could have caught the melancholy grace of those exquisite features, the serenity of that celestial look, from eyes limpid and blue as those of an archangel, or of a martyr ascended to the skies. Yes, of a martyr! for a blood-red halo already encircled that beauteous head. Piteous sight to see! just above his light eyebrows, and rendered still more visible by the effect of the cold, a narrow cicatrix, from a wound inflicted many months before, appeared to encompass his fair forehead with a purple band; and (still more sad!) his hands had been cruelly pierced by a crucifixion--his feet had suffered the same injury-- and, if he now walked with so much difficulty, it was that his wounds had reopened, as he struggled over the sharp rocks. This young man was Gabriel, the priest attached to the foreign mission, the adopted son of Dagobert's wife. He was a priest and martyr--for, in our days, there are still martyrs, as in the time when the Caesars flung the early Christians to the lions and tigers of the circus. Yes, in our days, the children of the people--for it is almost always amongst them that heroic and disinterested devotion may still be found-- the children of the people, led by an honorable conviction, because it is courageous and sincere, go to all parts of the world, to try and propagate their faith, and brave both torture and death with the most unpretending valor. How many of them, victims of some barbarous tribe, have perished, obscure and unknown, in the midst of the solitudes of the two worlds!--And for these humble soldiers of the cross, who have nothing but their faith and their intrepidity, there is never reserved on their return (and they seldom do return) the rich and sumptuous dignities of the church. Never does the purple or the mitre conceal their scarred brows and mutilated limbs; like the great majority of other soldiers, they die forgotten. In their ingenuous gratitude, the daughters of General Simon, as soon as they recovered their senses after the shipwreck, and felt themselves able to ascend the cliffs, would not leave to any other person the care of sustaining the faltering steps of him who had rescued them from certain death. The black garments of Rose and Blanche streamed with water; their faces were deadly pale, and expressive of deep grief; the marks of recent tears were on their cheeks, and, with sad, downcast eyes, they trembled both from agitation and cold, as the agonizing thought recurred to them, that they should never again see Dagobert, their friend and guide; for it was to him that Gabriel had stretched forth a helping hand, to assist him to climb the rocks. Unfortunately the strength of both had failed, and the soldier had been carried away by a retreating wave. The sight of Gabriel was a fresh surprise for Rodin, who had retired on one side, in order to observe all; but this surprise was of so pleasant a nature, and he felt so much joy in beholding the missionary safe after such imminent peril, that the painful impression, caused by the view of General Simon's daughters, was a little softened. It must not be forgotten, that the presence of Gabriel in Paris, on the 13th of February, was essential to the success of Rodin's projects. The bailiff and his wife, who were greatly moved at sight of the orphans, approached them with eagerness. Just then a farm-boy entered the room, crying: "Sir! sir! good news--two more saved from the wreck!" "Blessing and praise to God for it!" said the missionary. "Where are they?" asked the bailiff, hastening towards the door. "There is one who can walk, and is following behind me with Justin; the other was wounded against the rocks, and they are carrying him on a litter made of branches." "I will run and have him placed in the room below," said the bailiff, as he went out. "Catherine, you can look to the young ladies." "And the shipwrecked man who can walk--where is he?" asked the bailiff's wife. "Here he is," said the peasant, pointing to some one who came rapidly along the gallery; "when he heard that the two young ladies were safe in the chateau--though he is old, and wounded in the head, he took such great strides, that it was all I could do to get here before him." Hardly had the peasant pronounced these words, when Rose and Blanche, springing up by a common impulse, flew to the door. They arrived there at the same moment as Dagobert. The soldier, unable to utter a syllable, fell on his knees at the threshold, and extended his arms to the daughters of General Simon; while Spoil-sport, running to them licked their hands. But the emotion was too much for Dagobert; and, when he had clasped the orphans in his arms, his head fell backward, and he would have sunk down altogether, but for the care of the peasants. In spite of the observations of the bailiff's wife, on their state of weakness and agitation, the two young girls insisted on accompanying Dagobert, who was carried fainting into an adjoining apartment. At sight of the