Page:A chambermaid's diary.djvu/84

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cling to the banister, in order to get my breath and keep from falling. I was green, with cold sweats that wet my hair. It was enough to make one scream, but I am good at bearing pain, and it is a matter of pride with me never to complain in presence of my masters. Madame surprised me at a moment when I thought that I was about to faint. Everything was revolving about me,—the banister, the stairs, and the walls.

"What is the matter with you?" she said to me, rudely.


And I tried to straighten up.

"If there is nothing the matter with you," rejoined Madame, "why these manners? I do not like to see funereal faces. You have a very disagreeable way of doing your work."

In spite of my pain, I could have boxed her ears.


Amid these trials, I am always thinking of my former places. To-day it is my place in the Rue Lincoln that I most regret. There I was second chambermaid, and had, so to speak, nothing to do. We passed the day in the linen-room, a magnificent linen-room, with a red felt carpet, and lined from ceiling to floor with great mahogany cupboards, with gilded locks. And we laughed, and we amused ourselves in talking nonsense, in reading, in mimicing Madame's receptions, all under