A Spinner in the Sun (Chapter 9, page 1 of 12)

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Chapter 9

The brisk, steady tap sounded at Miss Evelina's door. It was a little after eight, and she opened it, expecting to find her breakfast, as usual. Much to her surprise, Miss Mehitable stood there, armed with a pail, mop, and broom. Behind her, shy and frightened, was Araminta, similarly equipped.

The Reverend Austin Thorpe, having carried a step-ladder to the back door, had then been abruptly dismissed. Under the handle of her scrubbing pail, the ministering angel had slipped the tray containing Miss Evelina's breakfast.

"I've slopped it over some," she said, in explanation, "but you won't mind that. Someway, I've never had hands enough to do what I've had to do. Most of the work in the world is slid onto women, and then, as if that wasn't enough, they're given skirts to hold up, too. Seems to me that if the Almighty had meant for women to be carrying skirts all their lives, He'd have give us another hand and elbow in our backs, like a jinted stove-pipe, for the purpose. Not having the extra hand, I go short on skirts when I'm cleaning."

Miss Mehitable's clean, crisp, calico gown ceased abruptly at her ankles. Araminta's blue and white gingham was of a similar length, and her sleeves, guiltless of ruffles, came only to her dimpled elbows. Araminta was trying hard not to stare at Miss Evelina's veil while Aunt Hitty talked.

"We've come," asserted Miss Mehitable, "to clean your house. We've cleaned our own and we ain't tired yet, so we're going to do some scrubbing here. I guess it needs it."

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