His Masterpiece

(L'Oeuvre)

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Author: Émile Zola
Published: 1886
Language: English
Wordcount: 146,939 / 419 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.6
LoC Categories: PQ, N
Downloads: 2,086
Added to site: 2005.05.26
mnybks.net#: 10424
Origin: gutenberg.org

Translated by Ernest Alfred Vizetelly.

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door. He was seized with compassion. Had he not once picked up a cur on such a stormy night as this? Yet he felt angry with himself for softening. He never had anything to do with women; he treated them all as if ignorant of their existence, with a painful timidity which he disguised under a mask of bravado. And that girl must really think him a downright fool, to bamboozle him with that story of adventure--only fit for a farce. Nevertheless, he ended by saying, 'That's enough. You had better come in out of the wet. You can sleep in my rooms.'

But at this the girl became even more frightened, and threw up her arms.

'In your rooms? Oh! good heavens. No, no; it's impossible. I beseech you, monsieur, take me to Passy. Let me beg of you.'

But Claude became angry. Why did she make all this fuss, when he was willing to give her shelter? He had already rung the bell twice. At last the door opened and he pushed the girl before him.

'No, no, monsieur; I tell you, no--'

But another flash dazzled her, an

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