List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V5, by Eugene Sue
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So saying, Faringhea drew from his pocket the medal belonging to Djalma,
and observed, as he showed it to Rodin: "You see that I tell you the
truth.  During Djalma's sleep, took from him this medal, the only
indication he has of the place where he ought to be to-morrow.  I finish,
then as I began: Brother, I have come to ask you for a great deal."

For some minutes, Rodin had been biting his nails to the quick, as was
his custom when seized with a fit of dumb and concentrated rage.  Just
then, the bell of the porter's lodge rang three times in a particular
manner.  Rodin did not appear to notice it, and yet a sudden light
sparkled in his small reptile eyes; while Faringhea, with his arms
folded, looked at him with an expression of triumph and disdainful
superiority.  The socius bent down his head, remained silent for some
seconds, took mechanically a pen from his desk, and began to gnaw the
feather, as if in deep reflection upon what Faringhea had just said.
Then, throwing down the pen upon the desk, he turned suddenly towards the
half-caste, and addressed him with an air of profound contempt "Now,
really, M. Faringhea--do you think to make game of us with your cock-and-
bull stories?"

Amazed, in spite of his audacity, the half-caste recoiled a step.

"What, sir!" resumed Rodin.  "You come here into a respectable house, to
boast that you have stolen letters, strangled this man, drugged that
other?--Why, sir, it is downright madness.  I wished to hear you to the
end, to see to what extent you would carry your audacity--for none but a
monstrous rascal would venture to plume himself on such infamous crimes.
But I prefer believing, that they exist only in your imagination."

As he barked out these words, with a degree of animation not usual in
him, Rodin rose from his seat, and approached the chimney, while
Faringhea, who had not yet recovered from his surprise, looked at him in
silence.  In a few seconds, however, the half-caste returned, with a
gloomy and savage mien: "Take care, brother; do not force me to prove to
you that I have told the truth."

"Come, come, sir; you must be fresh from the Antipodes, to believe us
Frenchmen such easy dupes.  You have, you say, the prudence of a serpent,
and the courage of a lion.  I do not know if you are a courageous lion,
but you are certainly not a prudent serpent.  What! you have about you a
letter from M. Van Dael, by which I might be compromised--supposing all
this not to be a fable--you have left Prince Djalma in a stupor, which
would serve my projects, and from which you alone can rouse him--you are
able, you say, to strike a terrible blow at my interests--and yet you do
not consider (bold lion! crafty serpent as you are!) that I only want to
gain twenty-four hours upon you.  Now, you come from the end of India to
Paris, an unknown stranger--you believe me to be as great a scoundrel as
yourself,--since you call me brother--and do not once consider, that you
are here in my power--that this street and house are solitary, and that I
could have three or four persons to bind you in a second, savage
Strangler though you are!--and that just by pulling this bell-rope," said
Rodin, as he took it in his hand.  "Do not be alarmed," added he, with a
diabolical smile, as he saw Faringhea make an abrupt movement of surprise
and fright; "would I give you notice, if I meant to act in this manner?--
But just answer me.  Once bound and put in confinement for twenty-four
hours, how could you injure me?  Would it not be easy for me to possess
myself of Van Dael's letter, and Djalma's medal? and the latter, plunged
in a stupor till to-morrow evening, need not trouble me at all.  You see,
therefore, that your threats are vain) because they rest upon falsehood--
because it is not true, that Prince Djalma is here and in your power.
Begone, sir--leave the house; and when next you wish to make dupes, show
more judgment in the selection."

Faringhea seemed struck with astonishment.  All that he had just heard
seemed very probable.  Rodin might seize upon him, the letter, and the
medal, and, by keeping him prisoner, prevent Djalma from being awakened.
And yet Rodin ordered him to leave the house, at the moment when
Faringhea had imagined himself so formidable.  As he thought for the
motives of this inexplicable conduct, it struck him that Rodin,
notwithstanding the proofs he had brought him, did not yet believe that
Djalma was in his power.  On that theory, the contempt of Van Dael's
correspondent admitted of a natural explanation.  But Rodin was playing a
bold and skillful game; and, while he appeared to mutter to himself, as
in anger, he was observing, with intense anxiety, the Strangler's

The latter, almost certain that he had divined the secret motive of
Rodin, replied: "I am going--but one word more.  You think I deceive

"I am certain of it.  You have told me nothing but a tissue of fables,
and I have lost much time in listening to them.  Spare me the rest; it is
late--and I should like to be alone."

