Then he clacked his tongue, and the horse resumed its rapid gait.
I was puzzled. What could be the meaning of this? Perhaps nothing at all. I concluded that the good man was a little silly, that he did not know how to talk with women, and that he had been able to think of no other way to start a conversation which, however, I did not see fit to continue.
M. Rabour's estate was sufficiently large and beautiful. A pretty house, painted light green, and surrounded by broad lawns adorned with flowers and by a pine forest which gave forth an odor of turpentine. I adore the country, but, oddly enough, it makes me sad and sleepy. I was utterly stupid when I entered the vestibule where the governess was awaiting me,—she who had engaged me at the Paris employment-bureau, God knows after how many indiscreet questions as to my private habits and tastes, which ought to have made me distrustful. But in vain does one see and endure things stronger and stronger; they never teach you anything. The governess had not pleased me at the employment-bureau; here she instantly disgusted me. She seemed to me to have the air of an old procuress. She was a fat woman, and short, with puffed-up yellowish flesh, hair brushed flat and turning gray, huge and rolling breasts, and soft, damp hands as transparent as gelatine. Her grey eyes indicated wickedness, a