And, when half an hour had been spent in tying up his finger, and a new glass had been got, and the tools, and the ladder, and the chair, and the candle had been brought, he would have another go, the whole family, including the girl and the charwoman
, standing round in a semi-circle, ready to help.
With another sigh Mr Knag took up the kitchen candles from the counter, and preceded the ladies with mournful steps to a back- parlour, where a charwoman
, employed in the absence of the sick servant, and remunerated with certain eighteenpences to be deducted from her wages due, was putting the supper out.
This was when I chanced to see the third-storey staircase door (which of late had always been kept locked) open slowly, and give passage to the form of Grace Poole, in prim cap, white apron, and handkerchief; when I watched her glide along the gallery, her quiet tread muffled in a list slipper; when I saw her look into the bustling, topsy-turvy bedrooms,--just say a word, perhaps, to the charwoman
about the proper way to polish a grate, or clean a marble mantelpiece, or take stains from papered walls, and then pass on.
Rebecca sprang about the apartment, however, with the greatest liveliness, and had peeped into the huge wardrobes, and the closets, and the cupboards, and tried the drawers which were locked, and examined the dreary pictures and toilette appointments, while the old charwoman
was saying her prayers.
When the carriage was gone they ascended the stairs to wash their hands, the charwoman
showing the way.
only came in for an hour in the morning, and since Philip was obliged to be at the hospital all day Cronshaw was left much alone.
Judy, not interested in what she has often heard, begins to collect in a basin various tributary streams of tea, from the bottoms of cups and saucers and from the bottom of the teapot for the little charwoman
's evening meal.
One day my charwoman
, a working man's wife, came to beg me to honor her sister's wedding with my presence.
Cutting, our charwoman
, came yesterday--I don't mind mentioning her name, because I know she will not see this book.
"You'll see it at its worst, for Bryce decamped abroad last Monday without even arranging for a charwoman
to clear up after him.
Observe in a family some old charwoman
who can make beds, sweep the floors, carry away the dirty linen, who knows where the silver is kept, how the creditors should be pacified, what persons should be let in and who must be kept out of the house, and such a creature, even if she has all the vices, and is dirty, decrepit, and toothless, or puts into the lottery and steals thirty sous a day for her stake, and you will find the masters like her from habit, talk and consult in her hearing upon even critical matters; she comes and goes, suggests resources, gets on the scent of secrets, brings the rouge or the shawl at the right moment, lets herself be scolded and pushed downstairs, and the next morning reappears smiling with an excellent bouillon.
In the debtor's confined chamber, Mrs Bangham, charwoman
and messenger, who was not a prisoner (though she had been once), but was the popular medium of communication with the outer world, had volunteered her services as fly-catcher and general attendant.