Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/207

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unmistakable evidence of Joseph's criminal temperament. And I find nothing but vague and moral impressions, hypotheses to which my desire or my fear that they may be undeniable realities gives an importance and a significance which imdoubtedly they do not possess. My desire or my fear? I do not know which of these two sentiments it is that moves me.

But yes. Here is a fact, a real fact, a horrible fact, a revealing fact. I do not invent it; I do not exaggerate it; I did not dream it; it is exactly as I state it. It is one of Joseph's duties to kill the chickens, rabbits, and ducks. He kills the ducks by the old Norman method of burying a pin in their head. He could kill them with a blow, without giving them pain. But he loves to prolong their suffering by skilful refinements of torture. He loves to feel their flesh quiver and their heart beat in his hands; he loves to follow, to count, to hold in his hands, their suffering, their convulsions, their death. Once I saw Joseph kill a duck. He held it between his knees. With one hand he grasped it by the neck, with the other he buried a pin in its head; and then he turned and turned the pin in the head, with a slow and regular movement. One would have thought he was grinding coffee.

And, as he turned the pin, Joseph said, with savage joy:

"It is necessary to make it suffer. The more it suffers, the better its blood will taste."