List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew v6, by Eugene Sue
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By Eugene Sue



XXVI.      A Good Genius
XXVII.     The First Last, And the Last First
XXVIII.    The Stranger
XXIX.      The Den
XXX.       An Unexpected Visit
XXXI.      Friendly Services
XXXII.     The Advice
XXXIII.    The Accuser
XXXIV.     Father d'Aigrigny's Secretary
XXXV.      Sympathy
XXXVI.     Suspicions
XXXVII.    Excuses
XXXVIII.   Revelations
XXXIX.     Pierre Simon



The first of the two, whose arrival had interrupted the answer of the
notary, was Faringhea.  At sight of this man's forbidding countenance,
Samuel approached, and said to him: "Who are you, sir?"

After casting a piercing glance at Rodin, who started but soon recovered
his habitual coolness, Faringhea replied to Samuel: "Prince Djalma
arrived lately from India, in order to be present here this day, as it
was recommended to him by an inscription on a medal, which he wore about
his neck."

"He, also!" cried Gabriel, who had been the shipmate of the Indian Prince
from the Azores, where the vessel in which he came from Alexandria had
been driven into port: "he also one of the heirs!  In fact, the prince
told me during the voyage that his mother was of French origin.  But,
doubtless, he thought it right to conceal from me the object of his
journey.  Oh! that Indian is a noble and courageous young man.  Where is

The Strangler again looked at Rodin, and said, laying strong emphasis
upon his words: "I left the prince yesterday evening.  He informed me
that, although he had a great interest to be here, he might possibly
sacrifice that interest to other motives.  I passed the night in the same
hotel, and this morning, when I went to call on him, they told me he was
already gone out.  My friendship for him led me to come hither, hoping
the information I should be able to give might be of use to the prince."

In making no mention of the snare into which he had fallen the day
before, in concealing Rodin's machinations with regard to Djalma, and in
attributing the absence of this latter to a voluntary cause, the
Strangler evidently wished to serve the socius, trusting that Rodin would
know how to recompense his discretion.  It is useless to observe, that
all this story was impudently false.  Having succeeded that morning in
escaping from his prison by a prodigious effort of cunning, audacity, and
skill, he had run to the hotel where he had left Djalma; there he had
learned that a man and woman, of an advanced age, and most respectable
appearance, calling themselves relations of the young Indian, had asked
to see him--and that, alarmed at the dangerous state of somnolency in
which he seemed to be plunged, they had taken him home in their carriage,
in order to pay him the necessary attention.

"It is unfortunate," said the notary, "that this heir also did not make
his appearance--but he has, unhappily, forfeited his right to the immense
inheritance that is in question."

"Oh! an immense inheritance is in question," said Faringhea, looking
fixedly at Rodin, who prudently turned away his eyes.

The second of the two personages we have mentioned entered at this
moment.  It was the father of Marshal Simon, an old man of tall stature,
still active and vigorous for his age.  His hair was white and thin.  His
countenance, rather fresh-colored, was expressive at once of quickness,
mildness and energy.

Agricola advanced hastily to meet him.  "You here, M. Simon!" he

"Yes, my boy," said the marshal's father, cordially pressing Agricola's
hand "I have just arrived from my journey.  M. Hardy was to have been
here, about some matter of inheritance, as he supposed: but, as he will
still be absent from Paris for some time, he has charged me--"

"He also an heir!--M. Francis Hardy!" cried Agricola, interrupting the
old workman.

"But how pale and agitated you are, my boy!" said the marshal's father,
looking round with astonishment.  "What is the matter?"

"What is the matter?" cried Dagobert, in despair, as he approached the
foreman.  "The matter is that they would rob your granddaughters, and
that I have brought them from the depths of Siberia only to witness this
shameful deed!"

"Eh?" cried the old workman, trying to recognize the soldiers face, "you
are then--"


"You--the generous, devoted friend of my son!" cried the marshal's
father, pressing the hands of Dagobert in his own with strong emotion;
"but did you not speak of Simon's daughter?"

"Of his daughters; for he is more fortunate than he imagines," said
Dagobert.  "The poor children are twins."

"And where are they?" asked the old man.

"In a convent."

"In a convent?"

"Yes; by the treachery of this man, who keeps them there in order to
disinherit them."

"What man?"

"The Marquis d'Aigrigny."

"My son's mortal enemy!" cried the old workman, as he threw a glance of
aversion at Father d'Aigrigny, whose audacity did not fail him.

