The story is of a rich hotel owner in London. Mrs. Wright is an accomplished painter whose work has become problematic in the last few years. For that reason, she’s hated by the rest of the staff, with the exception of Mrs. Kilgour.
Mrs. Wright is prepared to employ whatever means she can to keep her job. Mrs. Kilgour and Mrs. Wright have actually not been on good terms for some time, but now, Mrs. Kilgour is in danger of losing her job when the new housekeeper comes on board.
Mrs. Kilgour is keeping a special notebook (she does not have a pen) where she keeps everything on her mind and mocks all advice she gets from anyone. Mrs. Kilgour almost immediately falls ill. Mrs. Kilgour initially proceeds to attribute this illness to the secret sauce running through her hands, but Mrs. Kilgour soon realizes that this is just one of Mrs. Wright’s elaborate ruses to get her into the job of managing her cleaning service.
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The second half of the story is dedicated to Mrs. Kilgour’s internal life. She suffers from many mental illnesses. She spends most of her time playing. She never thinks about her circumstances and she makes excuses.
Mrs. Kilgour does this for one reason only
She really cares about her young, broke, property developer husband. She doesn’t want to be transferred to someone who is not spending the night in their country. She only does this because her husband is worth so much money that her transfer there would eventually seem pointless.
Her life is (always) split between maintaining her position of happiness and trying to get money for her husband. Her mind wanders, eating, drinking, sleeping, trying to find ways to convince Mrs. Kilgour to remain the housekeeper. It is now six weeks until her inestimable savings go to die.
Mrs. Kilgour continually states that she has no problem with Mrs. Wright staying in charge of her cleaning service. Mrs. Kilgour is only bringing up Mrs. Wright because the transfer is imminent. She has no idea how long Mrs. Kilgour will stay. Her only objective is to see Mrs. Kilgour removed from her cleaning position.
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