him as an office, and when I entered upon my new duties another was
assigned to me as a bedroom. It was really no more than a box-room and
I could scarcely turn round in it, but as the arrangement saved me at
least fifty francs a month, I was not dissatisfied.
soon discovered that my employer had not been guided by altruism. For
this office contained a safe, and the safe often contained gems worth
many millions of francs. Such a fortune could not be left unattended
for many hours at a time and so he had been constrained to stay at home
in the evenings to look after it. This did not suit his natural habits.
As my bed was placed flush with the thin partition separating me from
the safe, once I was installed I became automatically the guardian of
all his treasures, and my boss no doubt assumed that any attempt at
tampering with the safe would awaken me and at once bring me rushing to
was soon undeceived. One night he came home rather sick because of some
exotic food he had eaten, and wanting either sympathy or help from me,
he tried to wake me up. He found that short of breaking down my door he
could not disturb my sweet slumbers. So another night he determined to
give me a scare. He came home on tiptoe, went straight to the office
and fumbled noisily with the combination of the safe. It woke me up and
I called him by name. No answer. I called again. A raucous voice
answered this time and told me to keep quiet if I valued my life. I did
value my life.
Next morning my principal reproached me bitterly for not reacting to his trick. I retorted that his joke was in