elbow with the dishes, which he generally handed to me long before he reached me, his long arms enabling him to reach me with his hands while he was yet some distance from me, and often on the wrong side. I also noticed when I wanted water he lifted the water-bottle on high, and poured as though it was something requiring a "head." Mary nearly caused a catastrophe at that moment by frowning at him, and saying, sotto voce, "Whatever are you doing? Is that the way to pour out water? It ain't hale, stoopid!"
Joe's face became scarlet; and to hide his confusion he seized a dish-cover, and hastily went out of the room with it, returning in a moment pale and serious as became one who at heart was every inch a family butler with immense responsibilities.
Joe was quiet and sharp, quick and intelligent; but I could see he was quite new to waiting at table. To remove a dish was, I could see, his greatest dread; and it amused me to see the cleverness with which he managed that Mary should do that part of
A short novella in which a rich Englishwoman in the 19th century advertises for a servant and ends up with a bizarre runt of a boy with a good heart. The story is sweet, then turns dark.
I've often wondered how servants really felt about their "betters." This story makes the class system seem almost normal.
Good characterizations, the description is pretty good, and the plot works.
This was a delightful, fun reading little book. Well written, sweet. A beautiful lesson of loyalty and love. I will read it again one rainy day when I want to smile and think about how life must have been way back when.
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