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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/118

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

this girl, who had been transferred from a floorless wigwam into a civilized kitchen, was at first careless about keeping the floor as clean as it should be, had, by the promise of some desired gift in addition to her wages, so fired her zeal that it seemed as though every hour that could be saved from her other necessary duties was spent in scrubbing that kitchen floor. Mary was never difficult to find, as was often the case with other Indian girls; if missed from other duties, she was always found scrubbing her kitchen.

In some way or other—how we do not profess to know—Jack discovered this, which had become to us a source of amusement, and here he succeeded in annoying her, where in many other ways which he had tried he had only been humiliated and disgraced. He would, when the floor had just been scrubbed, march in and walk over it with his feet made as dirty as tramping in the worst places outside could make them. At other times he would plunge into the lake, and instead of, as usual, thoroughly shaking himself dry on the rocks, would wait until he had marched in upon Mary's spotless floor. At other times, when Jack noticed that Mary was about to begin scrubbing her floor he would deliberately stretch himself out in a prominent place on it, and doggedly resist, yet without any growling or biting, any attempt on her part to get him to move. In vain would she coax or scold or threaten. Once or twice, by some clever stratagem, such as pretending to feed the other dogs outside or getting them excited and furiously barking, as though a bear or some other animal were being attacked, did she succeed in getting him out. But soon he found her out, and then he paid not the slightest attention to any of these things. Once when she had him outside she securely fastened the door to keep him out until her scrubbing would be done. Furiously did Jack rattle at the latch, but the door was otherwise so secured that he could not open it. Getting discouraged in his efforts to open the door in the usual way, he went to the woodpile and seizing a large billet in his mouth he came and so pounded the door with it that Mary, seeing that there was great danger of the panel being broken in, was obliged to open the door and let in the dog. Jack proudly marched in to the kitchen with the stick of wood in his mouth. This he carried to the wood box, and, when he had placed it there, he coolly stretched himself out on the floor where he would be the biggest nuisance.

Seeing Jack under such circumstances on her kitchen floor, poor Mary could stand it no longer, and so she came marching in to my study, and in vigorous picturesque language in her native Cree described Jack's various tricks and schemes to annoy her and thus hinder her in her work. She ended up by the declaration