He replied, "It's like that on all the trains, in both directions. They say that, each day, all the soldiers in Paris go to Versailles, while all the soldiers in Versailles come to Paris." That surprised me even more, but I wasn't at the end of my astonishments.
We arrived, we marched ten minutes along streets very wide and very straight, with pretty shops. And then I saw a beautiful gate of elaborate handiwork, and a gatekeeper's house so elegant that the chateaux of my home district seemed like wooden huts beside it. "This is the park entrance," Maria informed me. "It's breathtaking," I said. And the puzzlement I had felt the night before at hearing about this park was now even stronger. I had never dreamed that Madame, who had come here to pare down, could have a park of this magnitude. Totally dumbfounded, I stopped beside a basin as great as a lake, full of creatures and characters in bronze. "Come along, then," Maria grumbled, "We're not there yet. You can look at the statues another time." I thought to myself, I told myself, "Maybe the house is less impressive than the garden, maybe it's smaller." So I was very curious to see that house.
After we had located Madame and she had had a little talk with Maria, she said, "Let's go up as far as the Esplanade so that Bécassine can make acquaintance with out new residence." We went up a turning path, and all of a sudden I saw it, the house. I will live to be a hundred before I get over my stupefaction in front of that facade that continued on forever, with hundreds of windows, columns and statues. I could not contain myself. I cried, "Madame speaks of cutting back, and this is what she has rented! Ah well, with all due respect, Madame must permit me to say that Maria will never be able to look after a place that size." "But, Bécassine, look, Bécassine," said Madame. Maria was saying, "That's it, she's gone foolish!" But I was launched, and I continued: "Even with the two of us, even bringing in a woman to help from time to time, I can't see how it will suffice."
I stopped from breathlessness. At last Madame could get a word in. She told me gently, "Calm yourself, my good Bécassine, what you're looking at is not my house, it's the Palace de Versailles, the Palace of King Louis XIV."
I can't help but laugh when I think how I mistook the Palace for Madame la Marquise's lodgings. Her true address is an apartment in a house at the end of town, close to the countryside, in the neighbourhood called Clagny.
It's small, but very nice. When we we got there, after lunch at the hotel, the wagons arrived. The unloading began, and also my aggravation with the moving-men. But I've already told you about that so I don't want to go back over it. For the next week I didn't think about looking for a job because I was needed by Madame. The trunks and parcels had to be unpacked and everything put in its place.
What held us up was the painting. With the shortage of men everywhere, the contractor was able to send only one worker. His name was César, which people tell me is Italian. Here was a man who could not get anything done.
He arrived at nine o'clock. He removed his shoes and put on sandals. Then he set up his trestles, his paint pots, his glue, his brushes, his papers, in no great hurry. He painted or pasted a little, and kept that up till eleven. Then he removed his sandals and put on his shoes, reorganized his materials, and went to lunch. The ceremony of shoes and reorganization began again after lunch, after which he had a snack at three and called it a day at five.
All the while he sang, very nicely, by my faith, songs from his native country, which pleased me a lot, above all one called Sole mio and another that goes "funiculi, funicula." More than once I set my foot on his ladder to listen to him sing. He said to me, "Join in at the chorus." I tried, but, you know, I'm not very musical. Soon he was covering his ears and making faces. "Horrible! Horrible! That's out of tune!"
He was well supplied with paintbrushes. His best work was on the bathroom walls, which he painted to imitate marble. At first it resembled truffled galantine too much, because he had made the blotches too dark. I pointed this out to him. "It's true ... Signorina Bécassine she is an artist." He corrected it, and it looked magnificent. One day he said, "E finite, addio la signorina." He spent all afternoon wrapping and taking away his sandals, brushes, ladder, trestles and planks, and we never saw him again.
