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and my mother, as it seemed, pursuing the
same train of thought ; for, all of a sudden,
she raised her head, stretched out her large-
jointed fingers to tidy the anti-Macassar on the
arm-chair, and said emphatically, "I won't
have no men, Patty." I didn't argue the
subject ; that wasn't my way. I just got up, took
the cups and saucers from the corner cupboard,
and put on the kettle. The clock had struck
the half-hour; my mother was always cross as
she got hungry, and I called Betsy from the
kitchen, and sent her next door to the
greengrocer's for a quarter of a pound of butter.
"You might go across to the baker's too," I
whispered, when I got her into the passage,
"and ask if they've any fresh-baked fat rascals.
Your missus is very fond of fat rascals." Betsy
ran off with a couple of plates, and was presently
at the parlour door again, too much out of breath
to talk, but with successful purchases. I took
the things to the table, found the toasting-fork,
and set myself down before the fire to cook the
cakes. Of course my mother asked what I was
doing : of course she scolded about the expense;
but I hurried the tea, set her a chair, and, before
she had got through her first cup of tea, or
swallowed a fat rascal, she had recovered her
temper, and was ready to hear reason.

"Just fill me up my cup, Patty dear, and
give me a mouthful more of something. Dear!
dear! how those things do make me think of
when I was young. Before you were born,
Pattywhen I was staying with your father,
poor dear man, at Redcar, after he had the
small-pox, and we went in a shandry-dan to
Saltburn to see the country, and got caught by
the tide, and stopped to tea, that was the first
time I ever tasted fat rascalswe used to have
cakes something of the same kind at home, when
I was a girl, but they called them singing hinnies.
They are famous at Saltburn for their fat rascals."
My mother, having a remarkably short
memory, continually forgot this story was not
new, and prefaced it with, "Did ever I tell you,
Patty ?" or, "You'd like to hear, child." I think
I rather liked to hear her touch on the subject; it
was like a spring wind blowing away the mist
and dead leaves of autumn. Even then, after
the lapse of years, the remembrance of the
bygone sunshine cheered her heart.

Well, that evening I sent Betsy off early to
bed, and made my mother so comfortable in the
arm-chair, with the red handkerchief over the
back for fear her old cap should grease it (she
always put on an old one in the evening, when
it was too late for visitors), that she presently
fell fast asleep, and left me to follow my own

Then I sat myself down on the floor, by the
oak cupboard, and, settling the candle on one of
the willow-seated chairs, began a long hunt on
the bottom shelf. First of all I pulled out a
china lamb with only one broken leg, and two
little shepherdesses that held matches behind
them, and a bird's-nest with eggs in it, that
made an inkstand ; and, when I had dusted them,
I put them aside to ornament the chimney in
the spare parlour. I hunted through my red
workbox, and put out some patches for mother's
quilt; but it was a long time before I came on
what I was really wanting. At last, under a
great pile of Manchester Guardians, there it
wasa bit of thick pasteboard, one side blue
and the other white, that about six months
before had come from the linendraper's with a
lot of new blonde for my Sunday cap.

When I got this I went back to the table,
and, with a great deal of trouble, succeeded in
printing "Furnished Apartments to Let" on the
white side. It was legible, certainly, but I am
afraid the letters were not very straight; some
of them looked as if they wished to fisticuff
their neighbours, and the great A in Apartments
was like the Leaning Tower at Pisa I've read
about somewhere.

Next morning my pasteboard was up in the
parlour window, and I popped on my bonnet
and went out to see how it looked from the

Then Betsy and I had such a day.
persuaded mother she spoke hoarsely, rubbed her
chest with hartshorn for five minutes, then
had her safe in bed till afternoon: and, what
with scrubbing, and rubbing, and polishing, and
getting Joe from the shop below to move the
furniture, we had done wonders before nightfall.
I went in the last thing to look about me and
admire my handiwork, and really it did look very
nice, though I say it who shouldn't. When we
had got the new drugget I'd be bound to say
there wouldn't be such another a lodging in all

Ah! but all that hurry and scurry went for
nothing. In spite of the big handbill, and even
an advertisement in the weekly paper, no one
came near us for upwards of a month. Then it
was only an application from an old lady who
thought the rent too high, and wanted a deal of
attendance. After her, arrived a widow, whom
mother thought would be just the thing; but it
turned out that she had a pack of children, and
there wasn't room. Goodness me! I thought
those rooms would never let; and many's the
time I could have cried with vexation when I
remembered all the trouble I had taken about
them. Every one found an objection: one said
the rooms were too low, and another that they
were too dark; one disliked the butcher's shop,
and another the churchyard. You never saw
such dissatisfied folks in all your life!

Well, again mother and I were sitting in the
parlour. We had given up the fire because the
weather was so warm, and the grate was well
polished, and filled by a yellow and pink paper
mat. And mother's eyes had been bad, and she
wore a green shade, and amused herself with
making lighters. We were talking about the
lodgings, as usual; and mother was just saying
it was no use keeping up the handbill, for no
one came, and that she would spend no more
money in advertisements, when we heard a
knock at the passage door, and presently Betsy
came in to say a gentleman wished to see the