Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/30

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is a well-known song. Yes, and the next day the air changes into another one equally well known. Especially as Madame has very cold, hard eyes, which do not please me,—the eyes of a miser, full of keen suspicion and spying inquiry. Nor do I like her dry and too thin lips, which seem to be covered with a whitish crust, or her curt, cutting speech, which turns an amiable word almost into an insult or a humiliation. When, in questioning me concerning this or that, concerning my aptitudes and my past, she looked at me with that tranquil and sly impudence of an old customs official which they all have, I said to myself:

"There is no mistake about it. Here is another one who is bound to put everything under lock and key, to count every evening her grapes and her lumps of sugar, and to put marks on the bottles. Oh! yes, indeed, we change and change, but we find always the same thing."

Nevertheless, it will be necessary to see, and not rely on this first impression. Among so many mouths that have spoken to me, among so many looks that have searched my soul, I shall find perhaps, some day,—who knows?—a friendly mouth, a sympathetic look. It costs me nothing to hope.

As soon as I had arrived, still under the deadening influence of four hours in a third-class railway carriage, and before any one in the kitchen had even thought of offering me a slice of bread,