Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/310

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e grocer's!


I was curious to know what impression this sudden death had made upon the captain. And, as my masters were visiting, I took a walk in the afternoon along the hedge. The captain's garden is sad and deserted. A spade stuck in the ground indicates abandoned work. " The captain will not come into the garden," said I to myself; "he is undoubtedly weeping in his chamber, among the souvenirs." And suddenly I perceive him. He has taken off his fine frock-coat, and put on his working-clothes again, and, with his old foraging- cap on his head, he is engaged in manuring his lawns. I even hear him humming a march in a low voice. He leaves his wheelbarrow, and comes toward me, carrying his fork on his shoulder.

"I am glad to see you. Mademoiselle Celestine."

I should like to offer him consolation or pity. I search for words, for phrases. But how can one find a touching word in presence of such a droll face? I content myself with repeating:

"A great misfortune, captain, a great misfortune for you ! Poor Rose ! ' '

"Yes, yes," he says, tamely.

His face is devoid of expression. His move- ments are uncertain. He adds, jabbing his fork into a soft spot in the ground near the hedge:

" Especially as I cannot get along without