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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 04.
splendor, the work-girl felt her heart sink within her.  She believed Adrienne insane; and yet, as she looked attentively at her, it seemed as if intelligence and grace animated that adorable countenance.  Suddenly, Mdlle. de Cardoville laid her fingers upon her lips, blew a couple of kisses in the direction towards which she had been looking, and all at once disappeared.  Reflecting upon the important revelations which Agricola had to make to Mdlle. de Cardoville, Mother Bunch regretted bitterly that she had no means of approaching her; for she felt sure that, if the young lady were mad, the present was a lucid interval.  She was yet absorbed in these uneasy reflections, when she saw Florine return, accompanied by one of the nuns.  Mother Bunch was obliged, therefore, to keep silence with regard to the discovery she had made, and soon after she found herself in the superior’s presence.  This latter, after a rapid and searching examination of the countenance of the young workwoman, judged her appearance so timid, gentle and honest, that she thought she might repose full confidence in the information given by Florine.

“My dear daughter,” said Mother Sainte-Perpetue, in an affectionate voice, “Florine has told me in what a cruel situation you are placed.  Is it true that you are entirely without work?”

“Alas! yes, madame.”

“Call me mother, my dear daughter; that name is dearer to me, and it is the rule of our house.  I need not ask you what are your principles?”

“I have always lived honestly by my labor, mother,” answered the girl, with a simplicity at once dignified and modest.

“I believe you, my dear daughter, and I have good reasons for so doing.  We must thank the Lord, who has delivered you from temptation; but tell me—­are you clever at your trade?”

“I do my best, mother, and have always satisfied my employers.  If you please to try me, you will be able to judge.”

“Your affirmation is sufficient, my dear daughter.  You prefer, I think, to go out by the day?”

“Mdlle.  Florine told me, mother, that I could not have work at home.”

“Why, no—­not for the present, my child.  If hereafter an opportunity should offer, I will think of it.  Just now I have this to propose to you.  A very respectable old lady has asked me to recommend to her a needle-woman by the day; introduced by me, you will certainly suit her.  The institution will undertake to clothe you becomingly, and this advance we shall retain by degrees out of your wages, for you will look to us for payment.  We propose to give you two francs a day; does that appear to you sufficient?”

“Oh, mother! it is much more than I could have expected.”

“You will, moreover, only be occupied from nine o’clock in the morning till six in the evening; you will thus have still some off hours, of which you might make use.  You see, the situation is not a hard one.”

“Oh! quite the contrary, mother.”

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