Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/52

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houses, if not slave-fairs, butcher-shops for the sale of human meat?

According to the haberdasher, it was a very lucrative business, and Madame's father, who had a monopoly of it for the entire department, showed great skill in it,—that is to say, he kept for himself and put in his pocket the larger part of the premium. Ten years ago he died, mayor of Mesnil-Roy, substitute justice of the peace, councillor-general, president of the board of vestrymen, treasurer of the charity bureau, decorated, and leaving, in addition to the Priory, which he had bought for nothing, twelve hundred thousand francs, of which six hundred thousand went to Madame,—for Madame has a brother who has gone to the bad, and they do not know what has become of him. Well, say what you will, that is money that can hardly be called clean, if, indeed, there be any clean money. For my part, it is very simple; I have seen nothing but dirty money and wicked wealth.

The Lanlaires—is it not enough to disgust you?—have, then, more then a million. They do nothing but economize, and they spend hardly a third of their income. Curtailing everything, depriving others and themselves, haggling bitterly over bills, denying their words, recognizing no agreements save those that are written and signed, one must keep an eye on them, and in business