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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : CHAPTER FOURTEEN. VILLAGE WASHERMAN.

Old Daniel by Thomas Hodson

CHAPTER FOURTEEN. VILLAGE WASHERMAN.

Daniel was by this time regularly installed as Mission Washerman. There is no such person as a washerwoman amongst the Hindoos. Men do the washing in India, and their manner of doing it is very different from the English mode. Instead of using wash-tubs, etcetera, etcetera, as an English washerwoman does, the Indian washerman loads a donkey or two with the dirty clothes, takes them to a tank of good clean water, and there, in the open air, he performs all his purifying operations. Close to the water's edge there is placed a sloping piece of wood, or a large flat stone. The washerman standing close to it, dips the cloth or garment into the water, and taking hold of one end gives the other, which has been dipped, a good swing in the air and brings it down on the wood or stone with a heavy splashing thump. This is repeated again and again, until the cloth or garment is clean. It is then laid out on the grass or rock to dry. In this way Daniel and his relatives had done all the washing required by the farmers and others, in Goobbe and Singonahully, for many years. In their cases ironing or mangling was never thought of. When, therefore, Daniel was sent for to do the Mission-house washing and ironing, he expressed his readiness to do the former, but doubted his ability to perform the latter, and expressed many fears. But Mrs Hodson shewed him how to wash and also to iron her dresses in the way she wished to have them done. She made him a present of an iron, taught him how to use it, so that, in due time, his work was pronounced satisfactory, and it was acknowledged by all that Daniel stood at the head of his profession -- that his skill exceeded that of any other washerman within a circuit of many miles round Goobbe. This little act of kindness in giving the iron to Daniel, was gratefully remembered by him as long as he could remember anything, and he would occasionally shew it to visitors. Under other circumstances he would doubtless have worshipped that smoothing iron as his forefathers did the old swords.

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