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The Case Of ‘Ca’line’ – A Kitchen Monologue
by [?]

“I been en’tainin’ my comp’ny in de pa’lor? Co’se I has; you wasn’t usin’ it. What you s’pose my frien’s ‘u’d think ef I’d ax ’em in de kitchen w’en dey wasn’t no one in de front room? Co’se I ax ’em in de pa’lor. I do’ want my frien’s to think I’s wo’kin’ fu’ no low-down people. W’y, Miss ‘Liza Harris set down an’ played mos’ splendid on yo’ pianna, an’ she compermented you mos’ high. S’pose I’d a tuck huh in de kitchen, whaih de comperments come in?

“Yass’m, yass’m, I does tek home little things now an’ den, dat I does, an’ I ain’t gwine to ‘ny it. I jes’ says to myse’f, I ain’t wo’kin’ fu’ no strainers lak de people nex’ do’, what goes into tantrums ef de lady what cooks fu’ ’em teks home a bit o’ sugar. I ‘lows to myse’f I ain’t wo’kin’ fu’ no sich folks; so sometimes I teks home jes’ a weenchy bit o’ somep’n’ dat nobody couldn’t want nohow, an’ I knows you ain’t gwine ‘ject to dat. You do ‘ject, you do ‘ject! Huh!

“I’s got to come an’ ax you, has I? Look a-hyeah, Mis’ Ma’tin, I know I has to wo’k in yo’ kitchen. I know I has to cook fu’ you, but I want you to know dat even ef I does I’s a lady. I’s a lady, but I see you do’ know how to ‘preciate a lady w’en you meets one. You kin jes’ light in an’ git yo’ own dinner. I wouldn’t wo’k fu’ you ef you uz made o’ gol’. I nevah did lak to wo’k fu’ strainers, nohow.

“No, ma’am, I cain’t even stay an’ git de dinner. I know w’en I been insulted. Seems lak ef I stay in hyeah another minute I’ll bile all over dis kitchen.

“Who excited? Me excited? No, I ain’t excited. I’s mad. I do’ lak nobody pesterin’ ‘roun’ my kitchen, nohow, huh, uh, honey. Too many places in dis town waitin’ fu’ Ca’line Mason.

“No, indeed, you needn’t ‘pologize to me! needn’t ‘pologize to me. I b’lieve in people sayin’ jes’ what dey mean, I does.

“Would I stay, ef you ‘crease my wages? Well–I reckon I could, but I–but I do’ want no foolishness.”

(Sola.) “Huh! Did she think she was gwine to come down hyeah an’ skeer me, huh, uh? Whaih’s dat fryin’ pan?”

The man of the house hears the rustle of his wife’s skirts as she beats a retreat and he goes upstairs and into the library whistling, “See, the Conquering Hero Comes.”