Data de entrada: 10 de jun. de 2022

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Of course she should never have said such a thing and she regretted it as soon as she was out of the door, and before she had reached the nursery she knew that the cook was knocking on the parlour door asking to speak to the mistress. Ten minutes later the mistress was up in the nursery looking terribly, terribly hurt as she said, ‘Janie, I’m surprised at what the cook has been telling me. You must not use such expressions, because they may become a habit. Now just imagine what would happen if you said something like that in front of the children.’ She had gulped and stood speechless before the young woman who had shown her nothing but kindness and when the mistress had gone she had laid her head in her arms on the table and cried her heart out until young Master David had started to cry with her, and then Margaret, and lastly the baby

She looked back on that day as the most miserable in her life, and yet when she went to bed that night she had had to bury her head in the pillow to smother her laughter. Having earlier decided that feeling as she did she’d get no rest, she had gone downstairs to apologize to the mistress and to tell her that never again would she use such an expression in her house, and that she need not have any fear that the children’s minds would ever be sullied by one word that she would utter.

She had reached the main landing when she was stopped by the sound of smothered laughter coming from the mistress’s bedroom. The door was ajar and she could hear the master saying, ‘Stop it. Stop it, Alicia, I can’t hear you . . . what did she say?’

She had become still and stiff within an arm’s length of the door as her mistress’s voice came to her spluttering with laughter the while she made an effort to repeat slowly: ‘She . . . said . . . you . . . can . . . kiss . . . Lady . . . Beckett’s . . . backside.’


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