Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
them in the street, going to, or returning from, their work, and not
here. He was never even in the room. I do not allow it. What hours
of work have you been accustomed to?’
‘I have never yet been accustomed to work at all, ma’am,’
replied Kate, in a low voice.
‘For which reason she’ll work all the better now,’ said Ralph,
putting in a word, lest this confession should injure the
‘I hope so,’ returned Madame Mantalini; ‘our hours are from
nine to nine, with extra work when we’re very full of business, for
which I allow payment as overtime.’
Kate bowed her head, to intimate that she heard, and was
‘Your meals,’ continued Madame Mantalini, ‘that is, dinner and
tea, you will take here. I should think your wages would average
from five to seven shillings a week; but I can’t give you any certain
information on that point, until I see what you can do.’
Kate bowed her head again.
‘If you’re ready to come,’ said Madame Mantalini, ‘you had
better begin on Monday morning at nine exactly, and Miss Knag
the forewoman shall then have directions to try you with some
easy work at first. Is there anything more, Mr Nickleby?’
‘Nothing more, ma’am,’ replied Ralph, rising.
‘Then I believe that’s all,’ said the lady. Having arrived at this
natural conclusion, she looked at the door, as if she wished to be
gone, but hesitated notwithstanding, as though unwilling to leave
to Mr Mantalini the sole honour of showing them downstairs.
Ralph relieved her from her perplexity by taking his departure
without delay: Madame Mantalini making many gracious inquiries