The doorkeeper’s son
The General’s child lived on the first floor, the doorkeeper’s son in the basement; there was a great distance between the two families, the whole of the ground floor as well as that of rank and precedence; but they lived under the same roof, with a view of the street and the courtyard; in the latter there was a plot of grass with a blossoming acacia tree, when it blossomed, and under it the smartly dressed child’s nurse sometimes sat with the even more smartly dressed child of the General, ‘little Emilie’. In front of them danced the doorkeeper’s little boy with large brown eyes and dark hair, and the child smiled at him, stretched her small hands out to him, and if the General saw this from his window, he nodded and said: ‘Charming!’ The General’s wife, who was so young that she could almost have been her husband’s daughter from a early marriage, never looked out of the window facing the courtyard, but she had given the order that the young boy of the basement family should be allowed to play in front of the child, but never touch him. The nurse strictly obeyed her mistress’s orders.
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