"At last," said Madame. "I'm tired of living in a marching camp. To finish the set-up more quickly I've taken on a daytime maid. She will be here tomorrow morning." I was curious to find out about her, and the next morning at seven I was watching at the door. I saw a petite woman, young, round and blonde, with the figure of a well-fed baby, the same as you would say about a doll. As soon as she saw me she began, "It's me, Julie, the daytime maid. And you, you are Mademoiselle Bécassine. Bonjour, Mademoiselle Bécassine. How do you do, Mademoiselle Bécassine? I'm doing well, thank you. Madame la Marquise is in? Yes. Good. Let's go see Madame la Marquise. Let's not lose time gossipping. I have a horror of losing time. I have a horror of gossip."
I won't try to repeat everything she said, to me first, and then to Madame and Maria. She spoke all the time, in a little, tranquil voice, as if words flowed from her mouth. It reminded me of a brook I used to sit beside when I was small, minding the geese, that never let up its babbling. Only, after an hour, I was so used to it that I didn't pay attention any more. With the daytime maid it's all the same.
She was up to date on every topic. Without slowing work she could recount all the breaking news, the deliberations of the Council of Deputies, the great events of the wide world, and the small happenings of Versailles. "With Julie around I don't have to read a newspaper," said Madame. "She's my little gazette." After that, Maria and I always referred to her that way.
One day, the end was in sight. Extraordinarily, la Petite Gazette had nothing to say. While we were working together I said, "Soon we'll be done here and I can turn my thoughts to finding a job."
That got her going. "A job," she said. "You want a job? What job? A job as a maid?" "No, not a job in a house, a job in a factory or an office." "There are better things to do than that, Mademoiselle Bécassine. You should mobilize."
I cried, "Good idea! I'll become a cantinière." I imagined myself with a cask under my arm, as you see in old pictures. But then I had the thought that it wouldn't be possible because I had no wish to part from Madame. Then Julie told me I shouldn't worry about that because there was a call out for women to take up all sorts of employment left vacant by men who had gone to war. She took me to see a poster that spelled it all out in fine phrases.
She added, "There are bureaus where you can sign up. I know one not far from Versailles. If you want I'll take you there." With Madame's permission, we went the next day.
Only in Scotland could WALLOP! and SKELP! appear as comic book sound effects. Details from the superhero archway in Coatbridge. Source.
Morton visit Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill in Coatbridge for the third round of the Scottish Cup.
The last time these two clubs met was in 2012-13, three times, when Morton knocked the Wee Rovers out of the Challenge Cup, and then, in a replay, the Scottish Cup Round Three. The last time they played in the same division (Third, 2002-03) Albion Rovers took three wins to Morton's one.
In the 21st Century Morton have reached Round Five of the Scottish Cup four times, but have gone no further. Albion Rovers reached the quarter-finals in 2013-14, where they were eliminated by Rangers in a replay.
Staring with the 1999-2000 season, how have Morton fared in the Scottish Cup during the 21st century? (99/00) R4, R3, R1, R4, R3, R3, R2, R4, R5, R3, R4, R5, R5, R5, R4, R4 (2014/15). How many actual Scottish Cup games matches they played in each of those years, including replays? (99/00) 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4, 3, 5, 1, 3 (14/15).
Morton, who played in League One last year, are currently fourth in the Championship. Albion Rovers, who played in League Two last year, are currently third in League One.
Formartine United [1 - 1] Cove Rangers. This is Scottish Cup fixture #5 for Cove Rangers this season. [The replay will be #6.]
Stirling Albion [pp] Cumbernauld Colts
Inverurie Loco Works [4 - 4] Annan Athletic
Stenhousemuir [2 -2] East Kilbride
The other, delayed, Challenge Cup semi-final takes place today: Rangers [4 - 0] St Mirren.
Europa League Thursday: Celtic 1 - 2 Ajax. Celtic have one more match in Group A, but then they're out.
It's the semi-final of the J-League Championship, between Urawa Red Diamonds and Gamba Osaka. J1 played a two-stage format this season. The winner of Stage One (Urawa) and the winner of Stage Two (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), plus a team that made the top three in the combined standings (Gamba), make the playoffs. The team with the best overall record (Sanfrecce) gets a bye, and the other two play a semi-final (today's game). The final is in two legs. [Urawa 1 - 3 Gamba.]
For the life of me I don't understand this format. What happens if one team wins both stages? Do they skip the playoffs? What if a team wins a very tight Stage One, but does so poorly in Stage Two that they get relegated?
At the bottom of J1 the three lowest teams in the overall standings are relegated: Matsumoto Yamaga, Shimizu S-Pulse, and our own Montedio Yamagata. J2 clubs Omiya Ardija and Jubilo Iwata are promoted. Avispa Fukuoka, Cerezo Osaka, Ehima FC, and V-Varen Nagasaki will play off for the third promotion spot. Tochigi FC are demoted to J3.
Renofa Yamaguchi won J3 and are promoted. 2nd-place Machida Zelvia have a playoff date with Oita Trinita. [Machida win the first leg 2 - 1.]
Tomorrow it's the J3 championship playoffs, first leg: Vanraure Hachinohe [1 - 0] Sony Sendai
The Japanese national U-23 team that has been playing in J3 will be disbanded, but up to four J1 or J2 development squads will play in J3 next year.
I lost sight of the AFC Champions League after all the Japanese clubs were out. It ended last weekend with Guangzhou Evergrande beating Al-Ahli of Dubai.
Yesterday it was Karşıyaka 1 - 3 Denizlispor. According to The Knowledge İzmir is the largest city in Europe (i.e., the UEFA zone) without a club in the top tier, beating out Novosibirsk. (But, geographically, both cities are in Asia.) Karşıyaka are currently 15th out of 18 in their division, so, a few wins ...
Pat and Greg Kane of the 80's band Hue and Cry are from Coatbridge.
[Morton win 0 - 2. Goals by Johnstone and McKee. Round Four is in January.]
Continuing on the theme of what a good composer Kio Shimoku is, chapter 118 provides a striking example of the rule of thirds. This panel divides into vertical thirds at the tree and the hank of hair between Sue's eyes, and horizontally along the fence roof, and at Sue's mouth.
It was Madame who restarted the conversation. "Bécassine," she said, "Not only have I rented out Rose-sur-Loire, but, as I am at the end of the lease for my apartment in Paris, I'm going to quit it. It's too large and expensive. I have no need for more than a single establishment, very simple, very modest, at Versailles." On hearing that I was unable to prevent myself from crying, "Then, it's true Madame is ruined?" so loudly that the passers-by turned round.
"Contain yourself," said Madame, "I'm afraid of becoming a spectacle." She walked a while in silence, with me very contrite beside her, and presently she continued, "No, I'm not ruined, only embarrassed and obliged to cut down because, since the war began, my properties return next to nothing. First, I'll practice economy by having only one small apartment. That will permit me to keep only one maid. And, about that, Bécassine...." She stopped walking and speaking, as though hesitant to say the rest, and me listening, my heart pounding, because I foresaw what was coming.
But at that moment we heard from the roadway a voice that cried, "Madame! Eh! Madame!" We looked. It was our chauffeur calling. He laughed. He said, "That's it, I'm fixed. I saw your line of retreat and I've recaptured you. It bothered me to leave you stranded on the way home from delivering your officer, especially as the lady gave me such a good tip. Climb in, I'll take you home." Madame said it was no great matter, but he insisted and she got in so as not to be on the contrary.
Once we were in the taxi, I was so anxious to know what Madame was thinking about what we had discussed before that I blurted out, "Then, as she doesn't need more than one maid, and Maria is better, Madame will dismiss me."
As soon as that was out of my mouth it became too much for me and I began to sob. I cried, "Oh! là là! Oh! là là! To go among strangers, I who never left her family! I who love Aunt Madame, and Monsieur Bertrand, and the young Madame, and all the family! Oh! là là! Oh! là là!" Madame was overcome.
She took my hands, she consoled me and wiped my tears, and with her own handkerchief, her handkerchief with the crown of a marquise embroidered on the corner. She said, "It is not to dismiss you. I was thinking..."
"... to find you a good place in my vicinity. You would come see me often. But we won't talk more, since it makes you unhappy. I will arrange it." We were so unsettled that we didn't notice that the taxi had been stopped for a while. The chauffeur had to tell us we had arrived. We got out; Madame had trouble getting him to accept twenty sous; he considered himself well-paid with his tip from before. As I pass easily from one idea to another I had the reflection that I was wrong to speak ill of chauffeurs and that there are good people everywhere. I offered him my hand and, as a pleasantry, promised him that if I ever became rich it would be he who would drive my car.
That gave him a good laugh, and Madame too a little. She proceeded to her chamber where I followed her. While I was doing up her housecoat she told me again that I would remain with her, and to think no more of our conversation.
I said yes to be polite, but I thought differently. I ask you who know me: am I the sort to stay in a house where I am no use, to consume the money of a mistress who is as good as bread -- bread from before the war?
No, truly, I'm not the sort of girl to do that. Only, I could not become a maid in another household if it meant leaving a place where I had been almost one of the family. Then what should I do? After twirling my brain for more than an hour I decided to take counsel with Maria. She said to me that the way to solve everything was to find a job in Versailles, not as a maid, but in an office or a factory. Madame would certainly agree that I stay under her roof, and as I would be earning enough to pay for meals, it would cost her nothing. I thought this was an admirable idea. We took it to Madame, who said she liked it, that she was happy to continue to have me with her.
And me too, I was happy. I wanted to be in Versailles already and in my new job. Because, it must be said, though I love my mistress, I love changes and adventure too.
In the days that followed we prepared our move out of the Paris apartment. It was a lot of work! But think, Madame had lived there for more than ten years!
What it took to fill the trunks and baskets! And the breakable furniture had to be wrapped so as not to be damaged in transit. I especially swaddled the little chairs in rags, cotton wool and paper, because I did not have much confidence in the movers. Those guys, they don't know what's good, they have no respect for anything. It made me sorry to see how they swung my lady's furniture around, artistic furniture, one might even say historic, things going back to . . . I don't know, Jeanne d'Arc or Clodion le Chevelu.
We spent the week at that work. When it was done Madame one evening called us, Maria and I, to her little salon. It would make you weep to see it bare and disorderly, that room that had been so beautiful and neat.
Madame told us she was going to put up at a hotel in Versailles. She reminded us to oversee the loading of the trucks next morning and, as soon as it was done and the movers en route, to come rejoin her.
While she was speaking she put on her coat, latched her hand luggage, and was ready to leave, when fortunately Maria, who has a head on her shoulders, asked where we could find her. "In the park, near the Bassin de Cérès, you know, where I always go." "Yes, I know it, Madame." I should say that Maria had gone with Madame to Versailles the time she went to inspect the work of the upholsterers at the new apartment. And, when there was the time, they had walked together.
Then she was on her way. It astonished me a little to hear about some park, a bassin and this Cérès, but I didn't pay it a lot of attention at that moment because I was preoccupied with a mover who was handling the Chinese vases as if they were pots in the kitchen. I was just in time to get them out of his hands before they came to a sad end. While I was dealing with this vandal words passed between us. I was wrong, but to see such an example of carelessness made my blood turn.
The next day, all went according to plan. About six, we were at our train, Maria and I, at Invalides. By the way, our train was packed with soldiers. That surprised me and I remarked on it to the conductor while he was putting a hole in my ticket.
Today I take up once again the story of my adventures; also, my nib pen. Never before has a pen written so badly. For two sous I could get one that was more helpful; but as this one cost me an arm and a leg I'll hang on to it until it doesn't work at all. Right now it's having a good time spitting ink all over the paper and my fingers. Well, lick them off and get started.
Toward the end of last summer my young master, the Lieutenant Bertrand de Grand-Air, made the announcement that he was over his injuries and had been called to the front. He said this during lunch just as I was serving the first dish, a tête de veau. Swelling with emotion I nearly spilled the head of veal on the head of the lieutenant. But I made a good catch and got the plate to the sideboard, and began to sob into my handkerchief.
But I looked at Madame Thérèse, his wife, and Madame la Marquise de Grand-Air, his aunt, in whose house we were living. They weren't crying. To see them so courageous made me ashamed to be such a baby.
I hid my tears and my handkerchief, took up the tête de veau, and finished serving lunch. I have to confess I did it all wrong right to the end, when the lieutenant asked for a glass of cherry in eau-de-vie, and I brought the pickles. He laughed and said to me, "I hope at the front the provisioning is done better." I was so embarrassed I fled to the kitchen.
There I told what had happened to old Maria the cook. She regarded me with a look of scorn that I wouldn't give to a dog and muttered a list of my crimes: that I was getting more and more stupid; that it was terrible to receive payment from our mistress, who hasn't got more than she needs, for rendering so little service, etc., etc. I believe I might have burst out in tears if my friend Zidore hadn't walked in at that moment.
Zidore said I don't know what funny thing to make us both laugh. We gave each other a squeeze of the hand as a sign of friendship. With Maria you fall out and make up ten times in a day. She's cranky but not mean, and I believe she loves me deep down, depending on the position of the sun. All the same that evening as I reflected on the day while undressing before my prayers I thought back to what she had said about our mistress not having a lot of money and me not being much use, and I promised myself to have a word with Madame. As a reminder I made a note to myself on a piece of paper with the famous pen, which squirted ink of course.
A few days later Monsieur Bertrand received his marching orders. He was pleased to see that he was assigned to his old regiment. Madame Thérèse, though very much moved to think that her husband would now be in danger, was also content because his regiment is in the Vosges, and as she herself was to go to her father's house in reconquered Alsace, that allowed them to go together, the two of them, or rather three because Zidore goes where his officer goes.
On the day of departure I had plenty of trouble finding a taxi. It's funny, the world of chauffeurs. You make them a generous offer and they look at you as if you intend to rob them. They all have to go to another quarter than the one you want: Grenelle or Vaugirard when you need to get to the Gare de l'Est. At last I found one, discharged with a croix de guerre, who agreed to go when he found out it was for an officer. I must say, he was very nice and agreeable, that one. With our two women, the lieutenant, Zidore and the bags, it made a full load. When everything was on board, the baggages and people, the chauffeur said to me, "And you, la Bretonne, are you not in the parade? With a little squeezing you could find a seat." Was I tempted? Madame la Marquise took notice and told me, "Come along, get on, Bécassine, since the chauffeur agrees."
It was a tight fit, and on the turns I could barely keep my balance. There were moments when Zidore had just enough time to grab me before I shot out of the seat, and other times I lurched toward the wheel, which was awkward for the chauffeur.
Finally we arrived without a serious accident: only two minor collisions with other cars and once a wheel got up on the sidewalk. These are not serious matters to the taxi drivers of today.
I will spare you the goodbyes we said at the station. With all the years that have passed in this damned war is there anyone who hasn't sent somebody they love off to battle? This time, as always, it was the one who was going to fight who encouraged the ones who remained behind. Thanks to an employee with some pull who knew Madame la Marquise, we were able to go on the platform. As the train departed we waved our handkerchiefs, and stood to watch a few minutes more after the train had disappeared. "Let us go, Bécassine," said Madame, "We must return." We found our taxi again and boarded, me inside this time, with Madame.
We were both very sad and quiet. I thought I should say something to entertain my dear mistress, and the idea came to me that this was the moment to have a word about what was bothering old Maria.
I said, "May I take the liberty of asking what will happen now? No doubt Madame will see out the summer at the Roses-sur-Loire property?" She replied, "No, Bécassine, I was obliged to rent out Roses-sur-Loire."
It was clear she was glad I had brought it up, and was disposed to continue. But at that moment the taxi stopped. The chauffeur said, "It's a breakdown. Don't worry. I'll be two minutes."
He tinkered with I don't know what in the motor. I got out to watch him work. It's easy to teach yourself mechanics this way nowadays seeing as, a little after you get into a taxi, it usually breaks down.
When it's not the chauffeur who refuses to move, it's the motor. After a quarter hour, Madame became impatient. She paid. We left on foot, and as we walked we chatted.