"I will so, Mr. James," said Ellen.
"You're sure your mother'll not be feared?"
"What way would my mother be feared," said Ellen, "and me seventeen past?"
"There's many a lassie who's found being seventeen no protection from a wicked world." He emitted some great Burns-night chuckles, and kicked the fire to a blaze.
She said sternly, "Take note, Mr. James, that I haven't done a hand's turn this hour or more, and that not for want of asking for work. Dear knows I have my hand on Mr. Morrison's door-knob half the day."
Mr. James got up to go. "You're a fierce hussy, and mean to be a partner in the firm before you've done with us."
"If I were a man I would be that."
"Better than that for you, lassie, better than that. Wait till a good man comes by."
She snorted at the closing door, but felt that he had come n