Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/387

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btful. He is



more ordinary, too, and lacks his greatness and power. I see him only when I have an order to deliver to him. He is a queer type, too. The grocer tells me that, when young, he studied for the priesthood, and was expelled from the seminary on account of his indelicacy and immorality. May it not have been he who outraged the little Claire in the woods? Since then, he has tried his hand at all trades. Now a pastry-cook, now a church-singer, now a peddler, a notary's clerk, a domestic, the town drummer, an auctioneer, and an employee in the sheriff's office, for the last four years he has been sacristan. To be sacristan is to be also something of a priest. Moreover, he has all the slimy and crawling manners of the ecclesi- astical bugs. Surely he would not recoil from the vilest tasks. Joseph does wrong to make him his friend. But is he his friend? Is he not, rather, his accomplice?

Madame has a sick headache. It seems she has one regularly every three months. For two days she remains shut up in her room, with drawn cur- tains and without light, only Marianne being al- lowed to enter. She does not want me. Madame's sickness means a good time for Monsieur. Mon- sieur makes the most of it. He does not leave the kitchen.

Captain Mauger, who does not speak to me any more, but casts furious glances at m