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Two Sisters lived in Chicago, the Home of Opportunity.
Luella was a Good Girl, who had taken Prizes at the Mission Sunday School, but she was Plain, much. Her Features did not seem to know the value of Team Work. Her Clothes fit her Intermittently, as it were. She was what would be called a Lumpy Dresser. But she had a good Heart.
Luella found Employment at a Hat Factory. All she had to do was to put Red Linings in Hats for the Country Trade; and every Saturday Evening, when Work was called on account of Darkness, the Boss met her as she went out and crowded three Dollars on her.
The other Sister was Different.
She began as Mary, then changed to Marie, and her Finish was Mae.
From earliest Youth she had lacked Industry and Application.
She was short on Intellect but long on Shape.
The Vain Pleasures of the World attracted her. By skipping the Long Words she could read how Rupert Bansiford led Sibyl Gray into the Conservatory and made Love that scorched the Begonias. Sometimes she just Ached to light out with an Opera Company.
When she couldn’t stand up Luella for any more Car Fare she went out looking for Work, and hoping she wouldn’t find it. The sagacious Proprietor of a Lunch Room employed her as Cashier. In a little While she learned to count Money, and could hold down the Job.
Marie was a Strong Card. The Male Patrons of the Establishment hovered around the Desk long after paying their Checks. Within a Month the Receipts of the Place had doubled.
It was often remarked that Marie was a Pippin. Her Date Book had to be kept on the Double Entry System.
Although her Grammar was Sad, it made no Odds. Her Picture was on many a Button.
A Credit Man from the Wholesale House across the Street told her that any time she wanted to see the Telegraph Poles rush past, she could tear Transportation out of his Book. But Marie turned him down for a Bucket Shop Man, who was not Handsome, but was awful Generous.
They were Married, and went to live in a Flat with a Quarter-Sawed Oak Chiffonier and Pink Rugs. She was Mae at this Stage of the Game.
Shortly after this, Wheat jumped twenty-two points, and the Husband didn’t do a Thing.
Mae bought a Thumb Ring and a Pug Dog, and began to speak of the Swede Help as “The Maid.”
Then she decided that she wanted to live in a House, because, in a Flat, One could never be sure of One’s Neighbors. So they moved into a Sarcophagus on the Boulevard, right in between two Old Families, who had made their Money soon after the Fire, and Ice began to form on the hottest Days.
Mae bought an Automobile, and blew her Allowance against Beauty Doctors. The Smell of Cooking made her Faint, and she couldn’t see where the Working Classes came in at all.
When she attended the theater a Box was none too good. Husband went along, in evening clothes and a Yachting Cap, and he had two large Diamonds in his Shirt Front.
Sometimes she went to a Vogner Concert, and sat through it, and she wouldn’t Admit any more that the Russell Brothers, as the Irish Chambermaids, hit her just about Right.
She was determined to break into Society if she had to use an Ax.
At last she Got There; but it cost her many a Reed Bird and several Gross of Cold Quarts.
In the Hey-Day of Prosperity did Mae forget Luella? No, indeed.
She took Luella away from the Hat Factory, where the Pay was three Dollars a Week, and gave her a Position as Assistant Cook at five Dollars.
Moral: Industry and Perseverance bring a sure Reward.
The Fable of Sister Mae, Who Did as Well as Could Be Expected – Fables in Slang