List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v1, by Eugene Sue
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wound was a pretty deep one.  This last argument gained for him the
general sympathy.  Reckoning no doubt upon this incident, to secure the
winning of a cause that he now regarded as his own, the host said to the
hostler:  "There is only one way to make a finish.  It is to call up the
burgomaster, and beg him to step here.  He will decide who is right or

"I was just going to propose it to you," said the soldier, "for, after
all, I cannot take the law into my own hands."

"Fritz, run to the burgomaster's!"--and the hustler started in all haste.
His master, fearing to be compromised by the examination of the soldier,
whose papers he had neglected to ask for on his arrival, said to him:
"The burgomaster will be in a very bad humor, to be disturbed so late.  I
have no wish to suffer by it, and I must therefore beg you to go and
fetch me your papers, to see if they are in rule.  I ought to have made
you show them, when you arrived here in the evening."

"They are upstairs in my knapsack; you shall have them," answered the
soldier--and turning away his head, and putting his hand before his eyes,
as he passed the dead body of Jovial, he went out to rejoin the sisters.

The Prophet followed him with a glance of triumph, and said to himself:
"There he goes!--without horse, without money, without papers.  I could
not do more--for I was forbidden to do more--I was to act with as much
cunning as possible and preserve appearances.  Now every one will think
this soldier in the wrong.  I can at least answer for it, that he will
not continue his journey for some days--since such great interests appear
to depend on his arrest, and that of the young girls."

A quarter of an hour after this reflection of the brute-tamer, Karl,
Goliath's comrade, left the hiding-place where his master had concealed
him during the evening, and set out for Leipsic, with a letter which
Morok had written in haste, and which Karl, on his arrival, was to put
immediately into the post.

The address of this letter was as follows:

"A Monsieur Rodin, Rue du Milieu-des-Ursins, No, 11, A Paris, France."



Dagobert's anxiety increased every moment.  Certain that his horse had
not entered the shed of its own accord, he attributed the event which had
taken place to the spite of the brute-tamer; but he sought in vain for
the motive of this wretch's animosity, and he reflected with dismay, that
his cause, however just, would depend on the good or bad humor of a judge
dragged from his slumbers and who might be ready to condemn upon
fallacious appearances.

Fully determined to conceal, as long as possible, from the orphans the
fresh misfortunes, which had befallen them, he was proceeding to open the
door of their chamber, when he stumbled over Spoil-sport--for the dog had
run back to his post, after vainly trying to prevent the Prophet from
leading away Jovial.  "Luckily the dog has returned; the poor little
things have been well guarded," said the soldier, as he opened the door.
To his great surprise, the room was in utter darkness.

"My children," cried he, "why are you without a light?"  There was no
answer.  In terror he groped his way to the bed, and took the hand of one
of the sisters; the hand was cold as ice.

"Rose, my children!" cried he.  "Blanche!  Give me some answer!  you
frighten me."  Still the same silence continued; the hand which he held
remained cold and powerless, and yielded passively to his touch.

Just then, the moon emerged from the black clouds that surrounded her,
and threw sufficient light into the little room, and upon the bed, which
faced the window, for the soldier to see that the two sisters had
fainted.  The bluish light of the moon added to the paleness of the
orphans; they held each other in a half embrace, and Rose had buried her
head on Blanche's bosom.

"They must have fainted through fear," exclaimed Dagobert, running to
fetch his gourd.  "Poor things! after a day of so much excitement, it is
not surprising."  And moistening the corner of a handkerchief with a few
drops of brandy, the soldier knelt beside the bed, gently chafed the
temples of the two sisters, and held the linen, wet with the spirituous
liquor, to their little pink nostrils.

Still on his knees, and bending his dark, anxious face over the orphans,
he waited some moments before again resorting to the only restorative in
his power.  A slight shiver of Rose gave him renewed hope; the young girl
turned her head on the pillow with a sigh; then she started, and opened
her eyes with an expression of astonishment and alarm; but, not
immediately recognizing Dagobert, she exclaimed: "Oh, sister!" and threw
herself into the arms of Blanche.

The latter also was beginning to experience the effect of the soldier's
care.  The exclamation of Rose completely roused her from her lethargy,
and she clung to her sister, again sharing the fright without knowing its

"They've come to--that's the chief point," said Dagobert, "now we shall
soon get rid of these foolish fears."  Then softening his voice, he
added: "Well, my children, courage?  You are better.  It is I who am
here--me, Dagobert!"

The orphans made a hasty movement, and, turning towards the soldier their
sweet faces, which were still full of dismay and agitation, they both, by
a graceful impulse, extended their arms to him and cried: "It is you,
Dagobert--then we are safe!"

"Yes, my children, it is I," said the veteran, taking their hands in his,
and pressing them joyfully.  "So you have been much frightened during my

"Oh, frightened to death!"

"If you knew--oh, goodness! if you knew--"

"But the lamp is extinguished--why is that?"

"We did not do it."

"Come--recover yourselves, poor children, and tell me all about it.  I
have no good opinion of this inn; but, luckily, we shall soon leave it.
It was an ill wind that blew me hither--though, to be sure, there was no
other in the village.  But what has happened?"

"You were hardly gone, when the window flew open violently, and the lamp
and table fell together with a loud crash."

"Then our courage failed--we screamed and clasped each other, for we
thought we could hear some one moving in the room."

"And we were so frightened, that we fainted away."

Unfortunately, persuaded that it was the violence of the wind which had
already broken the glass, and shaken the window, Dagobert attributed this
second accident to the same cause as the first, thinking that he had not
properly secured the fastening and that the orphans had been deceived by
a false alarm.  "Well, well--it is over now," said he to them: "Calm
yourselves, and don't think of it any more."

"But why did you leave us so hastily, Dagobert?"

"Yes, now I remember--did we not hear a great noise, sister, and see
Dagobert run to the staircase, crying: 'My horse! what are they doing to
my horse?'"

"It was then Jovial who neighed?"

These questions renewed the anguish of the soldier; he feared to answer
them, and said, with a confused air: "Yes--Jovial neighed--but it was
nothing.  By the by, we must have a light here.  Do you know where I put
my flint and steel last evening?  Well, I have lost my senses; it is here
in my pocket.  Luckily, too, we have a candle, which I am going to light;
I want to look in my knapsack for some papers I require."

Dagobert struck a few sparks, obtained a light, and saw that the window
was indeed open, the table thrown down, and the lamp lying by the side of
the knapsack.  He shut the window, set the little table on its feet
again, placed the knapsack upon it, and began to unbuckle this last in
order to take out his portfolio, which had been deposited along with his
cross and purse, in a kind of pocket between the outside and the lining.
The straps had been readjusted with so much care, that there was no
appearance of the knapsack having been disturbed; but when the soldier
plunged his hand into the pocket above-mentioned, he found it empty.
Struck with consternation, he grew pale, and retreated a step, crying:
"How is this?--Nothing!"

"What is the matter?" said Blanche.  He made her no answer.  Motionless,
he leaned against the table, with his hand still buried in the pocket.
Then, yielding to a vague hope--for so cruel a reality did not appear
possible--he hastily emptied the contents of the knapsack on the table--
his poor half-worn clothes--his old uniform-coat of the horse-grenadiers
of the Imperial Guard, a sacred relic for the soldiers--but, turn and
return them as he would, he found neither his purse, nor the portfolio
that contained his papers, the letters of General Simon, and his cross.

In vain, with that serious childishness which always accompanies a
hopeless search, he took the knapsack by the two ends, and shook it
vigorously; nothing came out.  The orphans looked on with uneasiness, not
understanding his silence or his movements, for his back was turned to
them.  Blanche ventured to say to him in a timid voice: "What ails you--
you don't answer us.--What is it you are looking for in your knapsack?"

Still mute, Dagobert searched his own person, turned out all his pockets-
-nothing!--For the first time in his life, perhaps, his two children, as
he called them, had spoken to him without receiving a reply.  Blanche and
Rose felt the big tears start into their eyes; thinking that the soldier
was angry, they darst not again address him.

"No, no! it is impossible--no!" said the veteran, pressing his hand to
his forehead, and seeking in his memory where he might have put those
precious objects, the loss of which he could not yet bring himself to
believe.  A sudden beam of joy flashed from his eyes.  He ran to a chair,
and took from it the portmanteau of the orphans; it contained a little
linen, two black dresses, and a small box of white wood, in which were a
silk handkerchief that had belonged to their mother, two locks of her
hair, and a black ribbon she had worn round her neck.  The little she
possessed had been seized by the Russian government, in pursuance of the
confiscation.  Dagobert searched and researched every article--peeped
into all the corners of the portmanteau--still nothing!

