Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/216

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simultaneously, bounded to the door, and began to bark. I made a movement of fright.

"That's nothing," said Joseph, reassuringly, giving each of them a kick in the side; "simply people passing in the road. Why, it is Rose, going home. I know her step."

And, in fact, a few seconds later I heard a sound of dragging steps in the road, and then a more distant sound of a closing gate. The dogs became silent again.

I had sat down on a stool in a corner of the harness-room. Joseph, with his hands in his pockets, walked back and forth in the narrow room, his elbows hitting against the pine wainscoting from which leather straps were hanging. We did not speak, I being horribly embarrassed and regretting that I had come, and Joseph being plainly tormented by what he had still to say to me. After some minutes he made up his mind.

"There is another thing that I must confide to you, Célestine. I am from Cherbourg. And Cherbourg is a tough town, full of sailors and soldiers, of jolly lascars who do not deny themselves pleasure; business is good there. Well, I know a fine opportunity just now at Cherbourg. It is a matter of a little cafe near the water. A little café in a first-rate location. The army is drinking a great deal these days; all the patriots are in the street; they shout and bawl and get thirsty. Now