Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/360

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strong ; I know

my work ; and my will is good. If I am too small, it is not my fault. Surely, some one has thrown a spell over me."

' ' How do you live ? ' '

" In a lodging-house. I do all the chambers, and I mend the linen. They give me a mattress in the garret, and a meal in the morning."

There were some, then, that were more unfor- tunate than myself ! This egoistic thought brought back the pity that had vanished from my heart.

" Listen, my little Louise," I said, in a voice which I tried to make as tender and. convincing as possible. " Places in Paris are very hard. One has to know many things, and the masters are more exacting than elsewhere. I am much afraid for you. If I were you, I would go home again. ' '

But Louise became frightened.

"No, no," she exclaimed, "never! I do not want to go home. They would say that I had not succeeded, that nobody wanted me ; they would laugh at me too much. No, no, it is impossible ; I would rather die! "

Just then the door of the ante-room opened. The shrill voice of Mme. Paulhat-Durand called :

"Mademoiselle Louise Randon! "

"Are they calling me? " asked Louise, fright- ened and trembling.

"Why, yes, it is you. Go quickly, and try to succeed this time."