List Of Contents | Contents of The Treasure, by Kathleen Norris
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of them, in their desk drawer, rather worried Mrs. Salisbury. One
evening she bravely told her husband about them, and laid them
before him.

Mr. Salisbury was annoyed. He had been free from these petty worries
for some months, and he disliked their introduction again.

"I thought this was Justine's business, Sally?" said he, frowning
over his eyeglasses.

"Well, it IS" said his wife, "but she hasn't enough money,
apparently, and she simply handed me these, without saying

"Well, but that doesn't sound like her. Why?"

"Oh, because I do the ordering, she says. They're queer, you know,
Kane; all servants are. And she seems very touchy about it."

"Nonsense!" said the head of the house roundly. "Oh, Justine!" he
shouted, and the maid, after putting an inquiring head in from the
dining-room, duly came in, and stood before him.

"What's struck your budget that you were so proud of, Justine?"
asked Kane Salisbury. "It looks pretty sick."

"I am not keeping on a budget now," answered Justine, with a rather
surprised glance at her mistress.

"Not; but why not?" asked the man good-naturedly. And his wife added
briskly, "Why did you stop, Justine?"

"Because Mrs. Salisbury has been ordering all this month," Justine
said. "And that, of course, makes it impossible for me to keep track
of what is spent. These last four weeks I have only been keeping an
account; I haven't attempted to keep within any limit."

"Ah, you see that's it," Kane Salisbury said triumphantly. "Of
course that's it! Well, Mrs. Salisbury will have to let you go back
to the ordering then. D'ye see, Sally? Naturally, Justine can't do a
thing while you're buying at random--"

"My dear, we have dealt with Lewis & Sons ever since we were
married," Mrs. Salisbury said, smiling with great tolerance, and in
a soothing voice, "Justine, for some reason, doesn't like Lewis &

"It isn't that," said the maid quickly. "It's just that it's against
the rules of the college for anyone else to do any ordering, unless,
of course, you and I discussed it beforehand and decided just what
to spend."

"You mean, unless I simply went to market for you?" asked the
mistress, in a level tone.

"Well, it amounts to that--yes."

Mrs. Salisbury threw her husband one glance.

"Well, I'll tell you what we have decided in the morning, Justine,"
she said, with dignity. "That's all. You needn't wait."

Justine went back to her kitchen, and Mr. Salisbury, smiling, said:

"Sally, how unreasonable you are! And how you do dislike that girl!"

The outrageous injustice of this scattered to the winds Mrs.
Salisbury's last vestige of calm, and, after one scathing summary of
the case, she refused to discuss it at all, and opened the evening
paper with marked deliberation.

For the next two or three weeks she did all the marketing herself,
but this plan did not work well. Bills doubled in size, and so many
things were forgotten, or were ordered at the last instant by
telephone, and arrived too late, that the whole domestic system was

Presently, of her own accord, Mrs. Salisbury reestablished Justine
with her allowance, and with full authority to shop when and how she
pleased, and peace fell again. But, smoldering in Mrs. Salisbury's
bosom was a deep resentment at this peculiar and annoying state of
affairs. She began to resent everything Justine did and said, as one
human being shut up in the same house with another is very apt to

No schooling ever made it easy to accept the sight of Justine's
leisure when she herself was busy. It was always exasperating, when
perhaps making beds upstairs, to glance from the window and see
Justine starting for market, her handsome figure well displayed in
her long dark coat, her shining braids half hidden by her simple yet
dashing hat.

"I walked home past Perry's," Justine would perhaps say on her
return, "to see their prize chrysanthemums. They really are
wonderful! The old man took me over the greenhouses himself, and
showed me everything!"

Or perhaps, unpacking her market basket by the spotless kitchen
table, she would confide innocently:

"Samuels is really having an extraordinary sale of serges this
morning. I went in, and got two dress lengths for my sister's
children. If I can find a good dressmaker, I really believe I'll
have one myself. I think"--Justine would eye her vegetables
thoughtfully--"I think I'll go up now and have my bath, and cook
these later."

Mrs. Salisbury could reasonably find no fault with this. But an
indescribable irritation possessed her whenever such a conversation
took place. The coolness!--she would say to herself, as she went
upstairs--wandering about to shops and greenhouses, and quietly
deciding to take a bath before luncheon! Why, Mrs. Salisbury had had
maids who never once asked for the use of the bathroom, although
they had been for months in her employ.

No, she could not attack Justine on this score. But she began to
entertain the girl with enthusiastic accounts of the domestics of
earlier and better days.