"One minute more: you are a man, I see, from whom nothing should be hid,"
said Faringhea, "from Djalma, I could now only expect alms and disdain--
for, with a character like this, to say to him, `Pay me, because I might
have betrayed you and did not,' would be to provoke his anger and
contempt.  I could have killed him twenty times over, but his day is not
yet come," said the Thug, with a gloomy air; "and to wait for that and
other fatal days, I must have gold, much gold.  You alone can pay me for
the betrayal of Djalma, for you alone profit by it.  You refuse to hear
me, because you think I am deceiving you.  But I took the direction of
the inn where we stopped--and here it is.  Send some one to ascertain the
truth of what I tell you, and then you will believe me.  But the price of
my services will be high; for I told you that I wanted much."

So saying, Faringhea offered a printed card to Rodin: the socius, who,
out of the corner of his eye, followed all the half-caste's movements,
appeared to be absorbed in thought, and taking no heed of anything.

"Here is the address,' repeated Faringhea, as he held out the card to
Rodin; "assure yourself that I do not lie."

"Eh? what is it?" said the other, casting a rapid but stolen glance at
the address, which he read greedily, without touching the card.

"Take this address," repeated the half-caste, "and you may then assure

"Really, sir," cried Rodin, pushing back the card with his hand, "your
impudence confounds me.  I repeat that I wish to have nothing in common
with you.  For the last time, I tell you to leave the house.  I know
nothing about your Prince Djalma.  You say you can injure me--do so--make
no ceremonies--but, in heaven's name, leave me to myself."

So saying, Rodin rang the bell violently.  Faringhea made a movement as
if to stand upon the defensive; but only the old servant, with his quiet
and placid mien, appeared at the door.

"Lapierre, light the gentleman out," said Rodin, pointing to Faringhea.

Terrified at Rodin's calmness, the half-caste hesitated to leave the

"Why do you wait, sir?" said Rodin, remarking his hesitation.  "I wish to
be alone."

"So, sir," said Faringhea, as he withdrew, slowly, "you refuse my offers?
Take care! to-morrow it will be too late."

"I have the honor to be your most humble servant, sir," said Rodin,
bowing courteously.  The Strangler went out, and the door closed upon

Immediately, Father d'Aigrigny entered from the next room.  His
countenance was pale and agitated.

"What have you done?" exclaimed he addressing Rodin.

"I have heard all.  I am unfortunately too sure that this wretch spoke
the truth.  The Indian is in his power, and he goes to rejoin him."

"I think not," said Rodin, humbly, as bowing, he reassumed his dull and
submissive countenance.

"What will prevent this man from rejoining the prince?"

"Allow me.  As soon as the rascal was shown in, I knew him; and so,
before speaking a word to him, I wrote a few lines to Morok, who was
waiting below with Goliath till your reverence should be at leisure.
Afterwards, in the course of the conversation, when they brought me
Morok's answer, I added some fresh instructions, seeing the turn that
affairs were taking."

"And what was the use of all this, since you have let the man leave the

"Your reverence will perhaps deign to observe that he did not leave it;
till he had given me the direction of the hotel where the Indian now is,
thanks to my innocent stratagem of appearing to despise him.  But, if it
had failed, Faringhea would still have fallen into the hands of Goliath
and Morok, who are waiting for him in the street, a few steps from the
door.  Only we should have been rather embarrassed, as we should not have
known where to find Prince Djalma."

"More violence!" said Father d'Aigrigny, with repugnance.

"It is to be regretted, very much regretted," replied Rodin; "but it was
necessary to follow out the system already adopted."

"Is that meant for a reproach?" said Father d'Aigrigny, who began to
think that Rodin was something more than a mere writing-machine.

"I could not permit myself to blame your reverence," said Rodin, cringing
almost to the ground.  "But all that will be required is to confine this
man for twenty-four hours."

"And afterwards--his complaints?"

"Such a scoundrel as he is will not dare to complain.  Besides, he left
this house in freedom.  Morok and Goliath will bandage his eyes when they
seize him.  The house has another entrance in the Rue Vieille-des-Ursins.
At this hour, and in such a storm, no one will be passing through this
deserted quarter of the town.  The knave will be confused by the change
of place; they will put him into a cellar, of the new building, and to-
morrow night, about the same hour, they will restore him to liberty with
the like precautions.  As for the East Indian, we now know where to find
him; we must send to him a confidential person, and, if he recovers from
his trance, there would be, in my humble opinion," said Rodin, modestly,
"a very simple and quiet manner of keeping him away from the Rue Saint-
Francois all day to-morrow."

