Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/375

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anything. I have no power of resistance save against things that are not to happen and men whom I shall never know. I really believe that I shall never be happy."

The ante-room was oppressive to me. This obscurity, this dim light, these sprawling creatures, made my ideas more and more lugubrious. Some- thing heavy and irremediable hovered over me. Without waiting for the bureau to close, I went away, with heavy heart and choking throat. On the stairs I met M. Louis. Clinging to the ban- ister, he was ascending the steps, slowly and pain- fully. We looked at each other for a second. He did not say anything, and I too found no word ; but our looks said all. Ah ! he, as well as I, was not happy. I listened to him a moment, as he went up the steps ; then I plunged down the stairway. Poor little wretch!

In the street I stood for a moment as if stunned. I looked about for Iqve's recruiting-agents, for the round back and black costume of " Mme. Rebecca Ranvet, Millinery." Ah! if I had seen her, I would have gone to her, I would have delivered myself to her. But there was no such person there. The people passing were busy and indifferent, and paid no attention to my distress. Then I stopped at a wine- shop, where I bought a bottle of brandy, and, after strolling about for a while, still stupid and with heavy head, I went back to my hotel.