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Mary Wild looked at the cook. I shall never
forget that woman's face at that moment.
She seemed choking with feelings that she
tried to hide, and uncertain what it would be
the best for her to do; she went at last
towards the door, and suddenly opening it,
was rushing out of the room and upstairs.
"Stop!" cried my master, following her.—"I
must go," she said, "I am ill. This sudden shock
to think that Ithat it should come to this
to be suspected."—And then she screamed,
and tried to throw herself into a fit; but the
fit would not come. Mr. Morgan said, "You
had better be quiet, and submit quietly to
what you cannot escape from."—"I will,"
she screamed out; "I have nothing to fear
I am innocent; only let me go up stairs;
only let me have a few minutes to——"—"Not
an instant," said my master. He then opened
the window, and called to the policeman, who
had been waiting in the garden. The boxes of
each of the servants were examined. In the
cook's box was found two of the bottles,
besides many things belonging to my mistress
cambric pocket-handkerchiefs, chamber-towels,
silk-stockings, and many other articles, marked
with the names of visitors who had been staying
in the house; Folded up in some crumpled
bits of paper, and put into the sleeve of an old
gown, was a silver fork, that had been lost
more than a year ago, and that mistress had
supposed to have been stolen by the housemaid
who had lived there before Mary Wild came.
In the nurse's box were several things that
looked very unlikely to be her own, but they
did not belong to mistress. In a corner of
the nursery cupboard was the third bottle
of wine; that also had been opened. In Mary
Wild's box there was nothing to excite

When the examination was over, master
gave the cook in charge to the policeman. The
nurse was told to leave the house within
an hour. She would have had much to say,
but master would not hear her.

A month's notice was given to Mary Wild.
I was glad of it; for though I knew that she
had entered into many of the wicked cook's
deceptions, there was a something about her
that made me think she would have been
good, if she had not been under such evil
influence. All had been so sudden, that I
almost fancied it had been a dream. For a
few days we went on without other servants,
and I thought things had never been so
comfortable as they were during this time;
but Mary Wild was taken so very ill, that a
doctor was sent for. She became worse and
worse, and I scarcely ever left her. In her
delirium she would talk about things that
had passed between the cook and herself;
and though she did not know what she was
saying, I felt sure that what she said had
been. A very long time she was ill; then a
sudden change took place; and she was out
of danger. Poor thing! how quiet, and
patient, and sorrowful she was; and how
grateful for everything that was done for her!
Mistress was so much touched by the many
signs of sorrow Mary had shown, that she
allowed her to remain in her place. Though
I was so young, only just seventeen, my
mistress, knowing that I was fond of the
children, trusted them to my care. She
engaged another nurse for three months to "put
me in the way." At the end of that time she
sent to the school for another girl to fill the
place which had been mine. Very great was
my delight to find that she was the one who
had been my most favourite schoolfellow;
the very girl who had given me the handkerchief.

The cook was committed for trial; her
sentence was six months' imprisonment. What
became of the nurse I never knew.


"DEAR me!" said a lady, journeying by
railway towards the capital of cocks and hens,
"what a number of fowls they must keep in
this small village! And yet, although I never
heard such a crowing," she continued, peering
out at the carriage window, "I do not see any
of the crowers."

At the next station, another small place,
the gallinaceous chorus increased, as if a horde
of wild chanticleers, yelling the warhoop of
their tribe, had surrounded the train, with
the fierce determination of putting every
passenger to the spur.

"What a country for poultry!" broke from
a bundle of green coat and scarlet comforter,
which was huddled up in a corner of the

"Pretty well. But the cackling and crowing
we hear are from Norfolk and Suffolk
birds," remarked a gentleman of strong
agricultural aspect. "Why, I've got a matter
of sixty of the Cochin-Chinese breed for the
Show; beauties!—some of 'em up to twelve
or thirteen pound apiece."

A clerical-looking gentleman eagerly
inquired, "Indeed! How heavy?"

"A dozen pound, full weight!"

The clergyman groaned, "Then I shall
lose the medal."

The glass roof of Bingley Hall, Birmingham,
covers an area of an acre and a quarter. The
hall is divided into five compartments, the
largest being in the centre. To the separate
space on the left, the Cochin-China and other
cocks (to the number of nine hundred and
sixty-six), together with countless heads of
poultry from all parts of England, had
converged, by the day following that on which
we arrived by the train. The remainder of
the hall was allotted to a show of cattle,
sheep, and pigs.

A little before nine, three or four knots of
gentlemen, not exactly with Birmingham
faces, and evidently having something on
their minds, knocked at the front entrance.

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