and closing, and then the water streaming into the tub, and the "Ahs" and "Ohs" and "Fuuiis" and "Brrrs" which the shock of the cold water wrung from Monsieur. Then, suddenly, I opened the door.
Monsieur stood facing me, shivering, with wet skin, and the sponge in his hands running like a fountain. Oh! his head, his eyes! he seemed to stand transfixed. I think I never saw a man so astounded. Having nothing with which to cover his body, with a gesture instinctively modest and comical he used the sponge as a fig-leaf. It required great strength of will on my part to suppress the laugh which this spectacle loosened within me. I noticed that Monsieur had thick tufts of hair on his shoulders, and that his chest was like a bear's. But my! he is a fine man, all the same.
Naturally, I uttered a cry of alarmed modesty, as was proper, and closed the door again violently. But, once outside the door, I said to myself: "Surely he will call me back; and what is going to happen then?" I waited some minutes. Not a sound,—except the crystalline sound of a drop of water falling, from time to time, into the tub. "He is reflecting," thought I; "he does not dare to come to a decision; but he will call me back." In vain. Soon the water streamed again. Then I heard Monsieur wiping and rubbing himself, and clearing his throat; old slippers dragged over the