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ployment; she had an interest in the
success of the business second only
to her interest in Mr. Rogers. It was
not like him to write in that way;
in fact, if he were in his right mind
he could not possibly have done so.
A hasty survey of the situation, anc?
she decided to take the next boat back
to America, which she duly did.
Meanwhile little Miss Smith was
demonstrating her incapacity at ev
ery turn. Her spelling might have
delighted. the heart of Mr. Carnegie,
though it went somewhat beyond his
own ideas of reform, but her tran
scription could have delighted no
man. Miss Smith cherished the idea
that vowels were an immaterial epi
sode in a letter. So that, when Mr.
Rogers' best customer received a
communication informing him that
the goods which he had ordered had
a ticking effect (Mr. Rogers had dic
tated "taking") , and wrote back can
celing his order, Mr. Rogers perceived
Miss Smith's days were numbered.
And when a letter slipped past his
scrutiny gratuitously instructing a
large tailor that he could supply him
with some fine drool for white waist
coasts (which should have been
"drill") Mr. Rogers sat down to cogi
tate. The result was that, being some
thing of a timorous as well as a kind
hearted man, he placed a note upon
Miss Smith's desk during her lunch
hour, informing her that two months'
salary would be at her disposal, and
that it would be advisable for her to
look about for a more congenial po
sition. Ten minutes after Miss Smith had
departed for lunch in happy ignor
ance of her impending downfall Miss
Burton walked in from the dock.
Mr. Rogers and Miss Burton were
accustomed to greeting each other
more as old friends, but when Miss
Burton clasped both her employer's
hands in hers and asked him, in a
trembling voice, whether he was well,
Mr. Rogers was a little startled. More
Jthan that, he was a little pleased at
this evidence of Miss Burton's regard.
"I'm as well as ever," he answered,
only the business is going to the dogs
without you." "
"But you wrote me " began Miss
Burton, and stopped.
"Something wrong with a letter
of mine?" asked Mr. Rogers.
This was too much for Miss Burton.
Mr. Rogers had never seen her in
tears, but now it must have been a
joke, an underbred joke! He was not
mentally afflicted that was clear at
a glance, and he was acting as though
nothing had occurred.
"Miss Burton!" exclaimed Mr. Rog
ers, terribly startled and frightened,
"show me the letter. You have it
"Yes, but I can't show you," wailed
"Miss Burton, as your employer, I
command you," said Mr. Rogers, as
suming a dignity which he was far
from feeling. And Miss Burton's an
swer was remarkably feminine for
such a strong-minded woman.
"There! Take your hateful old let
ter!" she said, flinging it down on his
"My dear Miss Burton," read Mr.
Rogers. "Now that you are in Eng
land . . . hum! . . . what's this? I
want a new, strong wife, not a cross
wife like my last sample, but some
thing durable, showy and serviceable.
Er . . . er . . . why, it is simply out
rageous!" "It is," snapped Miss Burton.
"That's why I hurried home. I
thought you must be ill. As you aren't
ill . . ."
Then Mr. Rogers explained, and
Miss Burton, having been herself a
stenographer, understood that the
symbols for "weave" and "wife"
might readily be confused by any
body who transcribed without intelli
gence. But but that made it worse
Suddenly she became aware that
Mr. Rogers was standing over her,
with a very un-employer-like expres
sion on his face.