LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 265
arrangements. He might as well have provided them for a squirrel or a magpie. The more drawers and closets there were, the more hiding-holes could Dinah make for the accommodation of old rags, hair-combs, old shoes, ribbons, cast-off artificial flowers, and other articles of vertu, wherein her soul delighted.
When Miss Ophelia entered the kitchen, Dinah did not rise, but smoked on in sublime tranquillity, regarding her movements obliquely out of the corner of her eye, but apparently intent only on the operations around her.
Miss Ophelia commenced opening a set of drawers.
" What is this drawer for, Dinah ? " she said.
" It's handy for most anything, Missis," said Dinah. So it appeared to be. From the variety it contained, Miss Ophelia pulled out first a fine damask table-cloth stained with blood, having evidently been used to envelop some raw meat.
" What's this, Dinah ? You don't wrap up meat in your mistress's best table-cloths ? "
"Oh, Lor, Missis, no; the towels was all a-missin',— so I jest did it. I laid out to wash that ar, — that's why I put it thar."
" Shif'less! " said Miss Ophelia to herself, proceeding to tumble over the drawer, where she found a nutmeg-grater and two or three nutmegs, a Methodist hymn-book, a couple of soiled Madras handkerchiefs, some yarn and knitting-work, a paper of tobacco and a pipe, a few crackers, one or two gilded china saucers with some pomade in them, one or two thin old shoes, a piece of flannel carefully pinned up inclosing some small white onions, several damask table-napkins, some coarse crash towels, some twine and darning-needles, and several broken papers from which sundry sweet herbs were sifting into the drawer.
" Where do you keep your nutmegs, Dinah ? " said Miss Ophelia, with the air of one who prayed for patience.
" Most any whar, Missis; there's some in that cracked