Jane took a deep, nervous breath. She looked at the vast majesty around her. The scent of beautiful flowers wafted up as she walked the path leading to the large white house with its painted shutters. Jane remembered walking past the iron gate as a child, wondering what it would be like to be the only child of a governor, rather than the eldest of five wheelwright’s children. Governor’s children lived in luxury, wheelwright’s children begged for jobs as the governor’s maid. Slowly Jane took hold of the warm brass knocker, bringing it down upon the door. Her stomach churned violently within her, as she heard the crescendo of footsteps in the hall. The door opened softly, and there he stood, Ben, the young, strong, handsome butler. Jane tried not to meet his eyes as she spoke.
“I came to see Governor Trippingdale about a job,” said Jane quickly.
“Jane, how nice to see you, it’s been awhile. Please, won’t you step inside, I’ll see if the Governor has a moment to speak with you,” replied the always friendly Ben. Jane stepped into the doorway of the large house. She thought about how much work it must require to keep up such a house, and became very hopeful.
“Little Janey, how nice of you to come by,” called a blustering voice from around the corner. Jane looked. From down the hallway came Governor Trippingdale. He was a fat, happy sort of fellow, with a round face and sparkling eyes, always happy to see everybody.
“Hello Governor, it’s been a long time. How have you and your family been?” Jane asked in her sweetest, friendliest manner, keeping her eyes to the floor to show respect. She really had never known the Governor that well. His wife had taught Sunday school for a year, and Jane was in her class a long time ago. Other than that, Jane and her mother delivered clothes they laundered for the Trippingdale’s, but those visits were always brief and to the point.
“Oh, I look around me and see our thriving New York colony and am pleased. How are things out in your neck of the woods?” replied the Governor.
“Well to be truthful, things are tight and I have found myself in need of a job. You see, my father was in an accident about two days ago. He broke his arm, and isn’t going to be able to do much work for a few weeks. I hoped you might be needing some help around here. I’m good with all kinds of different things. I can do house-keeping, gardening, or if you need some help with the children I can do that too.”
“Well Janey, I think your visit has come at a purely providential time. You see, one of my maids had a family emergency and took a boat back to jolly old England about two weeks ago. I’ve been hoping someone would come along to fill the position, and you might be just the girl. You’ll be sure to mind your business and do your job now, won’t you?”
“Oh, yes sir.”
“Well good, you start tomorrow. You’ll get two shillings for a good days work. If things go well we’ll hire you on indefinitely. How does that sound?”
“Oh, that’s wonderful, thank you so much. I’ll be here bright and early tomorrow morning.”
To Be continued . . .