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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (April 11, 1896)
A LITERARY WOMAN.
My Deah Mother:
Yuu are anxious by this timo, I am sure,
to know whothor I have succoodod in finding
a placo. I didn't writo to you sooner, for
I thought that yon would not bo homo from
It wttB difficult to find a situation as pri
vate toiichor, and 1 couldn't find work in an
ollico but, truly, 1 did'nt want to very
badly. Whenever i applied 1 wae rofusod
on the grounds that tho times woro too hard
for them to engage extra help. 1 was just
about to despair whon I saw this advertise
ment: "Wanted: A young lady intellectually
inclined to act as companion to a woman of
literary talonts. Kor further information
call at 283 Vark stroot.
Mus. Catherine D. VanIIousen."
It was bold, 1 know, to think for a
moment that 1, with only a moderate educa
tion, might bo intellectual onough to sccuro
this position; but you know how very fond
of books I am, and how I have always long
ed oven to soo an authoress but to bo tho
companion of one. The offer was indeed
Mrs. Catherine D. VanHousen, however,
was such an imposing name, and one so full
of ambiguous suggestions, that even after 1
had fully decided to seek further informa
tion, I was doubtful as to tho advisibility of
Number 283 also increased my feeling of
uncertainty. It was tho middle ono of three
brown, massive faced, brick tenements.
An. oddly dressed foreign-looking porter
answered my timid ring. What did Madam
ah, pardon Mademoiselle wish? I said
that I should like very much to see Mrs.
Catherine D. VanHousen. 1 gavo tho
whole name. He thought seriously for
several minutes, then said ho would ascer
tain his lady's pleasure. Ho disappeared
gradually into the darkness of tho long hall.
He soon roturned. "My lady will see you,"
ho said, bowing most wonderfully low. I
folt that ho was making fun of mo. Thon
ho motionod mo to follow him. Wo stopped
at tho furthorost door in tho passago. Tho
portor loft mo suddonly; indood, I did not
soo him go. I supposod that this was tho
lady's room, so I knocked.
"Enter, maidon," was tho answer.
I stoppod in. Although it was bright
daylight outdoors, tho room waB darkonod
and was lighted by a Btudy lamp. A woman
was sitting near a table, piled high with
books and papers.
"Did you come in answer to my advor
tisomont?" sho askod.
"Yes," I said, somewhat nervously.
"Advanco thon, my child, I will consider
I came quito closo to hor and stood still.
I was afraid that I would not impress her
favorably I was dressed so simplo in my
dull grey suit.
Sho ga.od at mo steadily for somo time,
and thon clapping hor hands bIio burst out
with, uOh, how divino you are, tho perfect
intellectual embodiment, ovon to tho classic
gown what a noble brow!"
Think of anyone calling my brow noble.
1 had always hated my high forehead.
"But wo must see further, -x sho contin
ued, "Have you read much? Are you ac
quainted with all tho host authors?"
Fortunately, I could answer that I had a
modern acquaintance with the best litera
ture. Could I quote a passage from Browning,
hor favorito poet?
Yes, 1 could quoto several and explain
them too, quite to her satisfaction.
Now, could I give an outline of tho
Duchess' last Btory?
1 bluahod whon bIio asked this, for I had
road tho book by chanco and not because 1
am accustomed to read such works. But 1
outlined tho story.
"Yerywell," 1 think that I shall keep
you," she said.
And so I am here, mother; I wish that
you could see Mrs. VanHousen. She is
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