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consented to intrust it to her mother, at a usurious rate of interest-
fifty or sixty per cent.; which interest she exacted every quarter,
keeping her accounts in a little book with anxious accuracy.
Georgiana sat on a high stool, dressing her hair at the glass, and
interweaving her curls with artificial flowers and faded feathers, of
which she had found a store in a drawer in the attic. I was making
my bed, having received strict orders from Bessie to get it arranged
before she returned, (for Bessie now frequently employed me as a
sort of under-nurserymaid, to tidy the room, dust the chairs, etc.).
Having spread the quilt and folded my night-dress, I went to the
window-seat to put in order some picture-books and doll’s house
furniture scattered there; an abrupt command from Georgiana to
let her playthings alone (for the tiny chairs and mirrors, the fairy
plates and cups, were her property) stopped my proceedings; and
then, for lack of other occupation, I fell to breathing on the frost-
flowers with which the window was fretted, and thus clearing a
space in the glass through which I might look out on the grounds,
where all was still and petrified under the influence of a hard frost.
From this window were visible the porter’s lodge and the carriage-
road, and just as I had dissolved so much of the silver-white foliage
veiling the panes as left room to look out, I saw the gates thrown
open and a carriage roll through. I watched it ascending the drive
with indifference; carriages often came to Gateshead, but none ever
brought visitors in whom I was interested; it stopped in front of the
house, the door-bell rang loudly, the new-comer was admitted. All
this being nothing to me, my vacant attention soon found livelier
attraction in the spectacle of a little hungry robin, which came and
chirruped on the twigs of the leafless cherry-tree nailed against the
wall near the casement. The remains of my breakfast of bread and
milk stood on the table, and having crumbled a morsel of roll, I
was tugging at the sash to put out the crumbs on the window-sill,
when Bessie came running upstairs into the nursery.

‘Miss Jane, take off your pinafore; what are you doing there? Have
you washed your hands and face this morning?’ I gave another tug
before I answered, for I wanted the bird to be secure of its bread:
the sash yielded; I scattered the crumbs, some on the stone sill,
some on the cherry-tree bough, then, closing the window, I
replied‘No, Bessie; I have only just finished dusting.’
‘Troublesome, careless child! and what are you doing now? You
look quite red, as if you have been about some mischief: what were
you opening the window for?’ I was spared the trouble of
answering, for Bessie seemed in too great a hurry to listen to
explanations; she hauled me to the washstand, inflicted a merciless,
but happily brief scrub on my face and hands with soap, water,
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