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relation? And Lulu and Violet were his halfsisters; it was all natural enough. But his love had not a long trial; before they reached the doctor's Robert found a moment in which to throw his arm round the old man's shoulders, and whisper to him that he had "never forgotten him, and had kept all the promises he made."
Robert had brought news very welcome to all. Peace was virtually made, and men were at liberty again to rebuild their ruined homes and fortunes. Christopher had long had a proposal to make, which he thought it well no longer to delay. The old Romans watched the flight of eagles in order to select a site for a city; Christopher had watched the gathering together of horses and horsemen. Now just beyond the doctor's was a series of rising knolls, well wooded, and with unfailing springs, and here it had become very usual to bring horses for sale, or to rest after long journeys. It would be a splendid site for a future town, and Christopher resolved to lay the foundations of it. He had already large quantities of the goods needed for frontier trading. He would build as rapidly as possible a store at this point. It would be a great convenience to the horsemen who already frequented it, and it would also bring others there. Robert should be a great trader.
"It is not what I would have liked my son to be," and he thought sadly of old Marischal, "but it's better than fighting; and life is but a step at
This plan was at once carried into effect, and as it was progressing the doctor said,
Christopher, what are you going to do with the stone-work you prepared for Robert's house, when you thought of building it on the creek?"
"I have my plans for that, doctor, and I shall want your help in them. The foundation of a building forty-two feet by thirty-two is laid, and there is a deal of stone cut and ready for the mortar. The location is a central one. going to finish it for a church. We must have a church in our town, doctor."
"I'm agreeable; but we must have the vote of the neighbours round, or they won't come to it." "Then call a meeting at your house, and we'll go to work at once."
So the eleven householders within a distance of about four miles received each a note requesting them to be at the doctor's at five o'clock the following Tuesday. All of them promptly attended. No one doubted but that the call related to politics. Christopher rather surprised them when he stated the object of the meeting, and at first his proposal was met in a very discouraging way. Some smiled sarcastically, others shook their heads with an unpleasant decision. Finally one old man, the most unlikely man of all, said, "Gentlemen, I'm for the church. I don't say as I'd go to it myself, but I'd like my four girls to go, and my wife is allays a-hankering after a Sunday and a church."
"I s'pose now," said another, "ef Chris likes to build a church he might do it. Ef he wanted to build a bar thar would be no kind of objection. It's a free country, I s'pose, gentlemen-leastways, it allays has been."
"Don't see in thunder what we are asked about it for!" said Colonel Ben Williamson. "Ef I wanted to build a church-which I don't-I'd build it, you bet I would. It's Christopher's own business, I take it."
"No, gentlemen," said Christopher, "it is your business. I propose to build the church and give it to the new town free of debt. But you will have to keep it open."
"Run it, you mean? Now, whar in thunder-" "I mean, you must pay the minister. If you don't you will never go and hear him. But let each man give twenty head of cattle a year towards his pay, and he'll go and hear if he is worth it; and I do think, gentlemen, the man who goes once will go again."
"Twenty head of cattle-that's about a hundred dollars a year!"
Colonel," said the doctor to a big, fat, fait man, with an unwriteable Sclav name, "what do you say?"
"I have seen no churches since thirty years, but very good are they. Let the church be built; and the minister, let him come, and also the schoolmaster."
"The school, by all means," said another, eagerly. "It can be taught in the church."
"No," answered Christopher-"no, sir, it cannot. The house of God is the house of God, and not a school-house. It is to be a little spot in this good land which He has given us, purposely set aside to praise His name in. As far as possible, we ought to leave our sinful thoughts and bad words and angry passions outside it. Now boys and girls are boys and girls, not angels; and teachers are teachers, and not consecrated ministers. We want a church that is all of a church. But I'll build a school-house gladly, and every one can give thirty head of cattle instead of twenty, that will pay minister and teacher both."
There was some more discussion, but it ended very harmoniously, and Christopher went heartily to work. In eight months the two buildings were completed, and Christopher's foresight had been abundantly vindicated in the site of his settlement. Robert's store was already surrounded by small houses, a temporary hotel, and a bar-room. But the church and the school-house were on the ground also; the minister had been "called," and one lovely Sabbath morning the following spring the blessed church-bell rung out gladly over the flowery prairie. At least twenty buggies and a number of saddle-horses were fastened to the fence. Within the church the women had ranged themselves on one side, and were busy with their fans; on the other side sat the men, just as busy with their tobacco. In some cases the ladies of the
family were alone in the building, and their husbands or brothers waited outside for them. In fact, the general feeling among the men in regard to church was that of a concession to female prejudices. But it was a good day to Christopher, for he saw in it the promise of the future years.*
In the meantime other changes had taken place. Lulu and Violet Terry had both married, Jack had gone to a famous law school, Stephen and Matt were with Christopher. Christopher's life, once so empty, had grown full of love and enterprise, and those who had been familiar with him for twenty years said that he had recovered his youth. It was known by all that he had adopted Robert Moray, and so no one wondered at the pleasant word "father," so often on Robert's lips, and all smiled to hear the pretty Inez call him “ Papa Christopher." To Robert only Christopher revealed the true relation between them. Clarissa's memory lived in the hearts of her children and friends without a shadow.
