Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/368

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furniture, endeavoring to walk with elegance, the poor creature ! But she had scarcely placed herself beside the old lady, when the latter repulsed her with a grimace.

"My God! " she cried, " what is the matter with you? Why do you smell so bad? Is your body rotten? It is frightful! It is incredible! Never did any one smell as you smell. Have you, then, a cancer in your nose, or perhaps in your stomach? "

Mme. Paulhat-Durand made a noble gesture.

' ' I had warned you, Madame, ' ' she said. " That is her great fault. It is that which keeps her from finding a place."

The old lady continued to groan.

" My God! My God! is it possible? "Why, you will taint the whole house ; you cannot stay near me. This changes the case entirely. And when I was beginning to feel sympathy for you ! No, no ; in spite of all my kindness, it is not possible, it is no longer possible! "

She had pulled out her handkerchief, and was trying to dissipate the putrid air, as she repeated :

" No, really, it is no longer possible! "

"Come, Madame," intervened Mme. Paulhat- Durand, " make an effort. I am sure that this unhappy girl will always be grateful to you."

"Grateful? That is all well enough. But gratitude will not cure her of th