Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/144

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And it was true. I was ready for anything.

She thanked me with a kind and tender look, and continued:

"Well, this is it. I have had many trials in my life. I have lost all of my family, with the exception of a grandson, who now, he also, is threatened with death from the terrible disease of which the others have died."

Fearing to pronounce the name of this terrible disease, she indicated it to me by placing upon her chest her old hand, gloved in black, and then, with a more painful expression, continued:

"Poor little fellow! He is a charming child, an adorable being, in whom I have placed my last hopes. For, when he is gone, I shall be all alone. And, my God! what shall I do upon earth?"

Ker eyes filled with tears. She wiped them away with her handkerchief, and went on:

"The doctors assure me that they can save him,—that the disease is not yet deep-seated. They have prescribed a régime from which they expect very good results. Every afternoon Georges must take a sea-bath, or, rather, he must dip himself for a second in the sea. Then his whole body must be rubbed vigorously with a hair-glove, to stimulate the circulation; then he must be obliged to drink a glass of old port; and then he must lie stretched for at least an hour in a very warm bed. That is what I want of you in the first place, my child.