Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/201

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195
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

severe and impenetrable mask, his hair glued to his skull, and his open shirt revealing his hairy chest. Where does he come from? From what hole does he spring? From what height has he fallen?

"Oh! Joseph, how you frightened me!"

And over Joseph's lips, and in his eyes, there plays a terrifying smile, which really has the swift, short flashes of a knife. I believe that this man is the devil.

The murder of the little Claire continues to be the all-absorbing topic, and to excite the curiosity of the town. They fight for the local and Paris newspapers that give the news. The "Libre Parole" accuses the Jews squarely and by wholesale, and declares that it was a "ritual murder." The magistrates have visited the spot, made inquiries and examinations, and questioned many people. Nobody knows a thing. Rose's charge, which has been circulating, has been met everywhere with an incredulous shrug of the shoulders. Yesterday the police arrested a poor peddler, who had no trouble in proving that he was not in the vicinity at the time of the crime. The father, to whom public rumor pointed, has been exonerated. Moreover, he bears an excellent reputation. So nowhere is there any clue to put justice on the track of the guilty. It seems that this crime