Her Father's Daughter
Library of Alexandria
In less than an hour, Linda was in the kitchen, dressed in an old green skirt and an orange blouse. Katy pinned one of her aprons on the girl and told her that her first job was to set the table. "And Miss Eileen has given most particular orders that I use the very best of everything. Lay the table for four, and you are to be extremely careful in serving not to spill the soup." Linda stood very quietly for a second, her heavy black brows drawn together in deep thought. "When did Eileen issue these instructions?" she inquired. "Not five minutes ago," said Katy. "She just left me kitchen and I'll say I never saw her lookin' such a perfect picture. That new dress of hers is the most becoming one she has ever had." Almost unconsciously, Linda's hand reached to the front of her well-worn blouse, and she glanced downward at her skirt and shoes. "Um-hm," she said meditatively, "another new dress for Eileen, which means that I will get nothing until next month's allowance comes in, if I do then. The table set for four, which, interpreted, signifies that she has asked Marian in such a way that Marian won't come. And the caution as to care with the soup means that I am to serve my father's table like a paid waitress. Katy, I have run for over three years on Eileen's schedule, but this past year I am beginning to use my brains and I am reaching the place of self-assertion. That programme won't do, Katy. It's got to be completely revised. You just watch me and see how I follow those instructions." Then Linda marched out of the kitchen door and started across the lawn in the direction of a big brown house dimly outlined through widely spreading branches of ancient live oaks, palm, and bamboo thickets. She entered the house without knocking and in the hall uttered a low penetrating whistle. It was instantly answered from upstairs. Linda began climbing, and met Marian at the top.