22 Flower and Weed,
But the first thing I want to teach you is to pray. Perhaps,
though you know so little of the Gospel, you have been
taught to say your prayers ? '
'No, Lady Lucille ; them I lived among didn't hold with
praying. " What should we be the better for craw-thumping
and squalling hymns ? " I've heard 'em say. " That wouldn't
get us a meal o' victuals." '
' Pour souls ! they did not know how Christ taught us to
ask our Father for all good things. Our prayers may not
always be answered just as we wish, or as soon as we want;
but we know they are always heard, and that God gives us
what is best for us.'
' I dessay if I lived in this house I should believe that,'
said Bess, to whom the plainest bedchamber in Ingleshaw
Castle was like an arbour in the Garden of Eden.
Lucille taught her to repeat the Lord's Prayer, and one of
those ejaculatory verses in the Psalms, which, after that one
sublime supplication, are of all prayers the simplest and
the best. It was slow work to teach one who had never been
taught anything, since those dim half-forgotten days when
the i-agamuffin child had been one among a herd of other
ragamuffins in a ragged school; but Lucille was accustomed
to the density of the agricultural mind, and she found an
acuteness of intellect in this child of London slums and
alleys which promised rapid progress in the future.
To her maid Tompion Lady Lucille intrusted the task of
teaching this city waif the art of plain needlework, and the
simplest household duties.
'If she really feels strong enough to get up by-and-by,
you can show her how to arrange her room ; and then, after
she has had her dinner in the servants' hall'—Tompion's
jaw fell, doubtful how even the lower house in the servants'
hall would brook the introduction of this vagrant damsel—
' you can teach her a little plain sewing.'
Tompion followed her mistress into the corridor.
' You don't mean to keep her at the Castle, do you. Lady
Lucille,' she inquired, • a young person without a cha¬
' We shall find out what her character is in a few days.'
' Just consider. Lady Lucille, she may be mixed up with
burglars ! What will his lordship say ? '
' That is my business, Tompion. You may be sure I shall
not keep her here without his lordship's permission. I may
get her a place in the neighbourhood. What you have to
do is to teach her to be a handy little maid.'