"And that is not all," added Agricola.  "M. Hardy, my worthy and
excellent master, has also lost his right to this immense inheritance."

"What?" cried Marshal Simon's father; "but M. Hardy did not know that
such important interests were concerned.  He set out hastily to join one
of his friends who was in want of him."

At each of these successive revelations, Samuel felt his trouble
increase: but he could only sigh over it, for the will of the testator
was couched, unhappily, in precise and positive terms.

Father d'Aigrigny, impatient to end this scene, which caused him cruel
embarrassment, in spite of his apparent calmness, said to the notary, in
a grave and expressive voice:  "It is necessary, sir, that all this
should have an end.  If calumny could reach me, I would answer
victoriously by the facts that have just come to light.  Why attribute to
odious conspiracies the absence of the heirs, in whose names this soldier
and his son have so uncourteously urged their demands?  Why should such
absence be less explicable than the young Indian's, or than M. Hardy's,
who, as his confidential man has just told us, did not even know the
importance of the interests that called him hither?  Is it not probable,
that the daughters of Marshal Simon, and Mdlle. de Cardoville have been
prevented from coming here to-day by some very natural reasons?  But,
once again, this has lasted too long.  I think M. Notary will agree with
me, that this discovery of new heirs does not at all affect the question,
which I had the honor to propose to him just now; namely whether, as
trustee for the poor, to whom Abbe Gabriel made a free gift of all he
possessed, I remain notwithstanding his tardy and illegal opposition, the
only possessor of this property, which I have promised, and which I now
again promise, in presence of all here assembled, to employ for the
Greater Glory of the Lord?  Please to answer me plainly, M. Notary; and
thus terminate the scene which must needs be painful to us all."

"Sir," replied the notary, in a solemn tone, "on my soul and conscience,
and in the name of law and justice--as a faithful and impartial executor
of the last will of M. Marius de Rennepont, I declare that, by virtue of
the deed of gift of Abbe Gabriel de Rennepont, you, M. l'Abbe d'Aigrigny,
are the only possessor of this property, which I place at your immediate
disposal, that you may employ the same according to the intention of the

These words pronounced with conviction and gravity, destroyed the last
vague hopes that the representatives of the heirs might till then have
entertained.  Samuel became paler than usual, and pressed convulsively
the hand of Bathsheba, who had drawn near to him.  Large tears rolled
down the cheeks of the two old people.  Dagobert and Agricola were
plunged into the deepest dejection.  Struck with the reasoning of the
notary, who refused to give more credence and authority to their
remonstrances than the magistrates had done before him, they saw
themselves forced to abandon every hope.  But Gabriel suffered more than
any one; he felt the most terrible remorse, in reflecting that, by his
blindness, he had been the involuntary cause and instrument of this
abominable theft.

So, when the notary, after having examined and verified the amount of
securities contained in the cedar box, said to Father d'Aigrigny: "Take
possession, sir, of this casket--"  Gabriel exclaimed, with bitter
disappointment and profound despair: "Alas! one would fancy, under these
circumstances, that an inexorable fatality pursues all those who are
worthy of interest, affection or respect.  Oh, my God!" added the young
priest, clasping his hands with fervor, "Thy sovereign justice will never
permit the triumph of such iniquity."

It was as if heaven had listened to the prayer of the missionary.  Hardly
had he spoken, when a strange event took place.

Without waiting for the end of Gabriel's invocation, Rodin, profiting by
the decision of the notary, had seized the casket in his arms, unable to
repress a deep aspiration of joy and triumph.  At the very moment when
Father d'Aigrigny and his socius thought themselves at last in safe
possession of the treasure, the door of the apartment in which the clock
had been heard striking was suddenly opened.

A woman appeared upon the threshold.

At sight of her, Gabriel uttered a loud cry, and remained as if
thunderstruck.  Samuel and Bathsheba fell on their knees together, and
raised their clasped hands.  The Jew and Jewess felt inexplicable hopes
reviving within them.

All the other actors in this scene appeared struck with stupor.  Rodin--
Rodin himself--recoiled two steps, and replaced the casket on the table
with a trembling hand.  Though the incident might appear natural enough--
a woman appearing on the threshold of a door, which she had just thrown
open--there was a pause of deep and solemn silence.  Every bosom seemed
oppressed, and as if struggling for breath.  All experienced, at sight of
this woman, surprise mingled with fear, and indefinable anxiety--for this
woman was the living original of the portrait, which had been placed in
the room a hundred and fifty years ago.  The same head-dress, the same
flowing robe, the same countenance, so full of poignant and resigned
grief!  She advanced slowly, and without appearing to perceive the deep
impression she had caused.  She approached one of the pieces of
furniture, inlaid with brass, touched a spring concealed in the moulding
of gilded bronze, so that an upper drawer flew open, and taking from it a
sealed parchment envelope, she walked up to the table, and placed this
packet before the notary, who, hitherto silent and motionless, received
it mechanically from her.

Then, casting upon Gabriel, who seemed fascinated by her presence, a
long, mild, melancholy look, this woman directed her steps towards the
hall, the door of which had remained open.  As she passed near Samuel and
Bathsheba, who were still kneeling, she stopped an instant, bowed her
fair head towards them, and looked at them with tender solicitude.  Then,
giving them her hands to kiss, she glided away as slowly as she had
entered--throwing a last glance upon Gabriel.  The departure of this
woman seemed to break the spell under which all present had remained for
the last few minutes.  Gabriel was the first to speak, exclaiming, in an
agitated voice.  "It is she--again--here--in this house!"

"Who, brother?" said Agricola, uneasy at the pale and almost wild looks
of the missionary; for the smith had not yet remarked the strange
resemblance of the woman to the portrait, though he shared in the general
feeling of amazement, without being able to explain it to himself.
Dagobert and Faringhea were in a similar state of mind.

"Who is this woman?" resumed Agricola, as he took the hand of Gabriel,
which felt damp and icy cold.

"Look!" said the young priest.  "Those portraits have been there for more
than a century and a half."

He pointed to the paintings before which he was now seated, and Agricola,
Dagobert, and Faringhea raised their eyes to either side of the
fireplace.  Three exclamations were now heard at once.

"It is she--it is the same woman!" cried the smith, in amazement, "and
her portrait has been here for a hundred and fifty years!"

"What do I see?" cried Dagobert, as he gazed at the portrait of the man.
"The friend and emissary of Marshal Simon.  Yes! it is the same face that
I saw last year in Siberia.  Oh, yes! I recognize that wild and sorrowful
air--those black eyebrows, which make only one!"

"My eyes do not deceive me," muttered Faringhea to himself, shuddering
with horror.  "It is the same man, with the black mark on his forehead,
that we strangled and buried on the banks of the Ganges--the same man,
that one of the sons of Bowanee told me, in the ruins of Tchandi, had
been met by him afterwards at one of the gates of Bombay--the man of the
fatal curse, who scatters death upon his passage--and his picture has
existed for a hundred and fifty years!"

And, like Dagobert and Agricola, the stranger could not withdraw his eyes
from that strange portrait.

"What a mysterious resemblance!" thought Father d'Aigrigny.  Then, as if
struck with a sudden idea, he said to Gabriel: "But this woman is the
same that saved your life in America?"

"It is the same," answered Gabriel, with emotion; "and yet she told me
she was going towards the North," added the young priest, speaking to

"But how came she in this house?" said Father d'Aigrigny, addressing
Samuel.  "Answer me! did this woman come in with you, or before you?"

"I came in first, and alone, when this door was first opened since a
century and half," said Samuel, gravely.

"Then how can you explain the presence of this woman here?" said Father

"I do not try to explain it," said the Jew.  "I see, I believe, and now I
hope." added he, looking at Bathsheba with an indefinable expression.

"But you ought to explain the presence of this woman!" said Father
d'Aigrigny, with vague uneasiness.  "Who is she?  How came she hither?"

"All I know is, sir, that my father has often told me; there are
subterraneous communications between this house and distant parts of the

"Oh! then nothing can be clearer," said Father d'Aigrigny; "it only
remains to be known what this woman intends by coming hither.  As for her
singular resemblance to this portrait, it is one of the freaks of

Rodin had shared in the general emotion, at the apparition of this
mysterious woman.  But when he saw that she had delivered a sealed packet
to the notary, the socius, instead of thinking of the strangeness of this
unexpected vision, was only occupied with a violent desire to quit the
house with the treasure which had just fallen to the Company.  He felt a
vague anxiety at sight of the envelope with the black seal, which the
protectress of Gabriel had delivered to the notary, and was still held
mechanically in his hands.  The socius, therefore, judging this a very
good opportunity to walk off with the casket, during the general silence

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