Mary Emma & Compan

Immigrant City

Before a Shop Window
Before a Shop Window.

The River Below the Dam The River Below the Dam.

An Alley
An Alley — From a Water Color by Mrs. I.H. Ferry.

        "Ghost? Pah!" Exclaimed Hugh Brett, the old Scotchman who was employed at odd jobs about the room. "More like ’twas a flash of light through the window shinin’ on the wall; and wakin’ up so sudden it looked quare and scared her."
        "Twas a warnin’, Mother Blinn, ’twas a warnin’ for your sins," presently piped the voice of Sandy Hutton, the spoolboy, pushing his red head in among the group. His eyes were dancing with glee and the corners of his mouth turned upward with the crescent curve they took when he was greatly delighted.
        Mrs. Blinn snatched the apron from her head and aimed a quick blow with it at Sandy. It was the surest way that could have been devised to dispel her fright, for there was a chronic feud between the scrub woman and the spoolboy.
        "Indeed, I believe she’d rise from her dyin’ bed to give to boy a lick," remarked Maggie, and this diversion put to flight all serious thoughts of Mother Blinn’s scare.
        But that was not, by any means, the last of the spool-room ghost.
        Sandy Hutton was the only boy working in the spool-room. There were two or three men employed to do the heavy lifting and carting of beams, but all the spooling and warping frames were operated by girls. Sandy’s business was to clear the filled spools from the spooling frames, wheel them in boxes to the warpers and carry back the emptied spools to be refilled. It kept him tolerably busy on the whole, but his active spirit would have missed a great deal of welcome excitement if it had not been for the almost daily skirmishes with the scrub woman and an occasional set-to with Andre Bourdon.
        Andre was the boy who rode up from the spinning room on the elevator, to bring up the supplies of bobbins for the spool frames. As he shoved the boxes out into the spool-room from the elevator, he and Sandy seldom missed exchanging remarks, and sometimes more emphatic compliments, if the overseer was out of sight and hearing.
        "Hullo, Scotch!" was Andre’s form of greeting.
        "Hi , there Frenchy!" Sandy would hail back.
        Sandy was not long out from Scotland, and one day he wore into the mill a pair of Scotch-made shoes that excited the derision of the bobbin boy.

The Second Level Canal
The Second Level Canal.

Twelve O'Clock At the Hadley Mills
Twelve O’Clock At the Hadley Mills.

© Laurel O’Donnell 1996 - 2006, all rights reserved
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This is an edited adaptation from the original publication.