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cowardly; my head was whirling a little. But, firmly resolved to defend myself against him, and especially to energetically defend him against himself, I answered in a childish way:

"Yes, Monsieur Georges, I am very uncomfortable; let me get up."

His arm did not leave my waist.

"No, no, I beg of you, be nice."

And in a tone the coaxing gentleness of which I cannot describe, he added:

"You are very timid. What are you afraid of, then?"

At the same time he approached his face to mine, and I felt his warm breath with its insipid odor,—something like an incense of death.

My heart seized with an inexpressible anguish, I cried:

"Monsieur Georges! Oh! Monsieur Georges, let me go. You will make yourself sick. I beg of you! Let me go."

I did not dare to struggle, because of his weakness, out of respect for the fragility of his members. I simply tried—and how carefully!—to put away his hand, which, awkward, timid, trembling, was trying to unhook my waist. And I repeated:

"Let me go! You are behaving very badly. Monsieur Georges. Let me go!"

His effort to hold me against him had tired him. His embrace soon weakened. For a few seconds