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The Telegraph Girl

In Why Frau Frohmann Raised Her Prices and Other Stories, 1882. Originally published in Good Cheer, Christmas number of Good Words, Dec. 1877. Reprinted in N.Y. by Ogilvie, 1882.

Two telegraph girls, Lucy Graham and Sophie Wilson, shared a modest lodging in London. Lucy was distressed at Sophie’s frivolity – spending her money on ribbons and looking continually for a husband. Abraham Hall, a widower with a small child, lived in the same house. Lucy admired him for his achievements as an engineer, but Sophie frankly flirted with him and both girls thought he was attracted to her. She became ill and was ordered to the seashore, so that the rent for their room fell on Lucy, who nevertheless managed to send part of her small earnings to help defray Sophie’s expenses. Abraham Hall tried to share the burden but Lucy firmly refused his help, and was so selfless and courageous that he fell in love with her, and when he secured another position, they were married. Sophie recovered her health and married a barber at the seaside resort where she had been living.