Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/268

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suitable," I said to myself, parodying the word which my mistress was constantly repeating apropos of no matter what.

It is true that everything seemed odd to me in this odd house.


In the evening, in the servants' hall, I learned many things.

"An extraordinary box," they explained to me. "It is very astonishing at first, and then you get used to it. Sometimes there isn't a sou in the whole house. Then Madame goes, comes, runs, goes away and comes back again, nervous, tired, her mouth filled with high words. As for Monsieur, he never leaves the telephone. He shouts, threatens, begs, and raises the devil through the instrument. And the process-servers ! It has often happened that the butler had to give something out of his own pocket, on account, to furious tradesmen who were unwilling to supply anything more. On one reception day the electricity and gas were cut off. And then, suddenly, there comes a rain of gold. The house is overflowing with wealth. Where does it come from? That nobody knows exactly. As for the servants, they wait months and months for their wages. But they are always paid at last; only after what scenes, after what insults, after what squabbles! It is incredible."