HARD WORK

And then I remember, as I lived on in that place, oh, let me tell you, we have to get up out of our bed for 4:30 in the morning. The Mother Superior taps the bell, and that means five minutes to dress. And may I say to you folk, it's not five and a half minutes. You better get that clothing on in five minutes.

I failed one time, and I had to be punished for doing it, but I never failed again in all the years in the convent.

And you know when we're finished dressing then we're going to start marching. And we march by the Mother Superior. And that Mother Superior is going to appoint us to an office duty every morning. It might be scrubbing. It might be ironing. It might be washing. It might be doing some hard work. But I have to work one hour. Then we'll go in and gather around the table, and we'll find sitting down in front of us our tin cupful of coffee and our slice of bread.

And then, of course, we have hard work to do. I think there were twelve tubs in the convent that I lived in. And we washed on the old-fashioned washboard. We have the old fat iron that you heat on the stove.

And, you know, it wouldn't be so bad if we just had our own clothing in the convent. But the priest brings great bundles of clothing and put them in there because he can get them done for nothing. And we have to do that clothing on top of it. We work very very hard. And they're not able to work because they don't have enough food to keep body, mind and soul together. And those little girls are living under these particular circumstances.

Well, I say, we're women without a country. And I mean just exactly what I say. Women without a country. Now we belong to the Pope. Anything they want to inflict upon my body they can do it. And all the howling I do, if I should howl, it wouldn't make any difference because nobody is going to hear me. And they have no idea that I'll ever leave the convent. The plan is that I'll die there and be buried there.

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