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Release date: 2022-07-04 08:25:38 Author:Talent network of the Ministry of information industry

Yes, she was afraid. Yes, she told herself in vain that there was no other choice left to her but that between death and Sir Thorn, or M. de Brevan. She was terrified.

Never mind she said to herself; perhaps they will give me something for it.

Still, to her great surprise, the worthy woman from below did not scold her for not having the money ready, and even promised she would make the owner of the house give her time. This inexplicable forbearance gave Henrietta a weeks respite. But at last, one morning, she woke up, having not a cent left, having nothing even, she thought, that she could get money for, and being very hungry.

She turned her head from him with an expression of ineffable disgust. Rather the icy arms of Death And still the pulsations of her heart were apparently counted. Since the end of November her twenty francs had been exhausted; and to prolong her existence she had had to resort to the last desperate expedients of extreme poverty. All that she possessed, all that she could carry from her chamber without being stopped by the concierge, she had sold, piece by piece, bit after bit, for ten cents, for five cents, for a roll. Her linen had been sacrificed first; then the covering of her bed, her curtains, her sheets. The mattress had gone the way of the rest,the wool from the inside first, carried off by handfuls; then the ticking.

Then she went to an employment agency. She had noticed one which displayed at the door a huge placard, on which places were offered from thirty-five up to a thousand francs a month. She went up stairs. A very loquacious gentleman made her first deposit a considerable sum, and then told her he had exactly what she wanted. She went ten times back to the office, and always in vain. After an eleventh appointment, he gave her the address of two houses, in one of which he assured her she would certainly be employed. These two houses turned out to be two small shops, where pretty young ladies were wanted to pour out absinthe, and to wait upon the customers.

But he, shrugging his shoulders, had answered,

This was the last favor she asked of God. Henceforth, a miracle alone could save her; and she hardly wished to be saved. A perfect indifference and intense distaste of every thing filled her soul. She thought she had exhausted all that man can suffer; and there was nothing left for her to fear.

Never mind she said to herself; perhaps they will give me something for it.

Yes, she was afraid. Yes, she told herself in vain that there was no other choice left to her but that between death and Sir Thorn, or M. de Brevan. She was terrified.

It will last me a month, she thought, determined to live on dry bread only; and who can tell what a month may bring forth?

Well, she said, what does it matter? It means three months taken from my life; that is all.

We cannot employ persons like you.

And she did not think of it any more; she did not even trouble herself about the rent, which became due in October.

Never mind she said to herself; perhaps they will give me something for it.

Thats very fine, she said; why, it is magnificent and, if it were finished, it would be worth a mint of money; but as it is no one would want it.

And she did not think of it any more; she did not even trouble herself about the rent, which became due in October.

Alas

Well, she thought, as if announcing to her own soul that the catastrophe had at last come, all I need now is a few minutes courage.

Alas

She consented, however, to give twenty francs for it, solely from love of art, she said; for it was money thrown away. These twenty francs were, for Henrietta, an unexpected release.

This was Henriettas last effort. For ten months she had now been struggling with a kind of helpless fury against inconquerable difficulties, and at last the springs of her energy had lost their elasticity. Now, crushed in body and mind, overwhelmed and conquered, she gave up.

Yes, she was afraid. Yes, she told herself in vain that there was no other choice left to her but that between death and Sir Thorn, or M. de Brevan. She was terrified.

Never mind she said to herself; perhaps they will give me something for it.

And, wrapping the dress up hastily, she hurried to offer it for sale to the old woman who had already bought her ear-rings, and then her watch. The fearful old hag seemed to be overcome with surprise when she saw this marvel of skill.

But he, shrugging his shoulders, had answered,

She said so in her mind; but in reality she was chilled to the heart by the fearful certainty that the crisis had really come: she felt as if the executioner were at the door of the room, ready to announce her sentence of death. And yet, for a month now, she had thought of suicide only; and the evening before she had thought it over with a kind of delight.

And this unfortunate girl had an inheritance from her mother of more than a million But she had been faithful to her vow never to let her secret be known to a living soul; and the most terrible anguish had never torn from her a single complaint.

Who are you? Where have you been? By whom have you been employed? and finally, always the same distressing answer,

I shall not be able to pay it, she said to herself. Mrs. Chevassat will give me notice, and then the hour will have come.

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