The Tiny Voice

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It wasn’t my fault Madame Bovary died, I swear. Mistress had picked me off the streets when I was only fourteen years old and saved me from the brothels and the jails. I could never have even contemplated the thought of murdering that second mother who raised me. I was such a good girl then, I only stole sugar cubes now and then to ease the pains of life, but it was nothing more. Madame was the finest lady in town and had the finest of everything: cuisine, furniture, and dress. Monsieur Bovary practically worshipped her.
I don’t hate her dog. It’s just that the dirty beast leaves his smelly waste all over the house. So I had to, out of duty and respect for the Bovary household, throw the pitiful creature out before we moved to a new house in Yonville. Madame may miss it for now, but she’ll thank me later for the new cleanliness in the house.
Mistress seems melancholy and spends every day remonstrating and beating me. I wish to god her anger may be eased. I may cook mediocre meals, but they are not terrible! That lady can’t tell good food from bad.
Life has gotten much better in Yonville. Mistress became rather popular with the bachelors. Her first suitor was Monsieur Boulanger, who paid me a good twenty napoleon to arrange a meeting between him and my mistress. Many suitors came, but none could match Monsieur Boulanger’s price, so I dutifully kept them out of Madame Bovary’s way. Yet, who would think that rascal would ditch mistress so quickly, without even giving me last month’s payment. Madame went nuts and tried to jump out the attic window. Lucky I came in just on time to call her down for dinner or she would have killed herself. I definitely need to be more selective in choosing her lovers next time.
Good fortune always come my way, and soon blew Monsieur Leon to my port. A lucrative deal has been struck worth twenty-five napoleons to arrange a meeting for Monsieur and my lady in Rouen. I just can’t stand seeing Madame drifting day to day like a ghost and Monsieur Leon seem like such a nice gentleman, unlike that Roldophe – I had to agree to this perfect match.
This time, I kept quite discreet and spent three long hours to get that stubborn pharmacist to propose to Monsieur Bovary a city-trip for my sick mistress.
Life got so much livelier after that trip to Lagardy’s play. Mistress now pays visits to Leon quite frequently and so do I to my sweetheart, Theodore. I have gotten so many expensive article of clothing from Madame Bovary to wear; I do look rather resplendent like a real lady now. She has already “thrown” out twenty pairs of perfectly new shoes! I do believe my wardrobe is growing faster than hers.
Mistress started borrowing ravenously from this dry-goods agent and so have I from Madame’s purse. But I keep my moves small, as dear Theodore instructed me. He is such a prudent genius, apprenticing under that venerable Guillaumin. How I adore him.
How dreadful! My lady’s getting all her possessions seized for bankruptcy. It’s a good thing Theodore and I are moving to Paris where he will get his law degree and become a lawyer.
Madame Bovary came home later poisoned and died a most horrifying death. I’m packing up as I speak, and leaving this gloomy household to pursue my own happiness. Poor Monsieur Bovary, he’s taking it so hard. I hope he wouldn’t mind me taking mistress’s wardrobe with me to Paris. I’m sure he won’t need it anyway.





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