"My mother had a girl," she said, "a girl named Norah O'Connor. I
remember her very well. She swept, she cleaned, she did the entire
washing for a family of eight, and she did all the cooking. And such
cookies, and pies, and gingerbread as she made! All for sixteen
dollars a month. We regarded Norah as a member of the family, and,
even on her holidays she would take three or four of us, and walk
with us to my father's grave; that was all she wanted to do. You
don't see her like in these days, dear old Norah!"

Justine listened respectfully, silently. Once, when her mistress was
enlarging upon the advantages of slavery, the girl commented mildly:

"Doesn't it seem a pity that the women of the United States didn't
attempt at least to train all those Southern colored people for
house servants? It seems to be their natural element. They love to
live in white families, and they have no caste pride. It would seem
to be such a waste of good material, letting them worry along
without much guidance all these years. It almost seems as if the
Union owed it to them."

"Dear me, I wish somebody would! I, for one, would love to have dear
old mammies around me again," Mrs. Salisbury said, with fervor.
"They know their place," she added neatly.

"The men could be butlers and gardeners and coachmen," pursued

"Yes, and with a lot of finely trained colored women in the market,
where would you girls from the college be?" the other woman asked,
not without a spice of mischievous enjoyment.

"We would be a finer type of servant, for more fastidious people,"
Justine scored by answering soberly. "You could hardly expect a
colored girl to take the responsibility of much actual managing, I
should suppose. There would always be a certain proportion of people
who would prefer white servants."

"Perhaps there are," Mrs. Salisbury admitted dubiously. She felt,
with a sense of triumph, that she had given Justine a pretty strong
hint against "uppishness." But Justine was innocently impervious to
hints. As a matter of fact, she was not an exceptionally bright
girl; literal, simple, and from very plain stock, she was merely
well trained in her chosen profession. Sometimes she told her
mistress of her fellow-graduates, taking it for granted that Mrs.
Salisbury entirely approved of all the ways of the American School
of Domestic Science.

"There's Mabel Frost," said Justine one day. "She would have
graduated when I did, but she took the fourth year's work. She
really is of a very fine family; her father is a doctor. And she has
a position with a doctor's family now, right near here, in New Troy.
There are just two in family, and both are doctors, and away all
day. So Mabel has a splendid chance to keep up her music."

"Music?" Mrs. Salisbury asked sharply.

"Piano. She's had lessons all her life. She plays very well, too."

"Yes; and some day the doctor or his wife will come in and find her
at the piano, and your friend will lose her fine position," Mrs.
Salisbury suggested.

"Oh, Mabel never would have touched the piano without their
permission," Justine said quickly, with a little resentful flush.

"You mean that they are perfectly willing to have her use it?" Mrs.
Salisbury asked.

"Oh, quite!"

"Have they ADOPTED her?"

"Oh, no! No; Mabel is twenty-four or five."

"What's the doctor's name?"

"Mitchell. Dr. Quentin Mitchell. He's a member of the Burning Woods

"A member of the CLUB! And he allows--" Mrs. Salisbury did not
finish her thought. "I don't want to say anything against your
friend," she began again presently, "but for a girl in her position
to waste her time studying music seems rather absurd to me. I
thought the very idea of the college was to content girls with
household positions."

"Well, she is going to be married next spring," Justine said, "and
her husband is quite musical. He plays a church organ. I am going to
dinner with them on Thursday, and then to the Gadski concert.
They're both quite music mad."

"Well, I hope he can afford to buy tickets for Gadski, but marriage
is a pretty expensive business," Mrs. Salisbury said pleasantly,
"What is he, a chauffeur--a salesman?" To do her justice, she knew
the question would not offend, for Justine, like any girl from a
small town, was not fastidious as to the position of her friends;
was very fond of the policeman on the corner and his pretty wife,
and liked a chat with Mrs. Sargent's chauffeur when occasion arose.

But the girl's answer, in this case, was a masterly thrust.

"No; he's something in a bank, Mrs. Salisbury. He's paying teller in
that little bank at Burton Corners, beyond Burning Woods. But, of
course, he hopes for promotion; they all do. I believe he is trying
to get into the River Falls Mutual Savings, but I'm not sure."

Mrs. Salisbury felt the blood in her face. Kane Salisbury had been
in a bank when she married him; was cashier of the River Falls
Mutual Savings Bank now.

She carried away the asters she had been arranging, without further
remark. But Justine's attitude rankled. Mrs. Salisbury, absurd as
she felt her own position to be, could not ignore the impertinence
of her maid's point of view. Theoretically, what Justine thought
mattered less than nothing. Actually it really made a great
difference to the mistress of the house.

