The Pension Beaurepas

The Pension Beaurepas

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The Pension Beaurepas by Henry James

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1879

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The Pension Beaurepas

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Book Excerpt

ry little difference; for Celestine, the cook, had no pretension to be an invisible functionary or to deal in occult methods. She was always at your service, with a grateful grin she blacked your boots; she trudged off to fetch a cab; she would have carried your baggage, if you had allowed her, on her broad little back. She was always tramping in and out, between her kitchen and the fountain in the place, where it often seemed to me that a large part of the preparation for our dinner went forward--the wringing out of towels and table-cloths, the washing of potatoes and cabbages, the scouring of saucepans and cleansing of water--bottles. You enjoyed, from the doorstep, a perpetual back-view of Celestine and of her large, loose, woollen ankles, as she craned, from the waist, over into the fountain and dabbled in her various utensils. This sounds as if life went on in a very make-shift fashion at the Pension Beaurepas--as if the tone of the establishment were sordid. But such was not at all the case. We wer

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