Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/151

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you may well say. And I declare to you, if he had wanted my right arm, I should have said, 'Cut it off, sir.'

"Fifty francs, indeed! It was n't the twentieth of what we owed him; and he only took that to save our feelings. And seeing this, I was still more anxious to please him; so I bought some linen, the finest I could get, and did n't I make him an elegant set of shirts!"

"Why, how did you get his measure?"

"Ah! that was hard; but when I make up my mind nothing stops me. I went to his valet—who knew me, because he had brought the wine—and I told him the doctor wanted me to look over his linen in the wash. So I got to the laundress, and I made her think he had ordered some shirts like those she had in hand, and so I got the pattern.

"I was full of work at that time, but I made all those shirts at night; and it gave me such satisfaction to think, 'Ah! you won't let us pay you—you obstinate man—but you can't prevent my sitting up and working for you the livelong night; and the way I worked! you should have seen me at it!

"You may depend on it there was plenty of hemstitching on those shirts, and you know when I try I can hemstitch.

"But I am trifling away my time, and this dress will never be done."