Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/206

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"The Saturday when the body of the little Claire was found in the woods?" I go on, giving to this inquiry, too quickly uttered, an aggressive tone.

Joseph does not take his eyes from mine. His look has become so sharp and so terrible that, in spite of my customary effrontery, I am obliged to turn away my head.

"Possibly," he says again; "indeed, I really think that it was that Saturday."

And he adds:

"Oh! these confounded women! You would do much better to think of something else. If you read the newspaper, you would see that they have been killing Jews again in Algeria. That at least is something worth while."

Apart from his look, he is calm, natural, almost good-natured. His gestures are easy; his voice no longer trembles. I become silent, and Joseph, picking up the newspaper that he had laid on the table, begins to read again, in the most tranquil fashion in the world.

For my part, I have begun to dream again. Now that I am about it, I should like to find in Joseph's life some act of real ferocity. His hatred of the Jews, his continual threats to torture, kill, and burn them,—all this, perhaps, is nothing but swagger, and political swagger at that. I am looking for something more precise and formal, some