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There'd been a time when she would have taken the silken shirt off his back, and left him to be buried in calico, but he'd been kinder of late. There'd been a rise in her pay, and best of all a bottle of Christmas cheer each year that she could ease along till nearly Easter. Still, she was who she was, and with him gone there was no guarantee that the next master would want, or even need, the services of an old woman whose knees no longer bent to let her scrub the floors.

She took the bedcurtains anyway.