The Mystery of Mary (Chapter 6, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 6

It was half past eleven when she stepped into the first agency on her list, and business was in full tide.

While she stood shrinking by the door the eyes of a dozen women fastened upon her, each with keen scrutiny. The sensitive color stole into her delicate cheeks. As the proprietress of the office began to question her, she felt her courage failing.

"You wish a position?" The woman had a nose like a hawk, and eyes that held no sympathy. "What do you want? General housework?"

"I should like a position as waitress." Her voice was low and sounded frightened to herself.

The hawk nose went up contemptuously.

"Better take general housework. There are too many waitresses already."

"I understand the work of a waitress, but I never have done general housework," she answered with the voice of a gentlewoman, which somehow angered the hawk, who had trained herself to get the advantage over people and keep it or else know the reason why.

"Very well, do as you please, of course, but you bite your own nose off. Let me see your references."

The girl was ready for this.

"I am sorry, but I cannot give you any. I have lived only in one home, where I had entire charge of the table and dining-room, and that home was broken up when the people went abroad three years ago. I could show you letters written by the mistress of that home if I had my trunk here, but it is in another city, and I do not know when I shall be able to send for it."

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