List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V1, by Eugene Sue
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"Thank you, sir."

The German shook cordially the hand, which Dagobert had proffered, and,
holding it still in his own, he added: "Do one thing, sir--share a bowl
of punch with us.  We will make that mischief-making Prophet acknowledge
that he has been too touchy, and he shall drink to your health."

Up to this moment the brute-tamer, enraged at the issue of this scene,
for he had hoped that the soldier would accept his challenge, looked on
with savage contempt at those who had thus sided against him.  But now
his features gradually relaxed; and, believing it useful to his projects
to hide his disappointment, he walked up to the soldier, and said to him,
with a tolerably good grace: "Well, I give way to these gentlemen.  I own
I was wrong.  Your frigid air had wounded me, and I was not master of
myself.  I repeat, that I was wrong," he added, with suppressed vexation;
"the Lord commands humility--and--I beg your pardon."

This proof of moderation and regret was highly appreciated and loudly
applauded by the spectators.  "He asks your pardon; you cannot expect
more, my brave fellow?" said one of them, addressing Dagobert.  "Come,
let us all drink together; we make you this offer frankly--accept it in
the same spirit."

"Yes, yes; accept it, we beg you, in the name of your pretty little
girls," said the stout man, hoping to decide Dagobert by this argument.

"Many thanks, gentlemen," replied he, touched by the hearty advances of
the Germans; "you are very worthy people.  But, when one is treated, he
must offer drink in return."

"Well, we will accept it--that's understood.  Each his turn, and all
fair.  We will pay for the first bowl, you for the second."

"Poverty is no crime," answered Dagobert; "and I must tell you honestly
that I cannot afford to pay for drink.  We have still a long journey to
go, and I must not incur any useless expenses."

The soldier spoke these words with such firm, but simple dignity, that
the Germans did not venture to renew their offer, feeling that a man of
Dagobert's character could not accept it without humiliation.

"Well, so much the worse," said the stout man.  "I should have liked to
clink glasses with you.  Good-night, my brave trooper!--Good-night--for
it grows late, and mine host of the Falcon will soon turn us out of

"Good-night, gentlemen," replied Dagobert, as he directed his steps
towards the stable, to give his horse a second allowance of provender.

Morok approached him, and said in a voice even more humble than before:
"I have acknowledged my error, and asked your pardon.  You have not
answered me; do you still bear malice?"

"If ever I meet you," said the veteran, in a suppressed and hollow tone,
"when my children have no longer need of me, I will just say two words to
you, and they will not be long ones."

Then he turned his back abruptly on the Prophet, who walked slowly out of
the yard.

The inn of the White Falcon formed a parallelogram.  At one end rose the
principal dwelling; at the other was a range of buildings, which
contained sundry chambers, let at a low price to the poorer sort of
travellers; a vaulted passage opened a way through this latter into the
country; finally, on either side of the court-yard were sheds and
stables, with lofts and garrets erected over them.

Dagobert, entering one of these stables, took from off a chest the
portion of oats destined for his horse, and, pouring it into a winnowing-
basket, shook it as he approached Jovial.

To his great astonishment, his old travelling companion did not respond
with a joyous neigh to the rustle of the oats rattling on the wicker-
work.  Alarmed, he called Jovial with a friendly voice; but the animal,
instead of turning towards his master a look of intelligence, and
impatiently striking the ground with his fore-feet, remained perfectly

More and more surprised, the soldier went up to him.  By the dubious
light of a stable-lantern, he saw the poor animal in an attitude which
implied terror--his legs half bent, his head stretched forward, his ears
down, his nostrils quivering; he had drawn tight his halter, as if he
wished to break it, in order to get away from the partition that
supported his rack and manger; abundant cold-sweat had speckled his hide
with bluish stains, and his coat altogether looked dull and bristling,
instead of standing out sleek and glossy from the dark background of the
stable; lastly, from time to time, his body shook with convulsive starts.

"Why, old Jovial!" said the soldier, as he put down the basket, in order
to soothe his horse with more freedom, "you are like thy master--afraid!
--Yes," he added with bitterness, as he thought of the offence he had
himself endured, "you are afraid--though no coward in general."

Notwithstanding the caresses and the voice of his master, the horse
continued to give signs of terror; he pulled somewhat less violently at
his halter, and approaching his nostrils to the hand of Dagobert, sniffed
audibly, as if he doubted it were he.

