Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/219

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of Alsace-Lorraine, with a beautiful silk waist and broad velvet ribbons. Hey, Célestine? Think of that! I will talk with you about it again one of these days; I will talk with you about it again."

I found nothing to say,—nothing, nothing, nothing. I was stupefied by this thing, of which I had never dreamed; but I was also without hatred, without horror, of this man's cynicism. Clasping me with the same hands that had clasped, stifled, strangled, murdered the little Claire in the woods, Joseph repeated:

"I will talk vith you about it again. I am old; I am ugly. Possibly. But to fix a woman, Célestine,—mark this well,—there is nobody like me. I will talk with you about it again."

To fix a woman! How he fills one with forebodings! Is it a threat? Is it a promise?

To-day Joseph has resumed his customary silence. One would think nothing had happened last night between us. He goes, he comes, he works, he eats, he reads his paper, just as usual. I look at him, and I should like to detest him. I wish that his ugliness would fill me with such immense disgust as to separate me from him forever. Well, no. Ah! how queer it is! This man sends shivers through me, and I feel no disgust. And it is a frightful thing that I feel no disgust, since it was he who killed and outraged the little Claire in the woods.