"I would like to put that girl in her place once!" thought Mrs.
Salisbury. She began to wish that Justine would marry, and to envy
those of her friends who were still struggling with untrained
Maggies and Almas and Chloes. Whatever their faults, these girls
were still SERVANTS, old-fashioned "help"--they drudged away at
cooking and beds and sweeping all day, and rattled dishes far into
the night.

The possibility of getting a second little maid occurred to her. She
suggested it, tentatively, to Sandy.

"You couldn't, unless I'm mistaken, Mother," Sandy said briskly,
eyeing a sandwich before she bit into it. The ladies were at
luncheon. "For a graduate servant can't work with any but a graduate
servant; that's the rule. At least I THINK it is!" And Sandy,
turning toward the pantry, called: "Oh, Justine!"

"Justine," she asked, when the maid appeared, "isn't it true that
you graduates can't work with untrained girls in the house?"

"That's the rule," Justine assented.

"And what does the school expect you to pay a second girl?" pursued
the daughter of the house.

"Well, where there are no children, twenty dollars a month," said
Justine, "with one dollar each for every person more than two in the
family. Then, in that case, the head servant, as we call the cook,
would get five dollars less a month. That is, I would get thirty-two
dollars, and the assistant twenty-three."

"Gracious!" said Mrs. Salisbury. "Thank you, Justine. We were just
asking. Fifty-five dollars for the two!" she ejaculated under her
breath when the girl was gone. "Why, I could get a fine cook and
waitress for less than that!"

And instantly the idea of two good maids instead of one graduated
one possessed her. A fine cook in the kitchen, paid, say twenty-
five, and a "second girl," paid sixteen. And none of these
ridiculous and inflexible regulations! Ah, the satisfaction of
healthily imposing upon a maid again, of rewarding that maid with
the gift of a half-worn gown, as a peace offering--Mrs. Salisbury
drew a long breath. The time had come for a change.

Mr. Salisbury, however, routed the idea with scorn. His wife had no
argument hardy enough to survive the blighting breath of his
astonishment. And Alexandra, casually approached, proved likewise

"I am certainly not furthering my own comfort alone in this, as you
and Daddy seem inclined to think," Mrs. Salisbury said severely to
her daughter. "I feel that Justine's system is an imposition upon
you, dear. It isn't right for a pretty girl of your age to be caught
dusting the sitting-room, as Owen caught you yesterday. Daddy and I
can keep a nice home, we keep a motor car, we put the boys in good
schools, and it doesn't seem fair--"

"Oh, fair your grandmother!" Sandy broke in, with a breezy laugh.
"If Owen Sargent doesn't like it, he can just come TO! Look at HIS
mother, eating dinner the other day with four representatives of the
Waitresses' Union! Marching in a parade with dear knows who!

"It is very different in Mrs. Sargent's case, dear," said Mrs.
Salisbury simply. "She could afford to do anything, and consequently
it doesn't matter what she does! It doesn't matter what you do, if
you can afford not to. The point is that we can't really afford a
second maid."

"I don't see what that has to do with it!" said the girl of the
coming generation cheerfully.

"It has EVERYTHING to do with it," the woman of the passing
generation answered seriously.

"As far as Owen goes," Sandy went on thoughtfully, "I'm only too
much afraid he's the other way. What do you suppose he's going to do
now? He's going to establish a little Neighborhood House for boys
down on River Street, 'The Cyrus Sargent Memorial.' And, if you
please, he's going to LIVE there! It's a ducky house; he showed me
the blue-prints, with the darlingest apartment for himself you ever
saw, and a plunge, and a roof gymnasium. It's going to cost,
endowment and all, three hundred thousand dollars--"

"Good heavens!" Mrs. Salisbury said, as one stricken.

"And the worst of it is," Alexandra pursued, with a sympathetic
laugh for her mother's concern, "that he'll meet some Madonna-eyed
little factory girl or laundry worker down there and feel that he
owes it to her to--"

"To break your heart, Sandy," the mother supplied, all tender

"It's not so much a question of my heart," Sandy answered
composedly, "as it is a question of his entire life. It's so
unnecessary and senseless!"

"And you can sit there calmly discussing it!" Mrs. Salisbury said,
thoroughly out of temper with the entire scheme of things mundane.
"Upon my word, I never saw or heard anything like it!" she observed.
"I wonder that you don't quietly tell Owen that you care for him--

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