This time, completely worn out, leaning against the table, the strong,
energetic man felt himself giving way.  His face was burning, yet bathed
in a cold sweat; his knees trembled under him.  It is a common saying,
that drowning men will catch at straws; and so it is with the despair
that still clings to some shred of hope.  Catching at a last chance--
absurd, insane, impossible--he turned abruptly towards the orphans, and
said to them, without considering the alteration in his voice and
features: "I did not give them to you--to keep for me?--speak?"

Instead of answering, Rose and Blanche, terrified at his paleness and the
expression of his countenance, uttered a cry.  "Good heavens! what is the
matter with you?" murmured Rose.

"Have you got them--yes, or no?" cried in a voice of thunder the
unfortunate, distracted man.  "If you have not--I'll take the first knife
I meet with, and stick it into my body!"

"Alas!  You are so good: pardon us if we have done anything to afflict
you!  You love us so much, you would not do us any harm." The orphans
began to weep, as they stretched forth their hands in supplication
towards the soldier.

He looked at them with haggard eye, without even seeing them; till, as
the delusion passed away, the reality presented itself to his mind with
all its terrible consequences.  Then he clasped his hands together, fell
on his knees before the bed of the orphans, leaned his forehead upon it,
and amid his convulsive sobs--for the man of iron sobbed like a child--
these broken words were audible: "Forgive me--forgive!--I do not know how
it can be!--Oh! what a misfortune!--what a misfortune!--Forgive me!"

At this outbreak of grief, the cause of which they understood not, but
which in such a man was heart-rending, the two sisters wound their arms
about his old gray head, and exclaimed amid their tears: "Look at us!
Only tell us what is the matter with you?--Is it our fault?"

At this instant, the noise of footsteps resounded from the stairs,
mingled with the barking of Spoil-sport, who had remained outside the
door.  The nearer the steps approached, the more furious became the
barking; it was no doubt accompanied with hostile demonstrations, for the
host was heard to cry out in an angry tone: "Hollo! you there!  Call off
your dog, or speak to him.  It is Mr. Burgomaster who is coming up."

"Dagobert--do you hear?--it is the burgomaster," said Rose.

"They are coming upstairs--a number of people," resumed Blanche.

The word burgomaster recalled whatever had happened to the mind of
Dagobert, and completed, so to express it, the picture of his terrible
position.  His horse was dead, he had neither papers nor money, and a
day, a single day's detention, might defeat the last hope of the sisters,
and render useless this long and toilsome journey.

Men of strong minds, and the veteran was of the number, prefer great
perils, positions of danger accurately defined, to the vague anxieties
which precede a settled misfortune.  Guided by his good sense and
admirable devotion, Dagobert understood at once, that his only resource
was now in the justice of the burgomaster, and that all his efforts
should tend to conciliate the favor of that magistrate.  He therefore
dried his eyes with the sheet, rose from the ground, erect, calm, and
resolute, and said to the orphans: "Fear nothing, my children; it is our
deliverer who is at hand."

"Will you call off your dog or no?" cried the host, still detained on the
stairs by Spoil-sport, who, as a vigilant sentinel, continued to dispute
the passage.  "Is the animal mad, I say?  Why don't you tie him up?  Have
you not caused trouble enough in my house?  I tell you, that Mr.
Burgomaster is waiting to examine you in your turn, for he has finished
with Morok."

Dagobert drew his fingers through his gray locks and across his
moustache, clasped the collar of his top-coat, and brushed the sleeves
with his hand, in order to give himself the best appearance possible; for
he felt that the fate of the orphans must depend on his interview with
the magistrate.  It was not without a violent beating of the heart, that
he laid his hand upon the door-knob, saying to the young girls, who were
growing more and more frightened by such a succession of events: "Hide
yourselves in your bed, my children; if any one must needs enter, it
shall be the burgomaster alone."

Thereupon, opening the door, the soldier stepped out on the
landing place, and said: "Down, Spoil-sport!--Here!"

The dog obeyed, but with manifest repugnance.  His master had to speak
twice, before he would abstain from all hostile movements towards the
host.  This latter, with a lantern in one hand and his cap in the other,
respectfully preceded the burgomaster, whose magisterial proportions were
lost in the half shadows of the staircase.  Behind the judge, and a few
steps lower, the inquisitive faces of the people belonging to the inn

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