"A nice writing-pad, yes, please?" murmured a soft sing-song voice.
And for an awful moment Sara thought that her recent struggles with the stove, not to mention being practically burned to death, had turned her brain. She looked away, then back again, but the apparition didn't vanish, but stood there, a smile on its black face, clutching a writing-pad of hideous violet in its black hands.
With unwonted strength of mind Sara said, "Oh, no, thanks - not to-day," and the poor little Indian, for after all he was only coffee-coloured, and not even black coffee, as he had seemed to Sara, said:
"Nice hairpeens? Nice safety-peens, please?"
Sara, who was frightened half out of her wits, said again, "Oh, no, thank you, I have a lot of nice safety-pins," and longed for Mrs. Macalister to come to her rescue, and prepared to shut the door. To her dismay the little man looked ready to cry, so gaining more confidence she suddenly said, "Look here - I'll buy a writing-pad if you'll light my Primus for me-"
From HIGHLAND HOLIDAY, Chapter 4, Tribulations of a Cook. It's hard to imagine an episode like this making it into print today.