The Leavenworth Case HTML version

4. A Cuts
"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark."
THE cook of the establishment being now called, that portly, ruddy-faced individual
stepped forward with alacrity, displaying upon her good-humored countenance such an
expression of mingled eagerness and anxiety that more than one person present found it
difficult to restrain a smile at her appearance. Observing this and taking it as a
compliment, being a woman as well as a cook, she immediately dropped a curtsey, and
opening her lips was about to speak, when the coroner, rising impatiently in his seat, took
the word from her mouth by saying sternly:
"Your name?"
"Katherine Malone, sir."
"Well, Katherine, how long have you been in Mr. Leavenworth's service?"
"Shure, it is a good twelvemonth now, sir, since I came, on Mrs. Wilson's
ricommindation, to that very front door, and----"
"Never mind the front door, but tell us why you left this Mrs. Wilson?"
"Shure, and it was she as left me, being as she went sailing to the ould country the same
day when on her recommendation I came to this very front door--"
"Well, well; no matter about that. You have been in Mr. Leavenworth's family a year?"
"Yes, sir."
"And liked it? found him a good master?"
"Och, sir, niver have I found a better, worse luck to the villain as killed him. He was that
free and ginerous, sir, that many 's the time I have said to Hannah--" She stopped, with a
sudden comical gasp of terror, looking at her fellow-servants like one who had
incautiously made a slip. The coroner, observing this, inquired hastily:
"Hannah? Who is Hannah?"
The cook, drawing her roly-poly figure up into some sort of shape in her efforts to appear
unconcerned, exclaimed boldly: "She? Oh, only the ladies' maid, sir."
"But I don't see any one here answering to that description. You didn't speak of any one
by the name of Hannah, as belonging to the house," said he, turning to Thomas.