Back to page 5                                       Chapter 6 Becky

One afternoon Sara saw a girl called Becky pushing a barrow full of coal towards the back door.  She suddenly stopped and looked as if she was ill.  "Are you all right?" said Sara. " I will be all right if I have a few minutes rest," said the girl. "But this is only the beginning. I now have to carry scuttle-fulls of coal upstairs and make the fires."

"I can see that you are exhausted," said Sara. "Let me help you."
"But you musn't do that!" said Becky. If Miss Minchin finds out you will get into trouble and I will lose my job. "
"She will never know,"said Sara. " If we work together we can get the job done in half the time." As soon as Becky had filled the scuttle with coal, Sara picked it up.
But at that moment Lavinia came past.

"Sara!" she said. "Surely you do not do the work that is meant for servants.  I don't think Miss Minchin will be very pleased when I tell her." 

"I don't think the other girls will be very pleased when they hear that you have been telling tales."said Sara.

Lavinia went away looking very cross.

" It's all right,"said Sara. She will not say anything. It is a point of honour that the girls in this school do not tell tales about each other."

When they had finished, Sara said, " Now come into my room and sit down for a moment. You look very tired. Please tell me your name."

"My name is Becky."
"And do you like it here?"

"No, they give me an awful time. They expect me to do it all: putting coal on the fire, washing the dishes, washing the clothes, changing the beds, cleaning the rooms. I do my best but often they say that I have done it wrong, and they shout at me or hit me on my ears. "

"That is dreadful,"said Sara.

They sat and talked for a while and Sara gave Becky a piece of cake. They became firm friends and from time to time, when Becky had finished her work she would come to Sara's room and they would talk together.

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