One hasn’t much opportunity for merriment in Mont-Havre, not on a clerk’s wages, not if you’re trying to save every franc you can—as you must, if you wish to be able to take advantage of opportunities for advancement as they come by. The folk of Mont-Havre are hard-working, and have no use for layabouts; I wouldn’t have my position as a clerk if I’d been seen frittering away my earnings from my work at the docks.
It makes for a tedious life: up at dawn, wash up, dress, a quick roll and coffee with Madame Truc and the other roomers, walk to Suprenant & Fils, work at my desk until noon, back to Madame Truc’s for my midday meal (fortunately, it is a short walk), work until evening, supper, and then to bed. I usually have a bit of time to read between supper and bed, and I have been known to carry a book with me on my walk to and from S&F’s.
My only expenses are my room and board, a few items of clothing suitable for my new station, and the occasional book