Sister Boniface gave me a hateful look, and then declared, with severe dignity: "But, Mademoiselle, do you know that this is a robbery? And to rob poor women like us is worse than robbery; it is a sacrilege, for which the good God will punish you. Reflect."
Then anger got the better of me, and I cried:
"Say, then, who is it that steals here,—you or I? No, but you are astonishing, my little mothers."
"Mademoiselle, I forbid you to speak in this way."
"Oh! don't talk to me. What? One does your work, one toils like a beast for you from morning to night, one earns enormous money for you, you give us food which dogs would refuse, and then we must pay you into the bargain! Indeed, you have no cheek!"
Sister Boniface had turned very pale. I felt that coarse, filthy, furious words were on her lips, and ready to leave them; but, not daring to let them go, she stammered:
"Silence! You are a girl without shame, without religion. God will punish you. Go, if you will; but we keep your trunk."
I planted myself squarely before her, in an attitude of defiance, and, looking her full in the face, I said:
"Well, I should like to see you try it. Just try