Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/361

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She arose, gave me a dig in the ribs with her outstretched elbows, stepped on my feet, ran against the table, and, rolling along on her too short legs, disappeared, followed by hoots.

I mounted my stool, and pushed open the case- ment-vindo-w, to watch the scene that was about to take place. Never did Mme. Paulhat-Durand's sahn seem to me gloomier ; yet God knows whether it had frozen my soul, every time I had entered it. Oh ! that furniture upholstered in blue rep, turned yellow by wear ; that huge book of record spread like the split carcass of a beast, on the table, also covered with blue rep spotted with ink. And that desk, where M. Louis's elbows had left bright and shining spots on the dark wood. And the sideboard at the rear, upon which stood foreign glass-ware, and table-ware handed down from ancestors. And on the mantel, between two lamps which had lost their bronze, between photographs that had lost their color, that tiresome clock, whose enervating tic-tac made the hours longer. And that dome- shaped cage in which two homesick canaries swelled their damaged plumage. And that mahogany case of pigeon-holes, scratched by greedy nails. But I had not taken my post of observation for the purpose of taking an inventory of this room, which I knew, alas! too well, — this lugubrious interior, so tragic, in spite of its bour- geois obscurity, that many times my maddened