" Eighteen months, Madame."
Madame gave a start, and turned violently in her arm-chair. This was too much for her ; she was scandalized. A sort of growl escaped from her lips.
"Children! Think of it! Children, when one cannot bring them up, or have them at home I These people are incorrigible ; the devil is in their bodies!"
Becoming more and more aggressive, and even ferocious, she addressed herself to Jeanne again, who stood trembling before her gaze.
" I warn you," said she, enunciating each word separately, "I warn you that, if you enter my service, I will not allow you to bring your little girl to my house. No goings and comings in the house ; I want no goings and comings in the house. No, no. No strangers, no vagabonds, no imknown people. One is exposed quite enough with the ordinary run of callers. Oh ! no, thank you ! ' '
In spite of this declaration, which was not very prepossessing, the little servant dared to ask, nevertheless :
"In that case, Madame surely will permit me to go and see my little girl, once a year, â€” just once a year ! ' '
Such was the reply of the implacable bourgeoise. And she added: