"On a freezing December morning, in that house upon which the handof death had just fallen, we found ourselves, six children, theoldest of whom was not eleven, crying with grief, fright, cold,and hunger.

"Neither the gardener nor his wife had any relatives; and theyleft nothing but a few wretched pieces of furniture, the sale ofwhich barely sufficed to pay the expenses of their funeral. Thetwo younger children were taken to an asylum: the others were takencharge of by the neighbors.

"It was a laundress of Marly who took me. I was quite tall andstrong for my age. She made an apprentice of me. She was notunkind by nature; but she was violent and brutal in the extreme.

She compelled me to do an excessive amount of work, and often of akind above my strength.

Tips, opportunities to make money:ice swap
"Fifty times a day, I had to go from the river to the house,carrying on my shoulders enormous bundles of wet napkins or sheets,wring them, spread them out, and then run to Rueil to get the soiledclothes from the customers. I did not complain (I was already tooproud to complain); but, if I was ordered to do something that seemedto me too unjust, I refused obstinately to obey, and then I wasunmercifully beaten. In spite of all, I might, perhaps, have becomeattached to the woman, had she not had the disgusting habit ofdrinking. Every week regularly, on the day when she took the clothesto Paris (it was on Wednesdays), she came home drunk. And then,according as, with the fumes of the wine, anger or gayety rose toher brain, there were atrocious scenes or obscene jests.

"When she was in that condition, she inspired me with horror. Andone Wednesday, as I showed my feelings too plainly, she struck meso hard, that she broke my arm. I had been with, her for twentymonths. The injury she had done me sobered her at once. Shebecame frightened, overpowered me with caresses, begging me to saynothing to any one. I promised, and kept faithfully my word.

But a physician had to be called in. There had been witnesses whospoke. The story spread along the river, as far as Bougival andRueil. And one morning an officer of gendarmes called at the house;and I don't exactly know what would have happened, if I had notobstinately maintained that I had broken my arm in falling downstairs."What surprised Maxence most was Mlle. Lucienne's simple and naturaltone. No emphasis, scarcely an appearance of emotion. One mighthave thought it was somebody's else life that she was narrating.

Meantime she was going on,"Thanks to my obstinate denials the woman was not disturbed. Butthe truth was known; and her reputation, which was not good before,became altogether bad. I became an object of interest. The verysame people who had seen me twenty times staggering painfully undera load of wet clothes, which was terrible, began to pity meprodigiously because I had had an arm broken, which was nothing.

"At last a number of our customers arranged to take me out of ahouse, in which, they said, I must end by perishing under badtreatment.

"And, after many fruitless efforts, they discovered, at last, atLa Jonchere, an old Jewess lady, very rich, and a widow withoutchildren, who consented to take charge of me.

"I hesitated at first to accept these offers; but noticing that thelaundress, since she had hurt me, had conceived a still greateraversion for me, I made up my mind to leave her.

"It was on the day when I was introduced to my new mistress that Ifirst discovered I had no name. After examining me at length,turning me around and around, making me walk, and sit down, 'Now,'

Tips, opportunities to make money:lost money in bitcoin
she inquired, 'what is your name?'

"I stared at her in surprise; for indeed I was then like a savage,not having the slightest notions of the things of life.

"'My name is the Parisian,' I replied.

"She burst out laughing, as also another old lady, a friend of hers,who assisted at my presentation; and I remember that my little pridewas quite offended at their hilarity. I thought they were laughingat me.

"'That's not a name,' they said at last. 'That's a nickname.'