Page:Boys Life of Booker T. Washington.djvu/32

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not making enough money. A few days after he heard the conversation about Hampton, he heard that Mrs. Ruffner wanted a servant. She was the wife of General Lewis Ruffner, the owner of the salt furnaces and the coal mines. The lady, Mrs. Viola Ruffner, was said to be very strict with her servants, and consequently no servant would stay with her long at a time.

When Booker heard that she was looking for another servant, he decided to apply for the place. He was terribly frightened when he went into her presence; and he was surprised to find her very kind and considerate. She employed him, giving him five dollars a month. She became very fond of this boy, who worked so hard and so well and tried to do the work so as to please her. She showed her interest in his ambition to get an education, by letting him off a part of the day to study, and by encouraging him to go to the night school.

Washington says also that he learned from Mrs. Ruffner many valuable lessons in cleanliness, promptness, and order. He says: "Even to this day, I never see bits of paper scattered around a house or in the street that I do not want to pick them up at once. I never see a filthy yard that I do not want to clean it, a paling off a fence that I do not want to put it on, an unpainted or unwhite-washed house that I do not want to paint or white-wash it; or a button off one's clothes, or a grease