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Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized

her baby in the foundling asylum, she was surprised that Monsieur Loches showed horror. "What could I do?" she demanded. "How could I have taken care of it?" "Didn't you ever miss it?" he asked. "Of course I missed it. But what difference did that make? It would have died of hunger with me." "Still," he said, "it was your child--" "It was the father's child, too, wasn't it? Much attention he paid to it! If I had been sure of getting money enough, I would have put it out to nurse. But with the twenty-five or thirty francs a month I could have earned as a servant, could I have paid for a baby? That's the situation a girl faces--so long as I wanted to remain honest, it was impossible for me to keep my child. You answer, perhaps, 'You didn't stay honest anyway.' That's true. But then--when you are hungry, and a nice young fellow offers you dinner, you'd have to be made of wood to refuse him. Of course, if I had had a trade--but I didn't have any. So I went on the street-You know how it is." "Tell us about it," said the doctor. "This gentleman is from the country." "Is that so?" said the girl. "I never supposed there was anyone who didn't know about such things. Well, I took the part of a little workinggirl. A very simple dress--things I had made especially for that--a little bundle in a black napkin carried in my hand--so I walked along where the shops are. It's tiresome, because to do it right, you have to patter along fast. Then I stop before a shop, and nine times out of ten, there you are! A funny thing is that the men--you'd imagine they had agreed on the words to approach you with. They have only two phrases; they never vary them. It's either, 'You are going fast, little one.' Or it's, 'Aren't you afraid all alone?' One thing or the other. One knows pretty well what they mean. Isn't it so?" The girl paused, then went on. "Again, I would get myself up as a young widow. There, too, one has to walk fast: I don't know why that should be so, but it is. After a minute or two of conversation, they generally find out that I am not a young widow, but that doesn't make any difference--they go on just the same." 93


by Upton Sinclair Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized 1 Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eu...

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