This was the harvest of Christopher's life and patience, and I left him gathering it, living joyfully before his God, and prudently working for the elevation of the people with whom he had cast his lot. If I had heard no more of him, I should have known that "all was well." But a few years afterwards circumstances again took me into the country west of San Antonia. The settlement of Moray had become a town of 3,000 inhabitants, and when the stage stopped at the handsome, commodious hotel I found the doctor was its proprietor. Very pleasant indeed was our meeting, and he had not a single word of bad news to tell me. I remembered the rather noisy settlement, with its wild vanqueros and horsetraders and cow-boys, and I could not help contrasting the memory with the quiet, orderly, pretty
all paid our thirty head of cattle regular; I reckon that accounts for it."
I asked after Robert. He was doing splendidly, and mayor of the town." Inez was handsomer than in her youth, and they had four beautiful children. Jack Terry was married, and holding a fine position in Austin; Stephen was at Yale; and "Where do you think little. Matt has gone?" asked the doctor.
I guessed in a moment-" Scotland." "That's so-to some old college in Aberdeen." "Well, Christopher can afford it."
"You bet he can. He's a very rich man, and I guess he knows what he's doing-every time." "I am sure he does. Robert has enough too." "Well-yes- but Robert has a big family. There's Christopher, and Alexander, and Inez, and Clarissa-"
"How happy Christopher must be! He loved children so truly."
"Happy! I should think he was! His cabin is always full of them. It's their favourite playground. Lulu's and Violet's children are often there also, and every child in the town goes to Christopher if it is in trouble. Why, he brought a whole waggon-load of toys last Christmas, he did really, and it was a perfect delight to see him at the school festival. I declare I'm sorry for the boys and girls that don't know Christopher."
Later, I went out to see the old man. He was sitting in his cabin door feeding his squirrels. They were on his shoulders, and on his knees, and in his breast, and in his pockets, and playing all sorts of capers in the vines above his head. At a word from him they scampered off into the trees. I never saw a happier old man. The world was full of love to him; the future full of a glorious hope.
Good-bye, dear," were the last words I heard him say. "Good-bye, dear, we shall hardly meet again. I hope to go home soon."
WOMEN AS CIVIL SERVANTS.
HE great and increasing demand among women for remunerative employment calls for repeated discussion of their prospects as members of the working community. This being so, we venture to bring once more before the public their position as servants in a great department of the Civil Service-namely, the Post Office. Moreover, it is one of the most encouraging prospects before women that this branch of industry makes promise of further development, for the occupations open to their sex are few in number and hard to obtain; and it is well that the female section of the community should be cheered by watching the successful efforts of their sisters in this important sphere of action, and by
*This story certainly gives a true representation of Texan life. Let us hope that with advancing time the influence of Christian teaching will remove some of its ruder features, and introduce a higher tone of principle and feeling.-ED. L. H.
reviewing the excellent results which women as "civil servants" achieve.
Ten years ago the Clearing House, a branch of the Receiver and Accountant-General's Office, was opened to female officers, the idea being to give employment to ladies in reduced circumstances. Sir John Tilley first suggested that these clerkships should be filled by gentlewomen, and Lord John Manners, then Postmaster-General, favoured the plan, and took much interest in the nominations. In the year 1872 the staff commenced with thirty members, and gradually their numbers have been increased, and their work now embraces that of the Clearing House, the greater part of the Examiner's Branch of the Savings Bank, and the Postal Orders Examining Branch.
