my child. I am a little of a maniac. At my age that is allowed, is it not? For instance, I do not think it proper that a woman should black her own shoes, much less mine. I have a great respect for women, Marie, and cannot endure that. So I will black your shoes, your little shoes, your dear little shoes. I will take care of them. Listen to me. Every evening, before going to bed, you will carry your shoes into my room; you will place them near the bed, on a little table, and every morning, on coming to open my windows, you will take them away again."
And, as I manifested a prodigious astonishment, he added:
"Oh! now, it is nothing enormous that I ask of you; it is a very natural thing, after all. And if you are very nice"…
Quickly he took from his pocket two louis, which he handed to me.
"If you are very nice, very obedient, I will often make you little presents. The governess will pay you your wages every month. But between ourselves, Marie, I shall often make you little presents. And what is it that I ask of you? Come, now, it is not extraordinary. Is it, then, indeed, so extraordinary? "
Monsieur was getting excited again. As he spoke his eyelids rapidly rose and fell, like leaves in a tempest.