That Hired Girl by Avon

 

WHEN she came to work for the family on Congress street, the lady of the house sat down and told her that agents, book-peddlers, hat-rack men, picture sellers, ash-buyers, rag-men, and all that class of people, must be met at the front door and coldly repulsed, and Sarah said she'd repulse them if she had to break every broomstick in Detroit.

And she did. She threw the door open wide, bluffed right up at 'em, and when she got through talking, the cheekiest agent was only too glad to leave. It got so after awhile that peddlers marked that house, and the door-bell never rang except for company.

The other day, as the girl of the house was wiping off the spoons, the bell rang. She hastened to the door, expecting to see a lady, but her eyes encountered a slim man, dressed in black and wearing a white necktie. He was the new minister, and was going around to get acquainted with the members of his flock, but Sarah wasn't expected to know this.

"Ah—um—is—Mrs.—ah!"

"Git!" exclaimed Sarah, pointing to the gate.

"Beg pardon, but I would like to see—see—"

"Meander!" she shouted, looking around for a weapon; "we don't want any flour-sifters here!"

"You're mistaken," he replied, smiling blandly. "I called to—"

"Don't want anything to keep moths away—fly!" she exclaimed, getting red in the face.

"Is the lady in?" he inquired, trying to look over Sarah's head.

"Yes, the lady is in, and I'm in, and you are out!" she snapped; "and now I don't want to stand here talking to a fly-trap agent any longer! Come lift your boots!"

"I'm not an agent," he said, trying to smile. "I'm the new—"

"Yes, I know you—you are the new man with the patent flat-iron, but we don't want any, and you'd better go before I call the dog."

"Will you give the lady my card, and say that I called?"

"No, I won't; we are bored to death with cards and handbills and circulars. Come, I can't stand here all day."

"Didn't you know that I was a minister?" he asked as he backed off.

"No, nor I don't know it now; you look like the man who sold the woman next door a dollar chromo for eighteen shillings."

"But here is my card."

"I don't care for cards, I tell you! If you leave that gate open I will have to fling a flower-pot at you!"

"I will call again," he said, as he went through the gate.

"It won't do any good!" she shouted after him; "we don't want no prepared food for infants—no piano music—no stuffed birds! I know the policemen on this beat, and if you come around here again, he'll  soon find out whether you are a confidence man or a vagrant!"

And she took unusual care to lock the door.