Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/217

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211
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

is the time to get it. One could make hundreds and thousands, I promise you. Only, you see, there must be a woman there,—an orderly woman, a pretty woman, well equipped, and not afraid of slang and smut. The sailors and soldiers are good-natured and gay and full of fun. They get drunk on the slightest provocation, and they are fond of women, and spend much for them. What do you think about it, Célestine?"

"I?" I exclaimed, stupefied.

"Yes; just suppose the case. Would you like it?"

"I?"

I did not know what he was coming at. I trembled from surprise to surprise. Utterly upset, I could think of no answer to make. He insisted:

"You, of course. And who, then, do you expect to come to the little café? You are a good woman; you are orderly; you are not one of those affected creatures who do not know even how to take a joke; and you are patriotic! And then you are pretty, very nice to look at; you have eyes to drive the whole Cherbourg garrison crazy. Just the cheese! Now that I know you well, now that I know all that you can do, this idea keeps continually running through my head."

"Well? And you?"

"I, too, of course! We would marry, like good friends."