Maid Sally, page 1
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Sprckt99 and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net
By HARRIET A. CHEEVER
Author of "Little Mr. Van Vere of China," "Ted's Little Dear," "Strange Adventures of Billy Trill," etc.
_Boston_ Dana Estes & Company _Publishers_
_Copyright, 1902_ BY DANA ESTES & COMPANY
_All rights reserved_
MAID SALLY Published, July, 1902
Colonial Press Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co. Boston, Mass., U. S. A.
SUNNY-HAIRED, BELOVED CHILD OF NURSERY DAYS WHO NEVER TIRED OF A STORY THIS BOOK IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED
I. HEARD AT INGLESIDE 11
II. THE GREAT HOUSE 20
III. THE END OF FAIRY TOWN 28
IV. THE FAIRY PRINCE 43
V. THE NEW SALLY 53
VI. THE SUPPER COMPANY 65
VII. SALLY SAYS, "I WILL!" 78
VIII. A LONG GOOD-BY 90
IX. THE PARSON 103
X. PROGRESS 116
XI. FACE TO FACE 129
XII. WHO WAS SHE? 142
XIII. TWO YEARS 155
XIV. HOME AGAIN 169
XV. A COLONIAL BALL 177
XVI. "I CAN'T BUY TEA" 187
XVII. THE SOLDIER'S CARD 198
XVIII. THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 212
XIX. ONE NIGHT 220
XX. IN CAMPAIGN 233
XXI. THE QUEER NAME 244
XXII. THE BATTLE OF GREAT BRIDGE 254
XXIII. MAID SALLY AND HER FAIRY PRINCE 265
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
IT IN TRUTH MUCH CHEERED HER TO SEE MAMMY LEEZER COME TRUNDLING ALONG _Frontispiece_
'GOOD EVENING, LITTLE MAID,' SHE SAID, PLEASANTLY 96
SALLY STOOD AGAINST A TREE AND SANG WITHOUT A THOUGHT OR CARE 120
WHEN VOICES AND HOOF-BEATS SMOTE UPON HER EAR 134
MORE THAN ONE BRITISH SOLDIER STATIONED IN THE TOWN HAD LOOKED SHARPLY INTO THE DEPTHS OF HER SUN-BONNET 171
FOR SALLY NEITHER DREW REIN NOR DID HOTSPUR ONCE BREAK HIS LONG, SPLENDID STRIDE 225
THE BATTLE AT GREAT BRIDGE 262
MAID SALLY BECAME A FREQUENT GUEST AT INGLESIDE 277
HEARD AT INGLESIDE
"And the Fairy sang to the poor child, and stroked its tangled hair, andsmoothed its puckered cheeks.
"And it sang and sang until the little face that had been full oftrouble grew bright with the cheer of heartsease.
"And still the Fairy sang and sang until, from very peacefulness, thechild's eyes began to droop and softly close, just as the flowers droopand hang their pretty heads at twilight-song.
"And the Fairy sang on and on until the little creature in its arms hadfloated into Dreamland, and then had passed far beyond Dreamland intoFairy Town. And the child skipped through green fields and grassymeadows, went dancing through beds of flowers, and flying in and out ofbushes full of sweetest scents. It drank the honey-drops the bees love,and sipped syrup of flowers, the humming-bird's food. And it heardripples of music, such as are heard only in Fairy Town, and saw lovelylittle objects with wings of gauze, and eyes like sparks of light.
"And the Fairy sang and sang, and the child dreamed and dreamed, untilevery shadow of its life had faded away. And still it dreamed anddreamed--"
* * * * *
The little girl that had been listening under the hedge close to thestone wall, jumped at the sound of her name.
Oh, dear! _must_ she go back to Slipside Row, and hear the scoldingvoice of Mistress Cory Ann Brace, after being lifted almost into theclouds, and having a tiny peep into Fairy Town?
Could she come back to earth again, and cook, and scrub, and sew, and doall kinds of hard things, after hearing that wonderful scrap of gloryabout the dear, beautiful creatures called the Fairies?
"Yes, Mistress Cory Ann, I'm coming."
Swiftly back through Shady Path and Lover's Lane ran Sally, her frowslyhead full of the strange, sweet fragment of fairy song that she hadheard.
"Now, where've you been?" cried Mistress Cory Ann, as Sally came pantinginto the Row. "Not up to Ingleside, I hope! I had to run way up the pathto make you hear. Haven't I told you more'n a hundred times you'd betterkeep away from there? Just let the people up at the big house catch youpokin' around, and back you'll come faster'n ever you went. Do you hear,Sally Dukeen?"