The clerks, who number nearly two hundred, enter upon a six months' probation after passing an examination in arithmetic, dictation,
handwriting, and grammar, under the Civil Service Commissioners, at Cannon Row or Burlington House; and at the end of that time, if their health and conduct are considered satisfactory, a report is sent in to the authorities by the superintendent, and they are fully established as secondclass clerks. The salary commences from the day of entry, and is £65 a year, rising by £3 to £80 for a second-class clerk; £85 rising by £5 to £110 for a first-class clerk; and £110 rising to £170 for a principal clerk. The age of admission is between seventeen to twenty. The hours of attendance are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the holidays consist of a free afternoon on Saturday and a calendar month some time during the year. The Clearing House is situated at No. 1, Albion Place, Blackfriars Bridge, and it will be remembered that this was the first branch of the Post Office in which ladies were engaged. The work has to do with telegrams, and every telegram sent throughout the United Kingdom is forwarded here from the General Post Office for examination, so it is no sinecure. In the Press section on the ground-floor all unpaid telegrams are received which are sent by those papers, agencies, clubs, exchanges, and news-rooms which have made arrangements with the Postmaster-General for the transmission of news. Above this room is the section for the examination of messages for small charges. All paid telegrams are counted here, and examined to see that the right number of stamps have been affixed, and that such words as "cui bono?" or names like " fly-by-night," have not been counted as one word. The daily average of mistakes is about one hundred and fifty. The Government Account section occupies the third floor, and consists of the postmasters' abstract work-namely, daily account of the number of messages each postmaster has sent out, and the commission he claims. This work varies in quantity, the messages increasing in wet weather and decreasing on bright sunny days. During the great snowfall in January, 1881, 97,143 more messages were sent than during the same week of the previous year. In the highest room the Government messages, and those of the Queen and her family, are counted, and charged to the different offices and to the Controllers of the Royal Households.
The Examiner's Branch of the Savings Bank, in which ladies are employed, occupies a floor of the new building in Queen Victoria Street, and the staff numbers over one hundred and thirty ladies. A private staircase leads up to this part of the building, and a dining-room and kitchen are attached to it. The work is in three sections, and a fourth has been added by the Act for Investments in Government Stock. In the first section the signatures of depositors who withdraw money from the Savings Bank are examined, etc. In the second the daily dockets of postmasters are received, and the dates, etc., are examined. In the third the allowances to postmasters are counted, etc. This section is the most difficult in point of brainwork, the greatest nicety in calculation being required in tracing the smallest error. It is, therefore, the last section into which the clerks
are introduced while learning gradually the whole of the work, in order that they may be ready to fill any vacancies caused by illness or other reasons of absence among their members.
The section for Investments in Government Stock was commenced by six female clerks under the direction of men, and although the difficulties they had to encounter were greater than any they had previously experienced, their duties were accomplished to the satisfaction of their teachers, who bear testimony that little trouble was evinced by the women in understanding the work, and who speak in the highest terms of the way in which it was done. The clerks in this section deal with the applications for investments in Government Stock, etc.
The Postal Orders Examining Branch began in January, 1881, at the Clearing House, and has been moved to 111, Queen Victoria Street. The work here is comparatively easy, as it consists in checking the receipts of postmasters' dockets in a book, in examining each order to see that it is signed by the payee, in entering the amount of any postage-stamps affixed in books, etc., etc.
It will be seen that the work in which these women are engaged is not mere manual labour, but requires careful application, as well as skill of hand. One careless mistake involves endless trouble, for the accounts are kept with such precision, that one penny miscalculated has to be searched for through numberless papers until it is checked. The hours are not long, but every hour spent in the office, except the dinner half-hour, is persistently employed, and the tension put on the powers of the officers is too great to last over a longer time. Some few of the clerks are advised to retire after a six months' probation if it is found that, although they could pass the examination, they have not the quickness necessary for the work; but the greater number remain, and advance gradually, the berths being too highly appreciated to be left for other employments.
In contrasting the work of the women with that of the men in the Post Office, the authorities say that the women are more conscientious, and take a greater interest in their occupation.
This is perhaps only too easily accounted for when it is remembered the class of women who are here employed.
These three branches of the Post Office were opened to women with the express intention of giving occupation to ladies, and as each appointment was made by the Postmaster-General, this rule was strictly adhered to. The women in the Telegraph Department and other Post-Office work were distinct from these clerks, and their social position was not inquired into when they were admitted. But these special clerks were not born with the prospect of work lying before them, and many a sad history is connected with their entrance on official life. The young men in the Post Office spend their time in exercise or amusement when the hours of work are over; many of the women go home to continue their exertions in some other form. The salary is small, and one tries to increase it by giving lessons, another by sewing, a third by drudgery of a domestic kind. The continuous
close application is often found a relief from pressing thoughts of great sorrow or loneliness, or there may perhaps be anxiety to rise as rapidly as possible in the section that a larger salary may be obtained. The clerks in some cases have others depending upon them. Lodgings, where two idiot brothers were her only companions, was the home of one woman last year; another lived in a solitary attic near London Bridge. It is a subject of rejoicing that comfortable lodgings are now provided at a reasonable rate for these officers, and that they have only to apply to the kind and thoughtful ladies at the head of their several departments in order to find a suitable home.