"You don't know me!" cried Dagobert.  "Something extraordinary must be
passing here."

The soldier looked around him with uneasiness.  It was a large stable,
faintly lighted by the lantern suspended from the roof, which was covered
with innumerable cobwebs; at the further end, separated from Jovial by
some stalls with bars between, were the three strong, black, horses of
the brute-tamer--as tranquil as Jovial was frightened.

Dagobert, struck with this singular contrast, of which he was soon to
have the explanation, again caressed his horse; and the animal, gradually
reassured by his master's presence, licked his hands, rubbed his head
against him, uttered a low neigh, and gave him his usual tokens of

"Come, come, this is how I like to see my old Jovial!" said Dagobert, as
he took up the winnowing-basket, and poured its contents into the manger.
"Now eat with a good appetite, for we have a long day's march tomorrow;
and, above all, no more of these foolish fears about nothing!  If thy
comrade, Spoil-sport, was here, he would keep you in heart; but he is
along with the children, and takes care of them in my absence.  Come,
eat!  Instead of staring at me in that way."

But the horse, having just touched the oats with his mouth, as if in
obedience to his master, returned to them no more, and began to nibble at
the sleeve of Dagobert's coat.

"Come, come, my poor Jovial! there is something the matter with you.  You
have generally such a good appetite, and now you leave your corn.  'Tis
the first time this has happened since our departure," said the soldier,
who was now growing seriously uneasy, for the issue of his journey
greatly depended on the health and vigor of his horse.

Just then a frightful roaring, so near that it seemed to come from the
stable in which they were, gave so violent a shock to Jovial, that with
one effort he broke his halter, leaped over the bar that marked his
place, and rushing at the open door, escaped into the court-yard.

Dagobert had himself started at the suddenness of this wild and fearful
sound, which at once explained to him the cause of his horse's terror.
The adjoining stable was occupied by the itinerant menagerie of the
brute-tamer, and was only separated by the partition, which supported the
mangers.  The three horses of the Prophet, accustomed to these howlings,
had remained perfectly quiet.

"Good!" said the soldier, recovering himself; "I understand it now.
Jovial has heard another such roar before, and he can scent the animals
of that insolent scoundrel.  It is enough to frighten him," added he, as
he carefully collected the oats from the manger; "once in another stable,
and there must be others in this place, he will no longer leave his peck,
and we shall be able to start early to-morrow morning!"

The terrified horse, after running and galloping about the yard, returned
at the voice of the soldier, who easily caught him by the broken halter;
and a hostler, whom Dagobert asked if there was another vacant stable,
having pointed out one that was only intended for a single animal, Jovial
was comfortably installed there.

When delivered from his ferocious neighbors, the horse became tranquil as
before, and even amused himself much at the expense of Dagobert's top-
coat, which, thanks to his tricks, might have afforded immediate
occupation for his master's needle, if the latter had not been fully
engaged in admiring the eagerness with which Jovial dispatched his
provender.  Completely reassured on his account, the soldier shut the
door of the stable, and proceeded to get his supper as quickly as
possible, in order to rejoin the orphans, whom he reproached himself with
having left so long.



The orphans occupied a dilapidated chamber in one of the most remote
wings of the inn, with a single window opening upon the country.  A bed
without curtains, a table, and two chairs, composed the more than modest
furniture of this retreat, which was now lighted by a lamp.  On the
table, which stood near the window, was deposited the knapsack of the

The great Siberian dog, who was lying close to the door, had already
twice uttered a deep growl, and turned his head towards the window--but
without giving any further affect to this hostile manifestation.

The two sisters, half recumbent in their bed, were clad in long white
wrappers, buttoned at the neck and wrists.  They wore no caps, but their
beautiful chestnut hair was confined at the temples by a broad piece of
tape, so that it might not get tangled during the night.  These white
garments, and the white fillet that like a halo encircled their brows,
gave to their fresh and blooming faces a still more candid expression.

The orphans laughed and chatted, for, in spite of some early sorrows,
they still retained the ingenuous gayety of their age.  The remembrance
of their mother would sometimes make them sad, but this sorrow had in it
nothing bitter; it was rather a sweet melancholy, to be sought instead of
shunned.  For them, this adored mother was not dead--she was only absent.

Almost as ignorant as Dagobert, with regard to devotional exercises, for
in the desert where they had lived there was neither church nor priest,
their faith, as was already said, consisted in this--that God, just and
good, had so much pity for the poor mothers whose children were left on
earth, that he allowed them to look down upon them from highest heaven--
to see them always, to hear them always, and sometimes to send fair
guardian angels to protect therein.  Thanks to this guileless illusion,
the orphans, persuaded that their mother incessantly watched over them,
felt, that to do wrong would be to afflict her, and to forfeit the
protection of the good angels.--This was the entire theology of Rose and
Blanche--a creed sufficient for such pure and loving souls.

Now, on the evening in question, the two sisters chatted together whilst
waiting for Dagobert.  Their theme interested them much, for, since some
days, they had a secret, a great secret, which often quickened the
beatings of their innocent hearts, often agitated their budding bosoms,
changed to bright scarlet the roses on their cheeks, and infused a
restless and dreamy langour into the soft blue of their large eyes.

Rose, this evening, occupied the edge of the couch, with her rounded arms
crossed behind her head, which was half turned towards her sister;
Blanche, with her elbow resting on the bolster, looked at her smilingly,
and said:  "Do you think he will come again to-night?"

"Oh, yes! certainly.  He promised us yesterday."

"He is so good, he would not break his promise."

"And so handsome, with his long fair curls."

"And his name--what a charming name!--How well it suits his face."

"And what a sweet smile and soft voice, when he says to us, taking us by
the hand: 'My children, bless God that he has given you one soul.  What
others seek elsewhere, you will find in yourselves.'"

"'Since your two hearts,' he added, 'only make one.'"

"What pleasure to remember his words, sister!"

"We are so attentive!  When I see you listening to him, it is as if I saw
myself, my dear little mirror!"  said Rose, laughing, and kissing her
sister's forehead.  "Well--when he speaks, your--or rather our eyes--are
wide, wide open, our lips moving as if we repeated every word after him.
It is no wonder we forget nothing that he says."

"And what he says is so grand, so noble, and generous."

"Then, my sister, as he goes on talking, what good thoughts rise within
us!  If we could but always keep them in mind."

"Do not be afraid! they will remain in our hearts, like little birds in
their mother's nests."

"And how lucky it is, Rose, that he loves us both at the same time!"

"He could not do otherwise, since we have but one heart between us."

"How could he love Rose, without loving Blanche?"

"What would have become of the poor, neglected one?"

"And then again he would have found it so difficult to choose."

"We are so much like one another."

"So, to save himself that trouble," said Rose, laughing, "he has chosen
us both."

"And is it not the best way?  He is alone to love us; we are two together
to think of him."

"Only he must not leave us till we reach Paris."

"And in Paris, too--we must see him there also."

"Oh, above all at Paris; it will be good to have him with us--and
Dagobert, too--in that great city.  Only think, Blanche, how beautiful it
must be."

"Paris!--it must be like a city all of gold."

"A city, where every one must be happy, since it is so beautiful."

"But ought we, poor orphans, dare so much as to enter it?  How people
will look at us!"

"Yes--but every one there is happy, every one must be good also."

"They will love us."

"And, besides, we shall be with our friend with the fair hair and blue

"He has yet told us nothing of Paris."

"He has not thought of it; we must speak to him about it this very

"If he is in the mood for talking.  Often you know, he likes best to gaze
on us in silence--his eyes on our eyes."

"Yes.  In those moments, his look recalls to me the gaze of our dear

"And, as she sees it all, how pleased she must be at what has happened to

"Because, when we are so much beloved, we must, I hope, deserve it."

"See what a vain thing it is!" said Blanche, smoothing with her slender
fingers the parting of the hair on her sister's forehead.

After a moment's reflection, Rose said to her: "Don't you think we should
relate all this to Dagobert?"

"If you think so, let us do it."

"We tell him everything, as we told everything to mother.  Why should we
conceal this from him?"

"Especially as it is something which gives us so much pleasure."

"Do you not find that, since we have known our friend, our hearts beat
quicker and stronger?"

"Yes, they seem to be more full."

"The reason why is plain enough; our friend fills up a good space in

"Well, we will do best to tell Dagobert what a lucky star ours is."

"You are right--"  At this moment the dog gave another deep growl.

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