Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/440

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hey have



taken everything . . . everything . . . everything . . . everything! Even the Louis XVI cruet."

While Madame was looking at the boxes as if she were looking at a dead child, Monsieur, scratching his neck, and rolling haggard eyes, moaned persistently in the far-away voice of a demented person:

' ' Name of a dog ! Ah ! name of a dog ! Name of a dog of name of a dog! "

And Joseph, too, with atrocious grimaces, was exclaiming :

"The cruet of Louis XVI! The cruet of Louis XVI! Oh! the bandits! "

Then there was a minute of tragic silence, a long minute o^ prostration, — that silence of death, that prostration of beings and things, which follows the fracas of a terrible downfall, the thunder of a great cataclysm. And the lantern, swinging in Joseph's hands, cast a red, trembling, sinister gleam over the whole scene, over the dead faces and the empty boxes.

I had come down, in response to Joseph's call, at the same time as the masters. In presence of this disaster, and in spite of the prodigious com- icality of these faces, my first feeling was one of compassion. It seemed to me that this misfortune fell upon me too, and that I was one of the family, sharing its trials and sorrows. I sho