List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V6, by Eugene Sue
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it only requires some embellishments, that could be completed in twenty-
four hours, to make it a delightful residence.  Yes, that will be a
thousand times preferable," added Mdlle. de Cardoville, after a new
interval of silence; "and I shall thus be able to preserve the strictest

"What!" cried Rodin, whose projects would be much impeded by this new
resolution of the young lady; "you do not wish him to know who you are?"

"I wish Prince Djalma to know absolutely nothing of the anonymous friend
who comes to his aid; I desire that my name should not be pronounced
before him, and that he should not even know of my existence--at least,
for the present.  Hereafter--in a month, perhaps--I will see;
circumstances will guide me."

"But this incognito," said Rodin, hiding his disappointment, "will be
difficult to preserve."

"If the prince had inhabited the lodge, I agree with you; the
neighborhood of my aunt would have enlightened him, and this fear is one
of the reasons that have induced me to renounce my first project.  But
the prince will inhabit a distant quarter--the Rue Blanche.  Who will
inform him of my secret?  One of my old friends, M. Norval--you, sir--and
this dear girl," pointing to Mother Bunch, "on whose discretion I can
depend as on your own, will be my only confidants.  My secret will then
be quite safe.  Besides, we will talk further on this subject to-morrow.
You must begin by discovering the retreat of this unfortunate young

Rodin, though much vexed at Adrienne's subtle determination with regard
to Djalma, put the best face on the matter, and replied: "Your intentions
shall be scrupulously fulfilled, my dear young lady; and to-morrow, with
your leave, I hope to give you a good account of what you are pleased to
call my providential mission."

"To-morrow, then, I shall expect you with impatience," said Adrienne, to
Rodin, affectionately.  "Permit me always to rely upon you, as from this
day you may count upon me.  You must be indulgent with me, sir; for I see
that I shall yet have many counsels, many services to ask of you--though
I already owe you so much."

"You will never owe me enough, my dear young lady, never enough," said
Rodin, as he moved discreetly towards the door, after bowing to Adrienne.
At the very moment he was going out, he found himself face to face with

"Holloa! at last I have caught one!" shouted the soldier, as he seized
the Jesuit by the collar with a vigorous hand.



On seeing Dagobert grasp Rodin so roughly by the collar, Mdlle. de
Cardoville exclaimed in terror, as she advanced several steps towards the
soldier: "In the name of Heaven, sir! what are you doing?"

"What am I doing?" echoed the soldier, harshly, without relaxing his hold
on Rodin, and turning his head towards Adrienne, whom he did not know;
"I take this opportunity to squeeze the throat of one of the wretches in
the band of that renegade, until he tells me where my poor children are."

"You strangle me," said the Jesuit, in a stifled voice, as he tried to
escape from the soldier.

"Where are the orphans, since they are not here, and the convent door has
been closed against me?" cried Dagobert, in a voice of thunder.

"Help! help!" gasped Rodin.

"Oh! it is dreadful!" said Adrienne, as, pale and trembling, she held up
her clasped hands to Dagobert.  "Have mercy, sir! listen to me! listen to

"M. Dagobert!" cried Mother Bunch, seizing with her weak hands the
soldier's arm, and showing him Adrienne, "this is Mdlle. de Cardoville.
What violence in her presence! and then, you are deceived doubtless!"

At the name of Mdlle. de Cardoville, the benefactress of his son, the
soldier turned round suddenly, and loosened his hold on Rodin.  The
latter, crimson with rage and suffocation, set about adjusting his collar
and his cravat.

"I beg your pardon, madame," said Dagobert, going towards Adrienne, who
was still pale with fright; "I did not known who you were, and the first
impulse of anger quite carried me away."

"But what has this gentleman done to you?" said Adrienne.  "If you had
listened to me, you would have learned "

"Excuse me if I interrupt you, madame," said the soldier to Adrienne, in
a hollow voice.  Then addressing himself to Rodin, who had recovered his
coolness, he added: "Thank the lady, and begone!--If you remain here, I
will not answer for myself."

"One word only, my dear sir," said Rodin.

"I tell you that if you remain, I will not answer for myself!" cried
Dagobert, stamping his foot.

"But, for heaven's sake, tell me the cause of this anger," resumed
Adrienne; "above all, do not trust to appearances.  Calm yourself, and

"Calm myself, madame!" cried Dagobert, in despair; "I can think only of
one thing, ma dame--of the arrival of Marshal Simon--he will be in Paris
to-day or to-morrow."

"Is it possible?" said Adrienne.  Rodin started with surprise and joy.

"Yesterday evening," proceeded Dagobert, "I received a letter from the
marshal: he has landed at Havre.  For three days I have taken step after
step, hoping that the orphans would be restored to me, as the
machinations of those wretches have failed."  He pointed to Rodin with a
new gesture of impatience.  "Well! it is not so.  They are conspiring
some new infamy.  I am prepared for anything."

"But, sir," said Rodin advancing, "permit me--"

"Begone!" cried Dagobert, whose irritation and anxiety redoubled, as he
thought how at any moment Marshal Simon might arrive in Paris.  "Begone!
Were it not for this lady, I would at least be revenged on some one."

Rodin made a nod of intelligence to Adrienne, whom he approached
prudently, and, pointing to Dagobert with a gesture of affectionate
commiseration, he said to the latter:  "I will leave you, sir, and the
more willingly, as I was about to withdraw when you entered."  Then,
coming still closer to Mdlle. de Cardoville, the Jesuit whispered to her,
"Poor soldier! he is beside himself with grief, and would be incapable of
hearing me.  Explain it all to him, my dear young lady; he will be nicely
caught," added he, with a cunning air.  "But in the meantime," resumed
Rodin, feeling in the side-pocket of his great-coat and taking out a
small parcel, "let me beg you to give him this, my dear young lady.  It
is my revenge, and a very good one."

And while Adrienne, holding the little parcel in her hand looked at the
Jesuit with astonishment, the latter laying his forefinger upon his lip,
as if recommending silence, drew backward on tiptoe to the door, and went
out after again pointing to Dagobert with a gesture of pity; while the
soldier, in sullen dejection, with his head drooping, and his arms
crossed upon his bosom, remained deaf to the sewing-girl's earnest
consolations.  When Rodin had left the room, Adrienne, approaching the
soldier, said to him, in her mild voice, with an expression of deep
interest, "Your sudden entry prevented my asking you a question that
greatly concerns me.  How is your wound?"

"Thank you, madame," said Dagobert, starting from his painful lethargy,
"it is of no consequence, but I have not time to think of it.  I am sorry
to have been so rough in your presence, and to have driven away that
wretch; but 'tis more than I could master.  At sight of those people, my
blood is all up."

"And yet, believe me, you have been too hasty in your judgment.  The
person who was just now here--"

"Too hasty, madame!  I do not see him to-day for the first time.  He was
with that renegade the Abbe d'Aigrigny--"

"No doubt!--and yet he is an honest and excellent man."

"He!" cried Dagobert.

"Yes; for at this moment he is busy about only one thing restoring to you
those dear children!"

"He!" repeated Dagobert, as if he could not believe what he heard.  "He
restore me my children?"

"Yes; and sooner, perhaps, than you think for."

"Madame," said Dagobert, abruptly, "he deceives you.  You are the dupe of
that old rascal."

"No," said Adrienne, shaking her head, with a smile.  "I have proofs of
his good faith.  First of all, it is he who delivers me from this house."

"Is it true?" said Dagobert, quite confounded.

"Very true; and here is, perhaps, something that will reconcile you to
him," said Adrienne, as she delivered the small parcel which Rodin had
given her as he went out.  "Not wishing to exasperate you by his
presence, he said to me: `Give this to that brave soldier; it is my

Dagobert looked at Mdlle. de Cardoville with surprise, as he mechanically
opened the little parcel.  When he had unfolded it, and discovered his
own silver cross, black with age, and the old red, faded ribbon,
treasures taken from him at the White Falcon Inn, at the same time as his
papers, he exclaimed in a broken voice: "My cross! my cross!  It is my
cross!"  In the excitement of his joy, he pressed the silver star to his
gray moustache.

Adrienne and the other were deeply affected by the emotion of the old
soldier, who continued, as he ran towards the door by which Rodin had
gone out: "Next to a service rendered to Marshal Simon, my wife, or son,
nothing could be more precious to me.  And you answer for this worthy
man, madame, and I have ill used him in your presence!  Oh! he is
entitled to reparation, and he shall have it."

So saying, Dagobert left the room precipitately, hastened through two
other apartments, gained the staircase, and descending it rapidly,
overtook Rodin on the lowest step.

"Sir," said the soldier to him, in an agitated voice, as he seized him by
the arm, "you must come upstairs directly."

"You should make up your mind to one thing or the other, my dear sir,"
said Rodin, stopping good-naturedly; "one moment you tell me to begone,
and the next to return.  How are we to decide?"

"Just now, sir, I was wrong; and when I am wrong, I acknowledge it.  I
abused and ill-treated you before witnesses; I will make you my apologies
before witnesses."

"But, my dear sir--I am much obliged to you--I am in a hurry."

"I cannot help your being in a hurry.  I tell you, I must have you come
upstairs, directly--or else--or else," resumed Dagobert, taking the hand
of the Jesuit, and pressing it with as much cordiality as emotion, "or
else the happiness you have caused the in returning my cross will not be

"Well, then, my good friend, let us go up."

"And not only have you restored me my cross, for which I have wept many
tears, believe me, unknown to any one," cried Dagobert, much affected;
"but the young lady told me, that, thanks to you, those poor children but
tell me--no false joy-is it really true?--My God! is it really true?"

"Ah! ah!  Mr. Inquisitive," said Rodin, with a cunning smile.  Then he
added: "Be perfectly tranquil, my growler; you shall have your two angels
back again."  And the Jesuit began to ascend the stairs.

"Will they be restored to me to-day?" cried Dagobert, stopping Rodin
abruptly, by catching hold of his sleeve.

"Now, really, my good friend," said the Jesuit, "let us come to the
point.  Are we to go up or down?  I do not find fault, but you turn me
about like a teetotum."

"You are right.  We shall be better able to explain things upstairs.
Come with me--quick! quick!" said Dagobert, as, taking the Jesuit by the
arm, he hurried him along, and brought him triumphantly into the room,
where Adrienne and Mother Bunch had remained in much surprise at the
soldier's sudden disappearance.

"Here he is! here he is!" cried Dagobert, as he entered.  "Luckily, I
caught him at the bottom of the stairs."

"And you have made me come up at a fine pace!" added Rodin, pretty well
out of breath.

"Now, sir," said Dagobert, in a grave voice, "I declare, in presence of
all, that I was wrong to abuse and ill-treat you.  I make you my apology
for it, sir; and I acknowledge, with joy, that I owe you--much--oh! very
much and when I owe, I pay."

So saying, Dagobert held out his honest hand to Rodin, who pressed it in
a very affable manner, and replied: "Now, really--what is all this about?
What great service do you speak of?"

"This!" said Dagobert, holding up the cross before Rodin's eyes.  "You do
not know, then, what this cross is to me?"

"On the contrary, supposing you would set great store by it, I intended
to have the pleasure of delivering it myself.  I had brought it for that
purpose; but, between ourselves, you gave me so warm a reception, that I
had not the time--"

"Sir," said Dagobert, in confusion, "I assure you that I sincerely repent
of what I have done."

"I know it, my good friend; do not say another word about it.  You were
then much attached to this cross?"

"Attached to it, sir!" cried Dagobert.  "Why, this cross," and he kissed
it as he spoke, "is my relic.  He from whom it came was my saint--my
hero--and he had touched it with his hand!"

"Oh!" said Rodin, feigning to regard the cross with as much curiosity as
respectful admiration; "did Napoleon--the Great Napoleon--indeed touch
with his own hand--that victorious hand!--this noble star of honor?"

"Yes, sir, with his own hand.  He placed it there upon my bleeding
breast, as a cure for my fifth wound.  So that, you see, were I dying of
hunger, I think I should not hesitate betwixt bread and my cross--that I
might, in any case, have it on my heart in death.  But, enough--enough!-
let us talk of something else.  It is foolish in an old soldier, is it
not?" added Dagobert, drawing his hand across his eyes, and then, as if
ashamed to deny what he really felt: "Well, then! yes," he resumed,
raising his head proudly, and no longer seeking to conceal the tears that
rolled down his cheek; "yes, I weep for joy, to have found my cross--my
cross, that the Emperor gave me with his victorious hand, as this worthy
man has called it."

"Then blessed be my poor old hand for having restored you the glorious
treasure!" said Rodin, with emotion.  "In truth," he added, "the day will
be a good one for everybody--as I announced to you this morning in my

"That letter without a signature?" asked the soldier, more and more
astonished.  "Was it from you?"

"It was I who wrote it.  Only, fearing some new snare of the Abbe
d'Aigrigny, I did not choose, you understand, to explain myself more

"Then--I shall see--my orphans?"

Rodin nodded affirmatively, with an expression of great good-nature.

"Presently--perhaps immediately," said Adrienne, with smile.  "Well! was
I right in telling you that you had not judged this gentleman fairly?"

"Why did he not tell me this when I came in?" cried Dagobert, almost
beside himself with joy.

"There was one difficulty in the way, my good friend," said Rodin;  "it
was, that when you came in, you nearly throttled me."

"True; I was too hasty.  Once more, I ask your pardon.  But was I to
blame?  I had only seen you with that Abbe d'Aigrigny, and in the first

"This dear young lady," said Rodin, bowing to Adrienne, "will tell you
that I have been, without knowing it, the accomplice IN many perfidious
actions; but as soon as I began to see my way through the darkness, I

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