He found the house and the shrubs he slept under the night before. The next morning he walked a short distance and had breakfast. He walked back to the property where he slept. It was a mansion. It showed signs of neglect, but there were signs that someone lived there also.
He went to the door and knocked until the door opened.
An elderly lady, perhaps in he mid 70s came to the door. She was tall, thin, and makeup was caked on he face. She wore a dress. It was long and the collar was high around the neck.
“What can I do for you,” she said disdainfully.
“My name is Steve Joseph,” he said. “I’m looking for work.”
“Go find a job,” she said.
“I couldn’t help but notice that your place is a grand place, but it appears to have been neglected for a while,” Steve said. “If you can just pay me a dollar an hour…”
“A dollar an hour,” she responded sharply.
“Two dollars,” Steve said.
“Two dollars,” she said squinting at him, “I’m frugal, but not cheap.”
“Ma’am,” Steve said. “I need the work badly and I don’t want wages to be the issue.”
“For 8 an hour what do you have in mind?” she said.
“Well I could start by pulling weeds and planting some flowers,” Steve said. “The yard could use a good mowing and some manicuring.”
“Go on,” she said.
“It looks like the gutters and downspouts could be cleaned out and repaired,” Steve said. “And I’m thinking you need the trim scraped and repainted.”
“You’ll find everything you need in the garage,” she said. “It’s on the back of the property on the other side of what used to be a garden.”
“Am I hired?” Steve said.
“Yes,’ she said. “But don’t dillydally.”
Steve worked until the sun fell below the maples to the west of the property. He knocked on the back door and the woman appeared quickly.
“Ma’am,” Steve said. “I’ll be back to tomorrow. If you like I can clear the garden. I don’t think it’s too late to start one.”
“I’ll be expecting you,” she said.
“What time shall I be here?” Steve said.
“I’m up at six,” she said, “Seven would be a good time.”
“Very well,” Steve said. “I’ll be here then.
He turned away and started to walk down a brick sidewalk toward the street.
“Don’t you want your pay,” she said.
“Not till my work is done,” Steve said. He smiled and nodded. “Have a good evening Ma’am.”
“You may call me Mrs. Bradford,” she said. “I’ll do so, Mrs. Bradford.”