548 The Channings
go down to the office if you like.' ' My dear,' said he,
' I couldn't get up, much less get down to the office;'
which I knew was the case, before I spoke. I wish I
had had my wits about me !" somewhat irascibly went
on Mrs. Jenkins; " I should have had his bed brought
down to the parlour here, before he was so ill. I don't
speak for the shop, I have somebody to attend to that;
but it's such a toil and a trapes up them two pair of
stairs for every little thing that's wanted."
"I suppose I can go up, Mrs. Jenkins"
"You can go up," returned she; "but mind you
don't get worrying him. I won't have him worried.
He worries himself, without any one else doing it
gratis. If it's not about one thing, it's about another.
Sometimes it's his master and the office, how they'll
get along; sometimes it's me, what I shall do with-
out him; sometimes it's his old father. He don't need
any foreign things to put him up."
"I am sorry he is so much worse," remarked
" So am I," said Mrs. Jenkins, tartly. " I have
been doing all I could for him from the first, and it
has been like working against hope. If care could
have cured him, or money could have cured him, he'd
be well now. I have a trifle of savings in the bank,
young Mr. Channing, and I have not spared them. If
they had ordered him medicine at a guinea a bottle,
I'd have had it for him. If they said he must have
wine, or delicacies brought from the other ends of the
earth, they should have been brought. Jenkins isn't
good for much, in point of spirit, as all the world
knows; but he's my husband, and I have strove to
do my duty by him. Now, if you want to go up,
you can go," added she, after an imperceptible pause.
" There's a light on the stairs, and you know his room.
I'll take the opportunity to give an eye to the kitchen;
I don't care to leave him by himself now. Finely it's
going on, I know !"
Mrs. Jenkins whisked down the kitchen stairs, and
Arthur proceeded up. Jenkins was lying in bed, his
head raised by pillows. Whatever may have been Mrs.
Jenkins's faults of manner, her efficiency as a nurse
and manager could not be called into question. A