingly. “In that case, perhaps, you might—ha! ha!— perhaps you might telegraph and ask him.”
And Thaddeus did so. As yet he has received no reply.
“My dear,” said Thaddeus, one night, as he and Mrs. Perkins entered the library after dinner, “that was a very good dinner to-night. Don’t you think so?”
“All except the salmon,” said Bessie, with a smile.
“Salmon?” echoed Thaddeus. “Salmon? I did not see any salmon.”
“No,” said Bessie, “that was just the trouble. It didn’t come up, although it was in the house before dinner, I’m certain. I saw it arrive.”
“Ellen couldn’t have known you intended it for dinner,” said Thaddeus.
“Yes, she knew it was for dinner,” returned Bessie, “but she made a mistake as to whose dinner it was for. She supposed it was bought for the kitchen-table, and when I went down-stairs to inquire about it a few minutes ago it was fulfilling its assumed mission nobly. There wasn’t much left but the tail and one fin.”
“Well!” ejaculated Thaddeus, “I call that a pretty cool proceeding. Did you give her a talking to?”
“No,” Bessie replied, shortly; “I despise a domestic fuss, so I pretended I’d gone down to talk about breakfast. We’ll have breakfast an hour or two earlier to-morrow, dear.”
“What’s that for?” queried Thaddeus, his eyes open wide with astonishment. “You are not going shopping, are you?”
“No, Teddy, I’m not; but when I got downstairs and realized that Ellen had made the natural mistake of supposing the fish was for the down-stairs dinner, this being Friday, I had to think of something to say, and nothing would come except that we wanted breakfast at seven instead of at eight. It doesn’t do to have servants suspect you of spying upon them, nor is it wise ever to appear flustered—so mamma says—in their presence. I avoided both by making Ellen believe I’d come down to order an early breakfast.”