Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/458

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452
A CHAMBERMAID'S DIARY.

does not like me to talk to him about the time that we were servants. One would say that he has forgotten everything, and that his life really began only on the day when he took possession of the little cafe. "When I ask him a question that torments me, he seems not to understand what I say. And then terrible gleams flash through his eyes, as they used to do. Never shall I know anything of Joseph; never shall I know the mystery of his life. And perhaps it is this mystery which so attaches me to him.

Joseph looks out for everything in the house, and there is no hitch anywhere. We have three waiters to serve the customers, a maid-of-all-work for the kitchen and the household, and everything goes as to the beat of a magic wand. It is true that in three months we have changed our servant four times. How exacting these Cherbourg servants are! how thieving, and how shameless! No, it is incredible, and it is disgusting.

As for me, I superintend the cash, enthroned behind the bar, amid a forest of colored bottles. I am there also on show, and to chat. Joseph wishes me to be finely arrayed; he never refuses me anything for the adornment of my person, and he likes me to show my skin in the evening, in a tantalizing dress, somewhat low in the neck. It is necessary to excite the customer, to keep him in a