Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/380

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The countess nodded approvingly.

' ' How do you like your lodge ? ' '

"The lodge, too, is very fine. It is almost too grand for little people like us, and we have not enough furniture for it. But one need not occupy the whole of it. And besides, it is far from the chateau, and it ought to be. Masters do not like to have the gardeners too near them. And we, on the other hand, are afraid of being embarrassed. Here each is by himself. That is better for all. Only" . . .

The man hesita/ted, seized with a sudden timid- ity, in view of what he had to say.

' < Only what ? ' ' asked the countess, after a silence that increased the man's embarrassment.

The latter gripped his cap more tightly, turned it in his fat fingers, rested more heavily on the ground, and, making a bold plunge, exclaimed :

"Well, it is this. I wanted to say to Madame the Countess that the wages do not correspond with the place. They are too low. With the best will in the world it would be impossible to make ends meet. Madame the Coimtess ought to give a little more."

• ' You forget, my friend, that you are lodged, heated, lighte; that you have vegetables and fruits ; that I give a dozen eggs a week and a quart of milk a day. It is enormous."

" Ah, Madame the Countess gives milk and eggs? And she furnishes