Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/164

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of fury took possession of us, mingling our kisses, our bodies, our souls, in an embrace, in an endless possession. We were in haste to enjoy, in compensation for the lost past; we desired to live, almost without rest, the love of which we felt that death, now near at hand, was to be the climax.

A sudden change had taken place in me. In my kiss there was something sinister and madly criminal. Knowing that I was killing Georges, I was furiously bent upon killing myself also, of the same joy and of the same disease. Deliberately I sacrificed his life and mine. With a wild and bitter exaltation I breathed and drank in death, all the death, from his mouth; and I besmeared my lips with his poison. Once, when he was coughing, seized, in my arms, with a more violent attack than usual, I saw, foaming on his lips, a huge and unclean clot of blood-streaked phlegm.

"Give! give! give!"

And I swallowed the phlegm with murderous avidity, as I would have swallowed a life-giving cordial.

Monsieur Georges was not slow in wasting away. His crises became more frequent, more painful. He spat blood, and had long periods of swooning, during which he was thought to be dead. His body grew thin, hollow, and emaciated, until it really resembled an anatomical specimen. And the joy that had regained possession of the house changed