If you enter my service, you do not expect, I sup- pose, to keep this name Jeanne? "
"As Madame likes."
Jeanne had lowered her head, and was leaning with her two hands on the handle of her umbrella.
"Raise your head," ordered the lady; "stand up straight. Don't you see you are making a hole in the carpet with the point of your umbrella ? Where do you come from? "
' ' From Saint-Brieuc. ' '
"From Saint-Brieuc! "
And she gave a pout of disdain that quickly turned into a frightful grimace. The corners of her mouth and eyes contracted, as if she had swallowed a glass of vinegar.
"From Saint-Brieuc! " she repeated. "Then you are a Breton? Oh! I do not like the Bretons. They are obstinate and dirty."
"I am very clean, Madame," protested the poor Jeanne.
"You say so. However, we haven't reached that yet. How old are you? "
" Twenty-six? Not counting the nursing months, no doubt ? You look much older. It is not worth while to deceive me."
" I am not deceiving Madame. I assure Madame I am only twenty-six. If I look older, it is because I have been sick a long time."