soldier, Rodin's face was again violently contracted, for he had till then believed that the guide of General Simon's daughters was dead. The missionary, worn out with fatigue, was leaning upon a chair, and had not yet perceived Rodin. A new personage, a man with a dead yellow complexion, now entered the room, accompanied by another peasant, who pointed out Gabriel to him. This man, who had just borrowed a smock-frock and a pair of trousers, approached the missionary, and said to him in French but with a foreign accent: "Prince Djalma has just been brought in here. His first word was to ask for you." "What does that man say?" cried Rodin, in a voice of thunder; for, at the name of Djalma, he had sprung with one bound to Gabriel's side. "M. Rodin!" exclaimed the missionary, falling back in surprise. "M. Rodin," cried the other shipwrecked person; and from that moment, he kept his eye fixed on the correspondent of M. Van Dael. "You here, sir?" said Gabriel, approaching Rodin with an air of deference, not unmixed with fear. "What did that man say to you?" repeated Rodin, in an excited tone. "Did he not utter the name of Prince Djalma?" "Yes, sir; Prince Djalma was one of the passengers on board the English ship, which came from Alexandria, and in which we have just been wrecked. This vessel touched at the Azores, where I then was; the ship that brought me from Charlestown having been obliged to put in there, and being likely to remain for some time, on account of serious damage, I embarked on board the 'Black Eagle,' where I met Prince Djalma. We were bound to Portsmouth, and from thence my intention was to proceed to France." Rodin did not care to interrupt Gabriel. This new shock had completely paralyzed his thoughts. At length, like a man who catches at a last hope, which he knows beforehand to be vain, he said to Gabriel: "Can you tell me who this Prince Djalma is?" "A young man as good as brave--the son of an East Indian king, dispossessed of his territory by the English." Then, turning towards the other shipwrecked man, the missionary said to him with anxious interest: "How is the Prince? are his wounds dangerous?" "They are serious contusions, but they will not be mortal," answered the other. "Heaven be praised!" said the missionary, addressing Rodin; "here, you see, is another saved." "So much the better," observed Rodin, in a quick, imperious tone. "I will go see him," said Gabriel, submissively. "You have no orders to give me?" "Will you be able to leave this place in two or three hours, notwithstanding your fatigue?" "If it be necessary--yes." "It is necessary. You will go with me." Gabriel only bowed in reply, and Rodin sank confounded into a chair, while the missionary went out with the peasant. The man with the sallow complexion still lingered in a corner of the room, unperceived by Rodin. This man was Faringhea, the half-caste, one of the three chiefs of the Stranglers. Having escaped the pursuit of the soldiers in the ruins of Tchandi, he had killed Mahal the Smuggler, and robbed him of the despatches written by M. Joshua Van Dael to Rodin, as also of the letter by which the smuggler was to have been received as passenger on board the "Ruyter." When Faringhea left the hut in the ruins of Tchandi, he had not been seen by Djalma; and the latter, when he met him on shipboard, after his escape (which we shall explain by and by), not knowing that he belonged to the sect of Phansegars, treated him during the voyage as a fellow-countryman. Rodin, with his eye fixed and haggard, his countenance of a livid hue, biting his nails to the quick in silent rage, did not perceive the half- caste, who quietly approached him and laying his hand familiarly on his shoulder, said to him: "Your name is Rodin?" "What now?" asked the other, starting, and raising his head abruptly. "Your name is Rodin?" repeated Faringhea. "Yes. What do you want?" "You live in the Rue du Milieu-des-Ursins, Paris?" "Yes. But, once more, what do you want?" "Nothing now, brother: hereafter, much!" And Faringhea, retiring, with slow steps, left Rodin alarmed at what had passed; for this man, who scarcely trembled at anything, had quailed before the dark look and grim visage of the Strangler. We always remember with emotion the end of a letter written, two or three years ago, by one of these young and valiant missionaries, the son of poor parents in Beauce. He was writing to his mother from the heart of Japan, and thus concluded his letter: "Adieu, my dear mother! they say there is much danger where I am now sent to. Pray for me, and tell all our good neighbors that I think of them very often." These few words, addressed from the centre of Asia to poor peasants in a hamlet of France, are only the more touching from their very simplicity--E. S. CHAPTER XXVI. THE DEPARTURE FOR PARIS. The most profound silence reigns throughout Cardoville House. The tempest has lulled by degrees, and nothing is heard from afar but the hoarse murmur of the waves, as