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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

stooping over a scullery sink to wash and wipe a
lifetime of crockery. Her voice, too, had a long-
suffering note in itómost noticeable when she was
doing her best to be gay. These outward character-
istics were ine only legacy which she had received
from her late, mistress who had for a long period of
years exploited Miriam's abnormal willingness for
work. In such drudgery she had used up her youth
and maturit y, thereby acquiring an habitual capacity
for taking on her own shoulders a load of domestic
duties which ne.vor seemed to have struck her as being
excessive. She was wlmt is known as "a treasure"
The difficulty, as Aunt Evelyn often said, was to
persuade her to sit down and shut her eyes for a few
minute^ and allow the other maids to do their fair
share of the housru'ork. But Aunt Evelyn's kindness
only stimulate* 1 MiriaiiHo renewed activity, and her
response* to ordinary civility and consideration re-
flected no eredit at all on her former employer. In
those days I used to look upon her as a bit of a joke,
and I took for granted the innumerable little jobs
she did for me. She was no more than an odd-
looking factotum, whose homely methods and man-
ners occasionally incurred my disapproval, for I had
a well-developed bump of snobbishness as regards
flunkeydom and carriagr-and-pair ostentation as a
whole. Now and again, however, I was remotely
affected by the smile which used to light up her sallow
humble face when 1 said something which pleased
her. 11 is the memory of that smile which has helped
me ^lo describe, her. For there was a loveliness of
sph'iUn her which I did not recognize until it was too
lute for her to know it.