The same servant with the mild countenance, who had introduced and shown
out Faringhea, here entered the room, after knocking discreetly at the
door.  He held in his hand a sort of game-bag, which he gave to Rodin,
saying: "Here is what M. Morok has just brought; he came in by the Rue

The servant withdrew, and Rodin, opening the bag, said to Father
d'Aigrigny, as he showed him the contents: "The medal, and Van Dael's
letter.  Morok has been quick at his work."

"One more danger avoided," said the marquis; "it is a pity to be forced
to such measures."

"We must only blame the rascal who has obliged us to have recourse to
them.  I will send instantly to the hotel where the Indian lodges."

"And, at seven in the morning, you will conduct Gabriel to the Rue Saint-
Francois.  It is there that I must have with him the interview which he
has so earnestly demanded these three days."

"I informed him of it this evening, and he awaits your orders."

"At last, then," said Father d'Aigrigny, "after so many struggles, and
fears, and crosses, only a few hours separate us from the moment which we
have so long desired."

We now conduct the reader to the house in the Rue Saint-Francois.

[13] The doctrine of passive and absolute obedience, the principal tool
in the hands of the Jesuits, as summed up in these terrible words of the
dying Loyola--that every member of the order should be in the hands of
his superiors as a dead body--'perinde ad cadaver'.



On entering the Rue Saint-Gervais, by the Rue Dore (in the Marais), you
would have found yourself, at the epoch of this narrative, directly
opposite to an enormously high wall, the stones of which were black and
worm-eaten with age.  This wall, which extended nearly the whole length
of that solitary street, served to support a terrace shaded by trees of
some hundred years old, which thus grew about forty feet above the
causeway.  Through their thick branches appeared the stone front, peaked
roof and tall brick chimneys of an antique house, the entrance of which
was situated in the Rue Saint-Francois, not far from the Rue Saint-
Gervais corner.  Nothing could be more gloomy than the exterior of this
abode.  On the entrance-side also was a very high wall, pierced with two
or three loop-holes, strongly grated.  A carriage gateway in massive oak,
barred with iron, and studded with large nail-heads, whose primitive
color disappeared beneath a thick layer of mud, dust, and rust, fitted
close into the arch of a deep recess, forming the swell of a bay window
above.  In one of these massive gates was a smaller door, which served
for ingress and egress to Samuel the Jew, the guardian of this dreary
abode.  On passing the threshold, you came to a passage, formed in the
building which faced in the street.  In this building was the lodging of
Samuel, with its windows opening upon the rather spacious inner court-
yard, through the railing of which you perceived the garden.  In the
middle of this garden stood a two-storied stone house, so strangely
built, that you had to mount a flight of steps, or rather a double-flight
of at least twenty steps, to reach the door, which had been walled up a
hundred and fifty years before.  The window-blinds of this habitation had
been replaced by large thick plates of lead, hermetically soldered and
kept in by frames of iron clamped in the stone.  Moreover, completely to
intercept air and light, and thus to guard against decay within and
without, the roof had been covered with thick sheets of lead, as well as
the vents of the tall chimneys, which had previously been bricked up.
The same precautions had been taken with respect to a small square
belvedere, situated on the top of the house; this glass cage was covered
with a sort of dome, soldered to the roof.  Only, in consequence of some
singular fancy, in every one of the leaden plates, which concealed the
four sides of the belvedere, corresponding to the cardinal points, seven
little round holes had been bored in the form of a cross, and were easily
distinguishable from the outside.  Everywhere else the plates of lead
were completely unpierced.  Thanks to these precautions, and to the
substantial structure of the building, nothing but a few outward repairs
had been necessary; and the apartments, entirely removed from the
influence of the external air, no doubt remained, during a century and a
half, exactly in the same state as at the time of their being shut up.
The aspect of walls in crevices, of broken, worm-eaten shutters, of a
roof half fallen in, and windows covered with wall-flowers, would perhaps
have been less sad than the appearance of this stone house, plated with
iron and lead, and preserved like a mausoleum.  The garden, completely
deserted, and only regularly visited once a week by Samuel, presented to

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