Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/258

This page needs to be proofread.

And it is never seen again until the following year. Oh! Madame's eyes in presence of her silver service, — her silver service in our hands ! Never have I seen in a woman's eyes such aggressive cupidity.

Are they not curious, — these people who hide everything, who bury their silver, their jewels, all their wealth, all their happiness, and who, being able to live in luxury and joy, persist in living a life of ennui bordering on deprivation?

The work done, the silver service locked up for a year in its boxes, and Madame having gone away after satisfying herself that none of it has stuck to our fingers, Jofseph said to me, with a queer air:

" That is a very beautiful silver service, you know, Celestine. Especially ' the cruet of Louis XVI.' Ah! acrM.' and how heavy it is! The whole business is worth perhaps twenty-five thousand francs, Celestine; perhaps more. One does not know what it is worth."

And, looking at me steadily and heavily, piercing the very depths of my soul, he asked :

< ' Will you come with me to the little cafe ? ' '

"What relation can there be between Madame's silver service and the little cafe at Cherbourg? Really, I don't know why, but Joseph's slightest words make