Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/78

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on me with a strange tenacity, she repeats:

"Very expert, and clever, and discreet. She is the Providence of the neighborhood. Now, my little one, do not forget to come to see us when you can. And go often to Madame Gouin's. You will not regret it. We will see each other soon again."

She has gone. I see her, with her rolling gait, moving away, skirting first the wall and then the hedge with her enormous person, and suddenly burying herself in a road, where she disappears.

I pass by Joseph, the gardener-coachman, who is raking the paths. I think that he is going to speak to me; he does not speak to me. He simply looks at me obliquely, with a singular expression that almost frightens me.

"Fine weather this morning, Monsieur Joseph."

Joseph grunts I know not what between his teeth. He is furious that I have allowed myself to walk in the path that he is raking.

What a queer man he is, and how ill-bred! And why does he never say a word to me? And why does he never answer when I speak to him?


In the house I find Madame by no means contented. She gives me a very disagreeable reception, treats me very roughly:

"I beg you not to stay out so long in future."

I desire to reply, for I am vexed, irritated, unnerved. But fortunately I restrain myself. I