Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/59

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restrain myself, I knocked at the door squarely. And here is the little conversation that ensued between Madame and myself:

"Tac, tac!"

"Who is there?"

Ah! that sharp, shrill voice, which one would like to force back into her throat with one's fist!

"It is I, Madame."

"What do you want? "

"I come to do the dressing-room."

"It is done. Go away. And come only when I ring for you."

That is to say that I am not even the chambermaid here. I do not know what I am here, and what my duties are. And yet, to dress and undress my mistresses and to do their hair is the only part of my work that I like. I like to play with nightgowns, with dresses and ribbons, to dabble among the linens, the hats, the laces, the furs, to rub my mistresses after the bath, to powder them, to rub their feet with pumice-stone, to perfume their breasts, to oxygenize their hair, to know them, in short, from the tips of their slippers to the peak of their chignon, to see them all naked. In this way they become for you something else than a mistress, almost a friend or an accomplice, often a slave. One inevitably becomes the confidant of a heap of things, of their pains, of their vices, of their disappointments in love, of the inner secrets