Excerpt: "Fractiousness was the keynote of the mental atmosphere in a certain substantial-looking South Kensington house on a certain Monday morning. Not that this bad-tempered atmosphere was peculiar to this one particular Monday by no means. As a rule, every living thing in the house, from the master down to the blind and asthmatic pug that lived under the kitchen table, started the working week in a mood that was detestable in an individual as well as collective sense. And perhaps the worst offender of the lot was Mrs. Pennington. Her hatred of Mondays had become traditional. Seated at her well-worn writing table, surrounded by tradesmen?s books of every size, color and description, she was simply unapproachable. On ordinary occasions gentle-voiced and sympathetic, the advent of Monday saw her transformed into a flushed, querulous, pugilistic person, whose whole attitude denoted war and hatred toward every washerwoman, every butcher, baker or greengrocer that ever had existed or ever would exist. Life in the Kensington household for at least three hours of the average Monday might be likened to the sensation of a train that had suddenly left the rails and was bumping along with a series[Pg 6] of shocks, till either the steam was turned off in time or a catastrophe occurred. That a catastrophe never had occurred is one of those everyday marvels with which we are hemmed about. Why, for instance, ?cook??a generic term which covered a multitude of persons?had never turned on her mistress and thrashed out the end of the ?suet question? with fists instead of angry impertinence, was one of those problems which Polly, at least, had never been able to solve."