Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/366

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" Surely," said Mme. Paulhat-Durand, approv- ingly. " When they get together, they get very big ideas."

' ' Well, ' ' offered the old lady, in a tone of con- ciliation, " I will give you fifteen francs. And you will pay for your wine. It is too much. But I do not wish to take advantage of your ugliness and distress."

She softened. Her voice became almost caressing.

" You see, my little one, this is a unique oppor- tunity, such as you will not find again. I am not like the others; I am alone, I have no family, I have no one. My servant is my family. And what do I ask of my servant ? To love me a little, that is all. My servant lives with me, eats with me . . . apart from the wine. Oh! I am indul- gent to her. And then, when I die, — for I am very old and often sick, — when I die, surely I shall not forget the girl who has been devoted to me, served me well, and taken care of me. You are ugly, very ugly, too ugly. Well, I shall get used to your ugliness, to your face. There are some pretty women who are very ill-disposed, and who rob you beyond question. Ugliness is sometimes a guarantee of morality in the house. Of course, you will bring no men to my house? You see, I know how to do you justice. Under these condi- tions, and as kind as I am, what I o