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The next day but one Mme. Paulhat-Durand had me ceremoniously ushered into the bureau, and, after having examined me in rather an embar- rassing fashion, she said to me :

' ' Mademoiselle Celestine, I have a good place for you, a very good place. Only you have to go into the country, — oh! not very far."

' ' Into the country ? I do not go there, you know. ' '

She insisted.

" You do not know the country. There are excellent places in the country."

" Oh ! excellent places ! What a humbug ! " I said. "In the first place, there are no good places anywhere."

Mme. Paulhat-Durand smiled amiably and affectedly. Never had I seen such a smile on her face.

"I beg your pardon. Mademoiselle Celestine, there are no bad places."

"Indeed, I know it well. There are only bad masters. ' '

" No, only bad servants. See, I offer you all the best houses; it is not my fault, if you do not stay in them."

She looked at me in a way that was almost friendly.

' ' Especially as you are very intel