Leah Mordecai eBook

Belle K. Abbott
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about Leah Mordecai.

It should be mentioned that, by the death of a maternal uncle during her married life, this noble woman had inherited a handsome estate, consisting largely of valuable lands upon some of the fertile islands adjacent to the coast.

Much of this land the government had appropriated to its own uses, during the war; but upon the restoration of peace, by dint of skilful negotiation the rightful owner had regained possession of the confiscated property.

Thus Mrs. Marshall was enabled to carry on her noble work of charity, after the carnage had ceased and the hospital was no longer needed for the soldiers.  So, endowing the Bellevue Hospital from her own private funds, she transformed it at once into a Home for receiving those who, by reason of misfortune, were unable to help themselves.

Here, during the two years of peace that had smiled upon the desolate waste left by the war, she had toiled, prayed, and wept over the sufferings of humanity, till she was deemed, and rightly so, an angel of mercy.

Time passed on.  Though the Queen City had not regained its former prosperity the Home prospered.  Its charitable walls were full, crowded even to their utmost capacity; its business pressing, its necessities great.

“Miss Lizzie,” said Maum Isbel one day, as the vigilant matron was performing her accustomed round of duty, “Mrs. Moses, de lady who do de small washin’, have sent word that she is sick an’ can’t do it dis week.  De chile who came said she were wery sick, an’ would like to see you.”

“Do you know where she lives, Maum Isbel?”

“No. 15 Market street, ma’am, de chile said; please remember.”

“Get me another woman, Maum Isbel, to fill her place; the work cannot stop.  I will go at once to see her.  Poor creature!  She has looked pale and delicate ever since she sought work at the Home.”

Without delay, Mrs. Marshall hurried out on her mission of charity, and tarried not until she stood confronting a low, miserable looking tenement house on Market street.  Her knock at the designated door was answered by an untidy, rough-looking woman, who came into the narrow dingy entry, and after eyeing the matron sharply, said coarsely: 

“What do you want?”

“Does Mrs. Moses live here?”

“Yes; but she’s very poorly to-day; ain’t been up at all.  Indeed she’s been poorly for a week or more.”

“Can I see her?”

“Yes, come in; she’s in thar,” pointing to a small room cut off from the end of the narrow hall-way.

Mrs. Marshall approached the small room, and answered the summons of a feeble voice that said, “Come in.”

On entering the room, she found the woman prostrated on a low, comfortless bed; pale, feeble, and exhausted.  By the bed-side, on a chair, were a phial and a Hebrew prayer-book.

“I am so glad you have come,” said the sick woman, “I am so weak this morning.  You see I coughed all night.  I felt that I must see you.  I hope it gave you no trouble to come.”

Project Gutenberg
Leah Mordecai from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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