Strange it would have been had not Sally heard, for Mistress Cory Ann'svoice was loud enough to have reached way across Lover's Lane. But Sallyanswered truthfully.
"Yes, I hear, Mistress Cory Ann, and I have not been on the Inglesidegrounds at all."
No, she only had been roaming on the borders of the beautiful place,then hiding close to the stone wall.
A poor, hard-worked little girl it was that had raced back to SlipsideRow. And no one to glance at her would have thought her pretty at all.
The people who lived in the row of houses were poor, but they all likedSally. Yet all they knew about her was that her father had boarded withhis little girl at Mistress Cory Ann Brace's house, when Mistress Bracelived in another town, and in a much finer house than any at SlipsideRow. But he soon died, leaving his little girl, and some money, inMistress Brace's care.
No one knew about the money, however, except Mistress Brace herself, buthad it been used as it should have been, there would have been enoughto have lasted some time, paying for the child's coming needs. ButMistress Brace hid it away, meaning to do with it exactly as shepleased, while she still kept Sally, because, being a smart and willingchild, she could be of great use. Then Mistress Brace moved to a placecalled "The Flats," where she lived three years; now she had lived threemore years at Slipside Row.
The mistress was not really cruel to Sally, neither was she kind. Andvery constantly at work she kept her, sweeping, cooking, sewing; infact, doing anything that a growing child of eleven years could do. Andif ever Sally grew tired, and was not brisk as usual, Mistress Bracewould say that it was to the Town House she must go.
Now Sally had seen old Gran'ther Smithers and Aunt Melindy Duckers, wholived at the Town House, and she often had seen the old building itself,set far back in a grassy road that was not at all unpleasant, but sodreadful was the thought of ever having to go there herself, that nomatter what Mistress Brace required of her, she tried her best to do it.
But one great help and comfort was comi
People who know but little are likely to be superstitious; they are veryquick to believe foolish and untrue sayings, or things that in the leastalarm them, perhaps having in them something to dread.
One day, who should come along but a kind old colored woman, whosometimes passed the corner house of Slipside Row, and noticed how muchwork the little girl who lived there always had to do. On thisparticular day, the next one after Sally had listened to the Fairystory, as Mammy Leezer saw her scrubbing the steps, she said toMistress Brace, who was standing at a little distance:
"And when do lil Missy go outen to play?"
"Children have no need to waste time in playing," snapped MistressBrace, and she glanced around, hoping Sally could not hear. "Don't yougo a-talking! Sally's out o' doors nearly all the time; what more canshe want, I should like to know?"
The old black woman shook her head several times, and looked sly andknowing, as she said in her sweet old voice:
"Jus' you keep lil Missy at work all de time and see what happen!Chillerns should have a good long play hour eb'ry day. Chillerns shouldhab their suppers right early, an' de chile dat have to work affer desupper's down her frote, doan't you go a-asting me what happen to depusson dat makes her do de work! Doan't you go a-asting me dat!"
Mammy rolled her eyes, tossed up her dusky hands, and away she trundledas if things too dreadful to be spoken were in her mind. And MistressCory Ann for once forgot to scold, because of a creepy feeling thatseemed travelling up her spine. She did not say a word then, neither wasthere danger that she might forget what Mammy Leezer had said.
Mammy lived in her cabin at "the quarters," at Ingleside, but wasgetting old and lame, and but little work was required of her. A famouscook and nurse she had been in her day, but now she had "de rheumatiz"in her "jints," and a touch of "de asthmy" often at night.
So beyond doing fancy cooking, when there was company at the mansion, ornow and then tending some one who was ill, Mammy sat serenely smokingher pipe at the cabin door, while knitting socks "for de men folkses."And she declared herself "a berry comforable ole pusson," in spite ofher aches and pains.
Oh, wonder of wonders! That night, to Sally's astonishment and greatdelight, did Mistress Cory Ann tell the child that "for reasons" shewould herself wash the supper dishes, and she added:
"After this, whenever you have worked well through the day, I reckon Idon't care what you do with yourself after supper, only that you neednot stray far away; I might be wanting you."
Supper at Mistress Cory Ann's was not much of an affair, but as sheboarded two or three hired men, plenty of dishes there always were to bewashed, and nearly bedtime it would be before Sally could get clearedup.
But, now, oh, joy! as soon as that meal was over, Sally was to be free,free! Up she rushed to her cubby of a room in the attic, caught up apiece of looking-glass she had found one lucky day up by the greathouse, and peering at her own queer little image in the bit of mirror,she piped, in tones of great glee:
"Did you hear _that_, Sally Dukeen? Did'st hear that, little MistressSally!"