June 11th Friday This morning had quite a fuss with
Jane about her coffee & beef &c and cannot put
up with such work and to night have engaged
a new girl Helen & self carried Mr & Mrs
Orr to the Stoughton cars this afternoon […]
We went to the shops this morning & called
on Augustus Abby & Mrs Witherell
A red letter day for Evelina: She fired Jane McHanna. In Evelina’s mind, Jane’s work had fallen off – particularly when compared to the accomplishments of Mrs. Patterson – and today, after a “fuss” about breakfast, Jane had to go. Their relationship had ever had its ups and downs; today it ended.
The kerfuffle between Evelina and Jane must have been observed, or overheard, by houseguests Robert and Melinda Orr. Perhaps their presence influenced Evelina’s decision to dismiss Jane, Evelina wanting to exhibit higher standards of domestic efficiency than Jane was used to producing. However it came about, the result was that Jane would go. Evelina found a replacement by nightfall, but would Jane be equally lucky? A lone woman without means, could she find a new position quickly?
The morning’s upset may have lingered in Evelina’s mind throughout the day, but she continued to entertain her Boston guests according to the means at her disposal. Besides calling on various family members, they walked around the shovel works, a tour which would have interested Robert Orr. He lived in Boston, but his family in Bridgewater and elsewhere had worked with iron for many years.
In the afternoon, Evelina and her niece Helen Angier Ames “carried” the Orrs to the railroad stop in Stoughton and bid them goodbye. It was one month ago today that George Witherell died.