Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/150

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145
THE SEMPSTRESS' STORY.

"'I know you have the best heart in the world, doctor; but that's not what I mean. Now, that the child is well, we want to—we are not rich—but still—'

"By this time I was as red as a cock's comb, and the more I tried to express myself the worse it got.

"'You want to pay me. I see, I see,' said he suddenly. 'Well, you owe me precisely nothing, if you don't think that too much.'

"'Oh! doctor! we could n't—we must—'

"'Let us pay according to our means, doctor,' says my husband.

"Well, then, I don't want to wound you, my friends. If you prefer to pay something, my charge is just fifty francs. And now don't bother me any more about it. (He pretended to be angry, and it was so droll.) Don't bother me, I say, you lunatics. Fifty francs, I tell you, and not a copper less; in specie, too; no paper money for me. Next Sunday dress the little man, and have him ready; for I wish him to take a turn in the Bois de Boulogne.'

"Ah! there's no end to your kindness, doctor.'

"'Do n't interrupt me, I say. After his drive, bring him to see me; and let him fetch the money himself. Do you hear?'

"Well, ma'm'selle," added Louise, "that very evening here comes a basket of wine, although we had n't finished the other. What a man!