they wash heavily the shore. Dagobert and the orphans have been lodged in warm and comfortable apartments on the first-floor of the chateau. Djalma, too severely hurt to be carried upstairs, has remained in a room below. At the moment of the shipwreck, a weeping mother had placed her child in his arms. He had failed in the attempt to snatch this unfortunate infant from certain death, but his generous devotion had hampered his movements, and when thrown upon the rocks, he was almost dashed to pieces. Faringhea, who has been able to convince him of his affection, remains to watch over him. Gabriel, after administering consolation to Djalma, has rescinded to the chamber allotted to him; faithful to the promise he made to Rodin, to be ready to set out in two hours, he has not gone to bed; but, having dried his clothes, he has fallen asleep in a large, high-backed arm-chair, placed in front of a bright coal-fire. His apartment is situated near those occupied by Dagobert and the two sisters. Spoil-sport, probably quite at his ease in so respectable a dwelling, has quitted the door of Rose and Blanche's chamber, to lie down and warm himself at the hearth, by the side of which the missionary is sleeping. There, with his nose resting on his outstretched paws, he enjoys a feeling of perfect comfort and repose, after so many perils by land and sea. We will not venture to affirm, that he thinks habitually of poor old Jovial; unless we recognize as a token of remembrance on his part, his irresistible propensity to bite all the white horses he has met with, ever since the death of his venerable companion, though before, he was the most inoffensive of dogs with regard to horses of every color. Presently one of the doors of the chamber opened, and the two sisters entered timidly. Awake for some minutes, they had risen and dressed themselves, feeling still some uneasiness with respect to Dagobert; though the bailiff's wife, after showing them to their room, had returned again to tell them that the village doctor found nothing serious in the hurt of the old soldier, still they hoped to meet some one belonging to the chateau, of whom they could make further inquiries about him. The high back of the old-fashioned arm-chair, in which Gabriel was sleeping, completely screened him from view; but the orphans, seeing their canine friend lying quietly at his feet, thought it was Dagobert reposing there, and hastened towards him on tip-toe. To their great astonishment, they saw Gabriel fast asleep, and stood still in confusion, not daring to advance or recede, for fear of waking him. The long, light hair of the missionary was no longer wet, and now curled naturally round his neck and shoulders; the paleness of his complexion was the more striking, from the contrast afforded by the deep purple of the damask covering of the arm-chair. His beautiful countenance expressed a profound melancholy, either caused by the influence of some painful dream, or else that he was in the habit of keeping down, when awake, some sad regrets, which revealed themselves without his knowledge when he was sleeping. Notwithstanding this appearance of bitter grief, his features preserved their character of angelic sweetness, and seemed endowed with an inexpressible charm, for nothing is more touching than suffering goodness. The two young girls cast down their eyes, blushed simultaneously, and exchanged anxious glances, as if to point out to each other the slumbering missionary. "He sleeps, sister," said Rose in a low voice. "So much the better," replied Blanche, also in a whisper, making a sign of caution; "we shall now be able to observe him well." "Yes, for we durst not do so, in coming from the sea hither." "Look! what a sweet countenance!" "He is just the same as we saw him in our dreams." "When he promised he would protect us." "And he has not failed us." "But here, at least, he is visible." "Not as it was in the prison at Leipsic, during that dark night." "And so--he has again rescued us." "Without him, we should have perished this morning." "And yet, sister, it seems to me, that in our dreams his countenance shone with light." "Yes, you know it dazzled us to look at him." "And then he had not so sad a mien." "That was because he came then from heaven; now he is upon earth." "But, sister, had he then that bright red scar round his forehead?" "Oh, no! we should have certainly perceived it." "And these other marks on his hands?" "If he has been wounded, how can he be an archangel?" "Why not, sister? If he received those wounds in preventing evil, or in helping the unfortunate, who, like us, were about to perish?" "You are right. If he did not run any danger for those he protects, it would be less noble." "What a pity that he does not open his eye!" "Their expression is so good, so tender!" "Why did he not speak of our mother, by the way?" "We were not alone with him; he did not like to do so."
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