Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/314

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" Yes, on you; on you alone."

"And how is that?"

A moment of silence follows, during which, straightening up and twisting his pointed beard, he seeks to envelop me in a seductive fluid.

" Come," he says, suddenly, " let us go straight to the point. Let us speak squarely, — soldier- fashion. Do you wish to take Rose's place? "

I was expecting the attack. I had seen it com- ing from the depth of his eyes. It does not sur- prise me. I receive it with a serious and unmoved expression.

" And the wills. Captain? "

" Oh! I tear them up."

I object:

" But I do not know how to cook."

"Oh! I will do the cooking; I will make my bed ; I will do everything. ' '

He becomes gallant, sprightly; his eye sparkles. He leans towards the hedge, stretching out his neck. His eyes become bloodshot. And in a lower voice he says:

< ' If you came to me, Celestine, — well" . . .

'â– Well, what?"

"Well, the Lanlaires would die of rage. Ah! that's an idea! "

I lapse into silence, and pretend to be profoundly dreaming. The captain becomes impatient. He digs the heels of his shoes into the sandy path.