Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/343

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the corner



Mme. Paulhat-Durand was distributing some cards among the compartments of a drawer. The lady had come from Fontainebleau in search of a ser- vant. She may have been fifty years old. In appearance a rich and rough bourgeoise, dressed soberly, provincial in her austerity. The maid, puny and sickly, with a complexion that had been made livid by poor food and lack of food, had nevertheless a sympathetic face, which, under more fortimate circumstances, would perhaps have been pretty. She was very clean and trim in a black skirt. A black jersey moulded her thin form, and on her head she wore a linen cap, pret- tily set back, revealing her brow and her curly brown hair.

After a detailed, sustained, offensive, aggressive examination, the lady at last made up her mind to speak.

' ' Then, ' ' said she, ' ' you offer yourself as . . . what? As a chambermaid? "

"Yes, Madame."

" You do not look like one. What is your â– i' name? "

' ' Jeanne Le Godec. ' '

"What did you say? "

"Jeanne Le Godec, Madame."

The lady shrugged her shoulders.

"Jeanne," she exclaimed. "That is not a servant's name; that is a name for a yo