Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/451

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circumspect.



patient, prudent, methodical man, Joseph -was not unaware that petty larcenies, committed daily, foot up largely at the end of the year, and I am per- suaded that in this way he tripled and quadrupled his -wages, — a thing never to be disdained. I kncv/ very -well that there is a difference between these little thefts and such an audacious pillage as that of the night of December . That proves that he liked also to work on the grand scale. How do I know that Joseph was not then a member of a gang? Ah! how I should have liked to know all that, and how I should like to know it still.

After the evening when he gave me the kiss that to me was equivalent to a confession of the crime, when his confidence went out to me in a moment of passion, Joseph steadily denied. In vain did I turn him this way and that, set traps for him, and wheedle him with soft words and caresses ; he would not contradict himself. And he entered into the madness of Madame's hopes. He too concocted schemes, and tried to imagine the robbery in all its details ; and he beat the dogs that did not bark, and he threatened with his fist the unknown thieves, the chimerical thieves, as if he saw them running at the horizon. I did not know what to think about this impenetrable man. One day I believed him guilty; another day I believed him innocent. And it was horribly