Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/395

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ely sad!



I saw myself again in M. XavJef'S room, the night when I gave him the tiihttf francs. Oh ! your little phiz ! your little mouth ! your big eyes ! They were the same cold and cruel eyes, there was the same undulation of the body, there was the same vice shining in the pupils and imparting a sort of benumbing poison to the lips.

I leased myself from William's arms, and, as I was arranging my disordered hair, I remarked: "Well, I must say, you don't lose any time." Of course I did not want to change anything in the habits of the house, or in the service. William did the housework, in a go-as-you-please fashion. A stroke of the broom here, a stroke of the duster there, and the thing was done. The rest of the time he babbled, ransacked drawers and closets, and read the letters that were dragging about on every hand and in every corner. I did as he did. I allowed the dust to accumulate upon and under the furniture, and I took good care not to disturb the disorder of the salons and the chambers. If I had been in the masters' place, I should have been ashamed to live in so untidy an interior. But they did not know how to command, and, being timid and fearing scenes, they never dared to say any- thing. If sometimes, after an omission that was too patent or too embarrassing, they ventured to stammer : " It seems to me that you have not done this or that," we had only to answer, in a tone