first month's wages, I shall have to pay the employment-bureau. I shall not have enough to even pay the few little debts contracted during the days when I was on the pavement.
And then, of what use would it be to go? My brother is in the naval service, and his vessel is in China, I believe, for it is a very long time since we had any news from him. And my sister Louise? Where is she now? I do not know. Since she left us to follow Jean le Duff to Concarneau, nothing has been heard from her. She must have rolled hither and thither, the devil knows where! Perhaps she is in a public house; perhaps she, too, is dead. And perhaps, also, my brother is dead.
Yes, why should I go there? In what way would it help me? There is no one there now who interests me, and surely my mother has left nothing. Her rags and the little furniture that she had certainly will not pay her brandy bill.
It is queer, all the same; as long as she was living, I almost never thought of her; I felt no desire to see her again. I wrote to her only when I changed my place, and then simply to give her my address. She has beaten me so much! I was so unhappy with her, she being always drunk. And yet, on learning suddenly that she is dead, my soul is plunged in mourning, and I feel more alone than ever.
And I remember my childhood with singular