Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/331

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Advertisements in the nevp-spap'ers?' They cost a great deal, and involve intermiftable Correspon- dence, — a great lot of trouble for nothing. And besides, they are very risky. At any rate, one must have something ahead, and Clecle's twenty francs had quickly melted in my hands. Prostitu- tion? Street-walking? To take men home with you who are often more destitute than yourself? Oh! no, indeed. For pleasure, — yes, as much as yoti like. But for money? I cannot; I do not kno'fr how; I am always victimized. I was even obliged to hang up some little jewels that I had, in order to pay for my board and lodging. Inevitably, hard luck brings you back to the agencies of usury and human exploitation.

Oh ! the employment-bureaus, what dirty traps they are ! In the first place, one must give ten sous to have her name entered ; and then there is the risk of getting a bad place. In these frightful dens there is no lack of bad places ; and, really, one has only the embarrassment of choice between one-eyed hussies and blind hussies. Nowadays, women with nothing at all, keepers of little four- penny grocery stores, pretend to have servants and to play the role of countess. What a pity! If, after discussions, and humiliating examinations, and still more humiliating haggling, you succeed in coming to terms with one of these rapacious bourgeoises, you owe to the keeper of the employ- ment-bureau three per cent, of your first year's