"I regret it, but Madame' s place does not please me. I do not go into houses like Madame's."
And I sailed out triumphantly.
One day a little woman, with hair outrageously dyed, with lips painted with minium, with enam- eled cheeks, as insolent as a guinea-hen, and per- fumed like a bidet, after asking me thirty-six questions, put a thirty-seventh:
' ' Are you well behaved ? Do you receive lovers ? ' '
' ' And Madame ? " I answered very quietly, showing no astonishment.
Some, less difficult to please, or more weary or more timid, accepted infected places. They were hooted.
' ' Bon voyage ! We shall see you soon again. ' '
At the sight of us thus piled up on our benches, with legs spread apart, dreamy, stupid, or chatter- ing, and listening to the successive calls of the ma- dame: "Mademoiselle Victoire! . . . Mademoiselle Irfene ! . . . Mademoiselle Zulma ! " it sometimes seemed to me as if we were in a public house, awaiting the next caller. That seemed to me funny or sad, I don't know which; and one day I remarked upon it aloud. There was a general out- burst of laughter. Each one immediately delivered herself of all the exact and marvelous information of which she was in possession concerning estab- lishments of that character. A fat and puffy creature, who was peeling an orange, said: