List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v2, by Eugene Sue
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saying, "the friends of our friends are our friends," he went and licked
the hands of the young workwoman, who was just then forgotten by all.  By
a singular impulse, this action affected the girl to tears; she patted
her long, thin, white hand several times on the head of the intelligent
dog.  Then, finding that she could be no longer useful (for she had done
all the little services she deemed in her power), she took the handsome
flower Agricola had given her, opened the door gently, and went away so
discreetly that no one noticed her departure.  After this exchange of
mutual affection, Dagobert, his wife, and son, began to think of the
realities of life.

"Poor Frances," said the soldier, glancing at Rose and Blanche, "you did
not expect such a pretty surprise!"

"I am only sorry, my friend," replied Frances, "that the daughters of
General Simon will not have a better lodging than this poor room; for
with Agricola's garret--"

"It composes our mansion," interrupted Dagobert; "there are handsomer, it
must be confessed.  But be at ease; these young ladies are drilled into
not being hard to suit on that score.  To-morrow, I and my boy will go
arm and arm, and I'll answer for it he won't walk the more upright and
straight of the two, and find out General Simon's father, at M. Hardy's
factory, to talk about business."

"To-morrow, said Agricola to Dagobert, "you will not find at the factory
either M. Hardy or Marshall Simon's father."

"What is that you say, my lad?" cried Dagobert, hastily, "the Marshal!"

"To be sure; since 1830, General Simon's friends have secured him the
title and rank which the emperor gave him at the battle of Ligny."

"Indeed!" cried Dagobert, with emotion, "but that ought not to surprise
me; for, after all, it is just; and when the emperor said a thing, the
least they can do is to let it abide.  But it goes all the same to my
heart; it makes me jump again."

Addressing the sisters, he said: "Do you hear that, my children?  You
arrive in Paris the daughters of a Duke and Marshal of France.  One would
hardly think it, indeed, to see you in this room, my poor little
duchesses!  But patience; all will go well.  Ah, father Simon must have
been very glad to hear that his son was restored to his rank! eh, my

"He told us he would renounce all kinds of ranks and titles to see his
son again; for it was during the general's absence that his friends
obtained this act of justice.  But they expect Marshal Simon every
moment, for the last letter from India announced his departure."

At these words Rose and Blanche looked at each other; and their eyes
filled with tears.

"Heaven be praised!  These children rely on his return; but why shall we
not find M. Hardy and father Simon at the factory to-morrow?"

"Ten days ago, they went to examine and study an English mill established
in the south; but we expect them back every day."

"The deuce! that's vexing; I relied on seeing the general's father, to
talk over some important matters with him.  At any rate, they know where
to write to him.  So to-morrow you will let him know, my lad, that his
granddaughters are arrived.  In the mean time, children," added the
soldier, to Rose and Blanche, "my good wife will give you her bed and you
must put up with the chances of war.  Poor things! they will not be worse
off here than they were on the journey."

"You know we shall always be well off with you and madame," said Rose.

"Besides, we only think of the pleasure of being at length in Paris,
since here we are to find our father," added Blanche.

"That hope gives you patience, I know," said Dagobert, "but no matter!
After all you have heard about it, you ought to be finely surprised, my
children.  As yet, you have not found it the golden city of your dreams,
by any means.  But, patience, patience; you'll find Paris not so bad as
it looks."

"Besides," said Agricola, "I am sure the arrival of Marshal Simon in
Paris will change it for you into a golden city."

"You are right, Agricola," said Rose, with a smile, "you have, indeed,
guessed us."

"What! do you know my name?"

"Certainly, Agricola, we often talked about you with Dagobert; and
latterly, too, with Gabriel," added Blanche.

"Gabriel!" cried Agricola and his mother, at the same time.

"Yes," replied Dagobert, making a sign of intelligence to the orphans,
"we have lots to tell you for a fortnight to come; and among other
things, how we chanced to meet with Gabriel.  All I can now say is that,
in his way, he is quite as good as my boy (I shall never be tired of
saying 'my boy'); and they ought to love each other like brothers.  Oh,
my brave, brave wife!" said Dagobert, with emotion, "you did a good
thing, poor as you were, taking the unfortunate child--and bringing him
up with your own."

"Don't talk so much about it, my dear; it was such a simple thing."

"You are right; but I'll make you amends for it by and by.  'Tis down to
your account; in the mean time, you will be sure to see him to-morrow

"My dear brother arrived too!" cried the blacksmith; "who'll say, after
this, that there are not days set apart for happiness?  How came you to
meet him, father?"

"I'll tell you all, by and by, about when and how we met Gabriel; for if
you expect to sleep, you are mistaken.  You'll give me half your room,
and a fine chat we'll have.  Spoil-sport will stay outside of this door;
he is accustomed to sleep at the children's door."

"Dear me, love, I think of nothing.  But, at such a moment, if you and
the young ladies wish to sup, Agricola will fetch something from the

"What do you say, children?"

"No, thank you, Dagobert, we are not hungry; we are too happy."

"You will take a little wine and water, sweetened, nice and hot, to warm
you a little, my dear young ladies," said Frances; "unfortunately, I have
nothing else to offer you."

"You are right, Frances; the dear children are tired, and want to go to
bed; while they do so, I'll go to my boy's room, and, before Rose and
Blanche are awake, I will come down and converse with you, just to give
Agricola a respite."

A knock was now heard at the door.

"It is good Mother Bunch come to see if we want her," said Agricola.

"But I think she was here when my husband came in," added Frances.

"Right, mother; and the good girl left lest she should be an intruder:
she is so thoughtful.  But no--no--it is not she who knocks so loud."

"Go and see who it is, then, Agricola."

Before the blacksmith could reach the door, a man decently dressed, with
a respectable air, entered the room, and glanced rapidly round, looking
for a moment at Rose and Blanche.

"Allow me to observe, sir," said Agricola, "that after knocking, you
might have waited till the door was opened, before you entered.  Pray,
what is your business?"

"Pray excuse me, sir," said the man, very politely, and speaking slowly,
perhaps to prolong his stay in the room: "I beg a thousand pardons--I
regret my intrusion--I am ashamed--"

"Well, you ought to be, sir," said Agricola, with impatience, "what do
you want?"

"Pray, sir, does not Miss Soliveau, a deformed needlewoman, live here?"

"No, sir; upstairs," said Agricola.

"Really, sir," cried the polite man, with low bows, "I am quite abroad at
my blunder: I thought this was the room of that young person.  I brought
her proposals for work from a very respectable party."

"It is very late, sir," said Agricola, with surprise.  "But that young
person is as one of our family.  Call to-morrow; you cannot see her to-
night; she is gone to bed."

"Then, sir, I again beg you to excuse--"

"Enough, sir," said Agricola, taking a step towards the door.

"I hope, madame and the young ladies, as well as this gent, will be
assured that--"

"If you go on much longer making excuses, sir, you will have to excuse
the length of your excuses; and it is time this came to an end!"

Rose and Blanche smiled at these words of Agricola; while Dagobert rubbed
his moustache with pride.

"What wit the boy has!" said he aside to his wife.  "But that does not
astonish you--you are used to it."

During this speech, the ceremonious person withdrew, having again
directed a long inquiring glance to the sisters, and to Agricola and

In a few minutes after, Frances having spread a mattress on the ground
for herself, and put the whitest sheets on her bed for the orphans,
assisted them to undress with maternal solicitude, Dagobert and Agricola
having previously withdrawn to their garret.  Just as the blacksmith, who
preceded his father with a light, passed before the door of Mother
Bunch's room, the latter, half concealed in the shade, said to him
rapidly, in a low tone:

"Agricola, great danger threatens you: I must speak to you."

These words were uttered in so hasty and low a voice that Dagobert did
not hear them; but as Agricola stopped suddenly, with a start, the old
soldier said to him,

"Well, boy, what is it?"

"Nothing, father," said the blacksmith, turning round; "I feared I did
not light you well."

"Oh, stand at ease about that; I have the legs and eyes of fifteen to-
night;" and the soldier, not noticing his son's surprise, went into the
little room where they were both to pass the night.

On leaving the house, after his inquiries about Mother Bunch, the over-
polite Paul Pry slunk along to the end of Brise-Miche Street.  He
advanced towards a hackney-coach drawn up on the Cloitre Saint-Merry

In this carriage lounged Rodin, wrapped in a cloak.

"Well?" said he, in an inquiring tone.

"The two girls and the man with gray moustache went directly to Frances
Baudoin's; by listening at the door, I learnt that the sisters will sleep
with her, in that room, to-night; the old man with gray moustache will
share the young blacksmith's room."

"Very well," said Rodin.

