Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/320

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" Why not, Joseph?"

" Because I cannot now."

' ' But when will you go, for good ? ' '

Joseph scratches his neck, gives me a sly"glance, and says:

' ' As to that I do not know. Perhaps not for six months yet ; perhaps sooner ; perhaps even later. I cannot tell. It depends."

I feel that he does not wish to speak. Neverthe- less I insist:

" It depends on what? "

He hesitates to answer; then, in a mysterious and, at the same time, somewhat excited tone, he says:

' ' On a certain matter ; on a very important matter."

' ' But what matter ? ' '

"Oh! on a certain matter, that's all."

This is uttered in a brusque voice, — a voice not of anger exactly, but of impatience. He refuses to explain further.

He says nothing to me of myself. This aston- ishes me, and causes me a painful disappointment. Can he have changed his mind? Has my curios- ity, my hesitation, wearied him? Yet it is very natural that I should be interested in an event in the success or failure of which I am to share. Can the suspicion that I have not been able to hide, my suspicion of the outrage committed b