Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/255

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of liberty, of handsome costumes, of secure, happy, triumphant life.

" But I must buy the little cafe," he says to me. " I cannot let such an opportunity go by. And if

he Revolution comes ? Think of it, Celestine ;

that means fortune right away. And -who knows? The Revolution — ah! bear that in mind — is the best thing possible for the cafes."

" Buy it, at any rate. If it is not I, it will be somebody else."

" No, no, it must be you. Nobody else will do. I am crazy over you. But you distrust me."

" No, Joseph, I assure you."

"Yes, yes; you have bad ideas about me."

I do not know, no, really, I do not know, where, at that moment, I found the courage to ask him:

" Well, Joseph, tell me that it was you who outraged the little Claire in the- woods."

Joseph received the shock with extraordinary tianquillity. He simply shrugged his shoulders, swayed back and forth a few seconds, and then, giving a hitch to his pantaloons, which had slipped a little, he answered, simply:

' ' You see ? Did I not tell you so ? I know your thoughts; I know everything that goes on in your mind."

His voice was softer, but his look had become so terrifying that it was impossible for me to articu- late a word.