Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/341

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She drew nearer to me, lowering her voice.

" And if I -were to tell you that the president of the republic himself . . . why, yes, my little one ! That gives you an idea of what my house is. There is not one like it in the world. Rabineau's is nothing side of my house. And stay! yester- day at five o'clock the president was so well pleased that he promised me the academic palms . . . for my son, who is chief auditor in a religious educational institution at Auteuil."

She looked at me a long time, searching me body and soul, and repeated:

"Oh! if you would! What a success! "

I offered a heap of objections, my lack of fine linen, of costumes, of jewels. The old woman reassured me.

"Oh! if that's all," said she, " you need not worry, because in my house, you understand, natural beauty is the chief adornment."

" Yes, yes, I know, but still "...

' ' I assure you that you need not worry, ' ' she insisted, with benevolence. " Listen, sign a con- tract with me for three months, and I will give you an outfit of the best, such as no soubrette of the Theitre-Frangais ever had. My word for it! "

I a§}ied time to reflect.

" Well, all right! reflect," counseled this dealer in human flesh. " Let me give you my address, at any rate. When your heart speaks, — well, you