" My servants never go out. It is the principle of the house, â€” a principle on which I am not will- ing to compromise. I do not pay domestics that they may make the round of doubtful resorts, vinder pretence of going to see their daughters. That would be really too convenient. No, no. You have recommendations? "
She drew from her pocket a paper in which were wrapped some recommendations, yellow, crumpled, and soiled; and she silently handed them to Madame, with a trembling hand. Madame, with the tips of her fingers, as if to avoid soiling them, arid with grimaces of disgust, unfolded one, which she began to read aloud :
" ' certify that the girl J ' " . . .
Suddenly interrupting herself, she cast an atrocious look at Jeanne, who was growing more anxious and troubled.
" 'The girl ' ? It plainly says ' girl.' Then you are not married ? You have a child, and you are not married? What does that mean? "
The servant explained.
" I ask Madame's pardon. I have been mar- ried for three years, and this recommendation was written six years ago. Madame can see the date for herself."
"Well, that is your affair."
And she resumed her reading of the r ecommendat i on .