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38. CHAPTER XXXVIII: A Struggle (continued)
"And how is your mama, Caddy?" said I.
"Why, I hear of her, Esther," replied Caddy, "through Pa, but I see very little of her. We are good friends, I am glad to say, but Ma thinks there is something absurd in my having married a dancing-master, and she is rather afraid of its extending to her."
It struck me that if Mrs. Jellyby had discharged her own natural duties and obligations before she swept the horizon with a telescope in search of others, she would have taken the best precautions against becoming absurd, but I need scarcely observe that I kept this to myself.
"And your papa, Caddy?"
"He comes here every evening," returned Caddy, "and is so fond of sitting in the corner there that it's a treat to see him."
Looking at the corner, I plainly perceived the mark of Mr. Jellyby's head against the wall. It was consolatory to know that he had found such a resting-place for it.
"And you, Caddy," said I, "you are always busy, I'll be bound?"
"Well, my dear," returned Caddy, "I am indeed, for to tell you a grand secret, I am qualifying myself to give lessons. Prince's health is not strong, and I want to be able to assist him. What with schools, and classes here, and private pupils, AND the apprentices, he really has too much to do, poor fellow!"
The notion of the apprentices was still so odd to me that I asked Caddy if there were many of them.
"Four," said Caddy. "One in-door, and three out. They are very good children; only when they get together they WILL play-- children-like--instead of attending to their work. So the little boy you saw just now waltzes by himself in the empty kitchen, and we distribute the others over the house as well as we can."
"That is only for their steps, of course?" said I.
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