33. CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE
New York, November
Dear Marmee and Beth,
I'm going to write you a regular volume, for I've got heaps
to tell, though I'm not a fine young lady traveling on the continent.
When I lost sight of Father's dear old face, I felt a
trifle blue, and might have shed a briny drop or two, if an
Irish lady with four small children, all crying more or less,
hadn't diverted my mind, for I amused myself by dropping gingerbread
nuts over the seat every time they opened their mouths to roar.
Soon the sun came out, and taking it as a good omen, I
cleared up likewise and enjoyed my journey with all my heart.
Mrs. Kirke welcomed me so kindly I felt at home at once,
even in that big house full of strangers. She gave me a funny
little sky parlor--all she had, but there is a stove in it, and a
nice table in a sunny window, so I can sit here and write whenever
I like. A fine view and a church tower opposite atone for
the many stairs, and I took a fancy to my den on the spot.
The nursery, where I am to teach and sew, is a pleasant room next
Mrs. Kirke's private parlor, and the two little girls are pretty
children, rather spoiled, I fancy, but they took to me after
telling them The Seven Bad Pigs, and I've no doubt I shall make
a model governess.
I am to have my meals with the children, if I prefer it to
the great table, and for the present I do, for I am bashful,
though no one will believe it.
"Now, my dear, make yourself at home," said Mrs. K. in her
motherly way, "I'm on the drive from morning to night, as you
may suppose with such a family, but a great anxiety will be off
my mind if I know the children are safe with you. My rooms are
always open to you, and your own shall be as comfortable as I
can make it. There are some pleasant people in the house if you
feel sociable, and your evenings are always free. Come to me
if anything goes wrong, and be as happy as you can. There's the
tea bell, I must run and change my cap." And off she bustled,
leaving me to settle myself in my new nest.