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Trials and Confessions of a Housekeeper By T. S. Arthur Characters: 2692

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

MR. SMITH'S appetite sometimes takes an epicurean turn, and then we indulge in a lobster, calf's-head soup, terrapins, or something of that sort.

Once upon a time, he sent home a lobster. I did not feel very well that day, and concluded to leave the cooking of the animal to a new girl that I had taken a week or two before, on a strong recommendation. She claimed to be a finished cook, and her testimonials were distinct on that head.

"Kitty," said I, "Mr. Smith has sent home a lobster, I believe?"

I had summoned the girl to my room.

"Yes, ma'am," she replied. "Is it for dinner?"

"Of course it is; and you must see that it is well cooked."

Kitty lingered a few moments, as if not entirely satisfied about something, and then retired to the kitchen.

"I wonder if she knows how to boil a lobster?" said I to myself.

But then, the remembrance that she had come to me as a finished cook, crossed my mind, and I answered, mentally, my own question, by saying:

"Of course she does."

Not long afterwards, I went to the dining-room, which was over the kitchen. I had been there only a little while, when I heard an unusual noise below, followed by an exclamation from Kitty-

"Oh! murderation! I can't cook the straddling thing. I wonder what Mr. Smith brought it home alive for!"

I was, of course, all attention n

ow, and going to the top of the stairs, stood listening to what was going on below.

"There now. Lie still!" I heard Kitty say. This was followed by a rattling of tongs, or some other iron implements, and a rapid shuffling of feet.

Curious to know what was going on, I stepped lightly down the stairs, and through the open door had a full view of both Kitty and the lobster.

Live coals had been raked out upon the hearth. Over these was placed a gridiron, and on this not very comfortable bed Kitty was endeavoring to force Mr. Lobster to lie still and be cooked. But this he was by no means inclined to do; and no sooner did she place him on the heated bars, than he made his way off in the quickest possible time. Then she caught hold of him with the tongs, restored him to his proper position on the gridiron, and with poker and tongs strove to hold him there.

As the lobster, a second and a third time, struggled free of Kitty's tongs and poker, I could no longer restrain myself, but burst forth into a loud fit of laughter. By the time this subsided, his lobstership was in the middle of the kitchen floor. Picking him up, I threw him into a pot of boiling water, and then retreated from the kitchen, so convulsed with laughter that I could not utter a word.

Kitty did not soon hear the last of her attempt to broil a lobster.

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