Drusilla with a Million
Drusilla grew more and more to feel that she was a part of her little world, where
everything revolved around her and her wishes were law. It was only natural that
she gained confidence in herself. She lost her awe of the servants, and even
found courage to speak shortly to James, who, she learned from Jeanne, was
relegating most of his duties to William, thinking Miss Doane would not know the
But after the excitement of the first few weeks was past she found the time heavy
on her hands. She had no duties, she did not read, there was no sewing nor
mending for her, and she could not always work in the conservatories among the
flowers; consequently she began to long for something with which to occupy her
thoughts and, above all, her hands.
One morning when she was wandering aimlessly around the house she went into
the pastry room. There she looked in delight at all the shining pans and the bowls
arranged in graduated sizes on their shelves.
"My, ain't it nice, and everything so handy!"
She looked around for a minute; then a thought began to take shape in Drusilla's
mind. She looked at the chef thoughtfully; then, evidently deciding, she gave her
head a little toss and with a light laugh left the room, soon to return with a big
gingham apron covering her pretty dress. The chef looked at her inquiringly.
"Cook," Drusilla said, "I'm hungry for some home cookin' and I want to do it
myself. I ain't cooked none fer a good many years, and my fingers is jest itchin' to
git into the flour. Where's your flour and things to make cake?"
The chef was shocked.
"Yes, Madame may, and she's goin' to; so show me where the things is." She
rolled up her sleeves. "Now you git me that big yellow bowl, and give me the lard.
I'm goin' to make doughnuts--fried cakes I used to call 'em, tho' it's more stylish
to say doughnuts these days. I don't like them that's bought in the store with
sugar sprinkled on top; sugar don't belong on fried cakes. It takes away their
crispiness and you might jest as well be eatin' cake."
Drusilla kept the chef busy waiting on her until she had all the articles needed.
Then she turned upon him.
"Now, you go away. Go up to your room, or down to James. I don't want you
standin' round lookin' as if you was goin' to bust every minute. You got to git used
to this. I'm goin' to have a bakin' day once a week, same as I did for forty year."
Drusilla spent a happy morning. The "fried cakes" finished, she decided to make
some cookies--the "old-fashioned kind that my mother's sister Jane give me the
receipt of; I kind o' want to see if I have lost my hand."
But the hand had not lost its cunning if the great dish of brown, crisp doughnuts,
and the cookies and the gingerbread were a test. After they were baked and in a
row on the table, she stepped back and surveyed her handiwork, with a proud
expression on her kindly old face.