The number of female clerks employed is, as we have said, largely increasing. The Act for Investments in Government Stock, and the Postal Money Orders Act, have created two new fields for their efforts. The authorities are pleased with their work, and willing to enlarge their numbers. The Postmaster-General, speaking of the staff of officers in his report for 1875, when women were first admitted to the Savings Bank, says, "As a further extension of female employment in the Post Office, there is now a class of female clerks in the Savings Bank. Although in arithmetic, at least, the standard of acquirement is high, a majority of the candidates succeed in passing the examination." That women clerks have gained in favour is proved by the rapid extension of their field of operation. All this points to an increased demand for their services, and holds out hopeful prospects of their being admitted to more branches of the Post Office and other Government offices.
But if the office work grows harder, and becomes of a more complicated nature, it necessarily follows that only clever and capable women will be able to pursue it.
What is to become of those who possess little ability, and who nevertheless are forced to provide for themselves? The dearth of employment is so great everywhere, that ladies cannot do better, it seems to us, than take advantage of everything open to them, and thankfully accept all positions, making as light of the attendant discomforts as they possibly can. If the best clerkships are out of their reach, let them be content to enter lower branches of the service, such as the Central Telegraph Office, the Return Letter Office, or even the post-offices in London or the country. The Central Telegraph Office employs a mixed staff of some 1,533 officers, about 933 of which are men, and about 600 are women. They enter at the age of fourteen to eighteen, in order that they may acquire the necessary manipulatory skill while their fingers are supple; and after passing an examination in arithmetic, writing, and dictation, are sent to the School of Telegraphy, and learn to work the various instruments-the Wheatstone, Duplex, Sounder, Quadruple, Morse, and Single Needle. When proficient, which is generally in about three months' time, they are drafted off to the Central Office as vacancies occur. At first they perform minor duties, and assist the officers in charge; but when able to work alone they receive the sole care of an instrument. They sit in one large room-boys, girls, men, and women together
-and help one another when stress of work calls for two clerks at one instrument. The women work eight hours daily, coming on in relays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. They have a whole holiday on Sunday, and no night duty.
The bulk of the daily traffic is from 40,000 to 50,000 messages, and a large number of these are transmitted messages, and have to be received or forwarded, and therefore should practically be counted twice in the total. Besides this there are from 5,000 to 6,000 local London messages, and a vast number of news messages. The greater part of the work is done between the hours of eleven and three, a lull occurring in the afternoon. The work is a barometer of business, varying from day to day, and increasing largely on race days, heavy Parliamentary days, or when any matter of general interest takes place.
Dinner is served on the premises in separate rooms, the department providing fires and extras, also tea at four o'clock in the Instrument Room.
Considering the amount of work they perform, and the absence of night and Sunday duty, the salary of the women is good, being eight shillings a week when first admitted, and rising gradually to £78 a year. The supervising officers are paid higher. The manipulatory skill is found largely among them, and in time they become accustomed to the noise of the machinery and the excitement of the employment. Every possible care is taken of their comfort, and the rooms devoted to their use are perfect in arrangement.
Another department of the Post Office is the Return Letter Office, in Telegraph Street. Fiftyfive women or more are employed here in returning lost letters to the senders, and destroying letters in cases where the discovery of the names of the writers seems hopeless. The letters lost during a year average one in twenty-2,013,149 in all. Of these about 1,759,748 are returned and the rest destroyed. The postcards lost are about 71,754, and about 39,649 are returned, and the same is the yearly average for newspapers and circulars. All articles lost in the post are sent here, and the cupboards are filled with such things as cheap jewellery, shoes, and even umbrellas, and at Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day with badly-packed cards and presents. These things are kept for three months, and then sold by the Post Office auctioneer. The work of the whole staff is about 7,000 letters daily, each member being obliged to return 280 letters, and a larger number if she is dealing with postcards, papers, or circulars. The hours are from halfpast nine to five, and a half-holiday on Saturday. The salary is eighteen shillings to twenty shillings weekly for a first-class clerk, and fourteen shillings to seventeen shillings for a second-class clerk.
The female telegraphists engaged in the postoffices of London and the large provincial towns are between one and two thousand, and they work at the same rate of pay and the same number of hours as in the Central Telegraph Office. They are trained in the Postal Telegraph Schools, after passing an examination under the Civil Service Commissioners, and as yet must obtain nominations to their posts through the interest of friends.
They are never allowed to remain after eight in the evening, and during the day work behind. partitions which screen them from the public; but, all the same, they are obliged to sell the stamps, postcards, and orders required, as well as to do the wire-work. They have generally a small room joining the office where they eat their dinner, and here they sit for tea and retire when off duty. The eight hours' work leaves them free to employ the evenings as they please, and to engage in other occupations if not too tired.