infirmity. Well, so be it ! But I can give her only ten francs. Ten francs, no more! She can take it or leave it."
Louise, who had so far kept back her tears, was choking.
" No ... I will not ... I will not . . . I will not."
" Listen, Mademoiselle," said Mme. Paulhat- Durand, dryly. " You will accept this place. If you don't, J will not undertake to get another for you. You can go and ask for places at the other bureaus. I have had enough. And you are doing injury to my house."
"It is evident," insisted the old lady. "And you ought to thank me for these ten francs. It is out of pity, out of charity, that I offer them to you. How is it that you do not see that I am doing a good work, of which no doubt I shall repent, as I have repented of others? "
Then, addressing Mme. Paulhat-Durand, she added :
" What do you expect? I am so constituted. I cannot bear to see people suffer. In the presence of misfortune I become utterly stupid. And at my age one does not change, you know. Come, my little one, I take you with me."
Just then a sudden cramp forced me to descend from my post of observation. I never saw Louise