Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/200

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

like a child with its rubber ball. His exceptional strength, his supple skill, the terrible leverage of his loins, the athletic push of his shoulders, all combined to make me dreamy. The strange and unhealthy curiosity, prompted by fear as much as by attraction, which is excited in me by the riddle of these suspicious manners, of this closed mouth, of this impressing look, is doubled by this muscular power, this bull's back. Without being able to explain it to myself further, I feel that there is a secret correspondence between Joseph and me,—a physical and moral tie that is becoming a little more binding every day.

From the window of the linen-room where I work, I sometimes follow him with my eyes in the garden. There he is, bending over his work, his face almost touching the ground, or else kneeling against the wall where the espaliers stand in line. And suddenly he disappears, he vanishes. Lower your head, and, before you can raise it again, he is gone. Does he bury himself in the ground? Does he pass through the walls? From time to time I have occasion to go to the garden to give him an order from Madame. I do not see him anywhere, and I call him:

"Joseph! Joseph! where are you?"

Suddenly, without a sound, Joseph arises before me, from behind a tree, from behind a vegetable-bed. He rises before me in the sunlight, with his