now and then and to this day a slight deafness reminds me of that spell of work under water.
I went into Central Park for half an hour; the first pretty girl I met reminded me of Jessie: in one week I'd be free to see her and tell her I was making good and she'd keep her promise, I felt sure; the mere hope led me to fairyland. Meanwhile nothing could take away the proud consciousness that with my five dollars I had earned two weeks' living in a day: a month's work would make me safe for a year.
When I returned I told the Mulligans I must pay for my board, said "I'd feel better, if you'll let me" and finally they consented, though Mrs. Mulligan thought three dollars a week too much. I was glad when it was settled and went to bed early to have a good sleep. For three or four days things went fairly well with me but on the fifth or sixth day we came on a spring of water or "gusher" and were wet to the waist before the air pressure could be increased to cope with it. As a consequence a dreadful pain shot through both my ears: I put my hands to them tight and sat still a little while. Fortunately the shift was almost over and Anderson came with me to the horse-car. "You'd better knock off", he said, "I've known 'em go deaf from it."
The pain had been appalling but it was slowly diminishing and I was resolved not to give in. "Could I get a day off?" I asked Anderson: he nodded, "of course: you're the best in the shift, the best I've ever seen, a great little pony."
Mrs. Mulligan saw at once something was wrong and made me try her household remedy—a roasted onion cut in two and clapped tight on each ear with a flannel bandage. It acted like magic: in ten minutes I was free of pain: then she poured in a little warm sweet oil and in an hour I was walking in the Park