"I did not dare insist on seeing the deformed workwoman this evening on
the subject of the Bacchanal Queen; I intend returning to-morrow, to
learn the effect of the letter she must have received this evening by the
post about the young blacksmith."

"Do not fail!  And now you will call, for me, on Frances Baudoin's
confessor, late as it is; you will tell him that I am waiting for him at
Rue du Milieu des Ursins--he must not lose a moment.  Do you come with
him.  Should I not be returned, he will wait for me.  You will tell him
it is on a matter of great moment."

"All shall be faithfully executed," said the ceremonious man, cringing to
Rodin, as the coach drove quickly away.



Within one hour after the different scenes which have just been described
the most profound silence reigned in the soldier's humble dwelling.  A
flickering light, which played through two panes of glass in a door,
betrayed that Mother Bunch had not yet gone to sleep; for her gloomy
recess, without air or light, was impenetrable to the rays of day, except
by this door, opening upon a narrow and obscure passage, connected with
the roof.  A sorry bed, a table, an old portmanteau, and a chair, so
nearly filled this chilling abode, that two persons could not possibly be
seated within it, unless one of them sat upon the side of the bed.

The magnificent and precious flower that Agricola had given to the girl
was carefully stood up in a vessel of water, placed upon the table on a
linen cloth, diffusing its sweet odor around, and expanding its purple
calix in the very closet, whose plastered walls, gray and damp, were
feebly lighted by the rays of an attenuated candle.  The sempstress, who
had taken off no part of her dress, was seated upon her bed--her looks
were downcast, and her eyes full of tears.  She supported herself with
one hand resting on the bolster; and, inclining towards the door,
listened with painful eagerness, every instant hoping to hear the
footsteps of Agricola.  The heart of the young sempstress beat violently;
her face, usually very pale, was now partially flushed--so exciting was
the emotion by which she was agitated.  Sometimes she cast her eyes with
terror upon a letter which she held in her hand, a letter that had been
delivered by post in the course of the evening, and which had been placed
by the housekeeper (the dyer) upon the table, while she was rendering
some trivial domestic services during the recognitions of Dagobert and
his family.

After some seconds, Mother Bunch heard a door, very near her own, softly

"There he is at last!" she exclaimed, and Agricola immediately entered.

"I waited till my father went to sleep," said the blacksmith, in a low
voice, his physiognomy evincing much more curiosity than uneasiness.
"But what is the matter, my good sister?  How your countenance is
changed!  You weep!  What has happened?  About what danger would you
speak to me?"

"Hush!  Read this!" said she, her voice trembling with emotion, while she
hastily presented to him the open letter.  Agricola held it towards the
light, and read what follows:

"A person who has reasons for concealing himself, but who knows the
sisterly interest you take in the welfare of Agricola Baudoin, warns you.
That young and worthy workman will probably be arrested in the course of

"I!" exclaimed Agricola, looking at Mother Bunch with an air of stupefied
amazement.  "What is the meaning of all this?"

"Read on!" quickly replied the sempstress, clasping her hands.

Agricola resumed reading, scarcely believing the evidence of his eyes:--

"The song, entitled 'Working-men Freed,' has been declared libellous.
Numerous copies of it have been found among the papers of a secret
society, the leaders of which are about to be incarcerated, as being
concerned in the Rue des Prouvaires conspiracy."

"Alas!" said the girl, melting into tears, "now I see it all.  The man
who was lurking about below, this evening, who was observed by the dyer,
was, doubtless, a spy, lying in wait for you coming home."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Agricola.  "This accusation is quite ridiculous!
Do not torment yourself.  I never trouble myself with politics.  My
verses breathe nothing but philanthropy.  Am I to blame, if they have
been found among the papers of a secret society?"  Agricola disdainfully
threw the letter upon the table.

"Read! pray read!" said the other; "read on."

"If you wish it," said Agricola, "I will; no time is lost."

He resumed the reading of the letter:

"A warrant is about to be issued against Agricola Baudoin.  There is mo
doubt of his innocence being sooner or later made clear; but it will be
well if he screen himself for a time as much as possible from pursuit, in
order that he may escape a confinement of two or three months previous to
trial--an imprisonment which would be a terrible blow for his mother,
whose sole support he is.

"A SINCERE FRIEND, who is compelled to remain unknown."

After a moment's silence, the blacksmith raised his head; his countenance
resumed its serenity; and laughing, he said: "Reassure yourself, good
Mother Bunch, these jokers have made a mistake by trying their games on

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