Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/379

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them, with a mechanical and simultaneous move- ment, folded their hands over their stomachs.

" Well," asked the countess, " you have seen everything? "

" Madame the Countess is very good," answered the man. "It is very grand and very beautiful. Oh ! it is a superb estate. There must be plenty of work, indeed ! ' '

" And I am very exacting, I warn you, — very just, but very exacting. I love to have every- thing perfectly kept. And flowers, flowers, flowers, always and everywhere. However, you have two assistants in summer, and one in winter. That is sufficient."

"Oh! " replied the man, " the work does not worry me ; the more there is, the better I like it. I love my calling, and I know it thoroughly, — trees, early vegetables, mosaics, and everything. As for flowers, with good arms, taste, water, good straw coverings, and — saving your presence, Ma- dame the Countess — an abundance of manure, one can have as many as one wants."

After a pause, he continued :

" My wife, too, is very active, very skilful, and a good manager. She does not look strong, but she is courageous, and never sick, and nobody under- stands animals as she does. In the place where we last worked there were three cows and two hundred