Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/218

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"Then," cried I, with sudden indignation, "you want me to prostitute myself to make money for you?"

Joseph shrugged his shoulders, and said tranquilly:

"All depends on the intention, Célestine. That is understood, is it not?"

Then he came to me, took my hands, pressed them so tightly that I screamed with pain, and stammered:

"I dream of you, Célestine; I dream of you in the little café. I am crazy over you."

And, as I stood in amazement, a little frightened by this confession, and without a gesture or a word, he continued:

"And then, perhaps there are more than fifteen thousand francs. Perhaps more than eighteen thousand francs. One never knows how many little ones this money, makes. And then, things . . . things . . . jewels . . . you would be tremendously happy in the little café."

He held my waist clasped in the powerful vise of his arms. And I felt his whole body against me, trembling with desire. If he had wished, he could have taken me and stifled me without the slightest resistance on my part. And he continued to unfold his dream:

"A little café, very pretty, very clean, very shining. And then, at the bar, before a large mirror, a beautiful woman, dressed in the costume