List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V6, by Eugene Sue
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quitted the evil course on which I had entered, and returned to that
which is honest, just and true."

Adrienne nodded affirmatively to Dagobert, who appeared to consult her

"If I did not sign the letter that I wrote to you, my good friend, it was
partly from fear that my name might inspire suspicion; and if I asked you
to come hither, instead of to the convent, it was that I had some dread--
like this dear young lady--lest you might be recognized by the porter or
by the gardener, your affair of the other night rendering such a
recognition somewhat dangerous."

"But M. Baleinier knows all; I forgot that," said Adrienne, with
uneasiness.  "He threatened to denounce M. Dagobert and his son, if I
made any complaint."

"Do not be alarmed, my dear young lady; it will soon he for you to
dictate conditions," replied Rodin.  "Leave that to me; and as for you,
my good friend, your torments are now finished."

"Yes," said Adrienne, "an upright and worthy magistrate has gone to the
convent, to fetch Marshal Simon's daughters.  He will bring them hither;
but he thought with me, that it would be most proper for them to take up
their abode in my house.  I cannot, however, come to this decision
without your consent, for it is to you that these orphans were entrusted
by their mother."

"You wish to take her place with regard to them, madame?" replied
Dagobert.  "I can only thank you with all my heart, for myself and for
the children.  But, as the lesson has been a sharp one, I must beg to
remain at the door of their chamber, night and day.  If they go out with
you, I must be allowed to follow them at a little distance, so as to keep
them in view, just like Spoil-sport, who has proved himself a better
guardian than myself.  When the marshal is once here--it will be in a day
or two--my post will be relieved.  Heaven grant it may be soon!"

"Yes," replied Rodin, in a firm voice, "heaven grant he may arrive soon,
for he will have to demand a terrible reckoning of the Abbe d'Aigrigny,
for the persecution of his daughters; and yet the marshal does not know

"And don't you tremble for the renegade?" asked Dagobert, as he thought
how the marquis would soon find himself face to face with the marshal.

"I never care for cowards and traitors," answered Rodin; "and when
Marshal Simon returns--" Then, after a pause of some seconds, he
continued: "If he will do me the honor to hear me, he shall be edified as
to the conduct of the Abbe d'Aigrigny.  The marshal knows that his
dearest friends, as well as himself, have been victims of the hatred of
that dangerous man."

"How so?" said Dagobert.

"Why, yourself, for instance," replied Rodin; "you are an example of what
I advance."

"Do you think it was mere chance, that brought about the scene at the
White Falcon Inn, near Leipsic?"

"Who told you of that scene?" said Dagobert in astonishment.

"Where you accepted the challenge of Morok," continued the Jesuit,
without answering Dagobert's question, "and so fell into a trap, or else
refused it, and were then arrested for want of papers, and thrown into
prison as a vagabond, with these poor children.  Now, do you know the
object of this violence?  It was to prevent your being here on the 13th
of February."

"But the more I hear, sir," said Adrienne, "the more I am alarmed at the
audacity of the Abbe d'Aigrigny, and the extent of the means he has at
his command.  Really," she resumed, with increasing surprise, "if your
words were not entitled to absolute belief--"

"You would doubt their truth, madame?" said Dagobert.  "It is like me.
Bad as he is.  I cannot think that this renegade had relations with a
wild-beast showman as far off as Saxony; and then, how could he know that
I and the children were to pass through Leipsic?  It is impossible, my
good man."

"In fact, sir," resumed Adrienne, "I fear that you are deceived by your
dislike (a very legitimate one) of Abbe d'Aigrigny, and that you ascribe
to him an almost fabulous degree of power and extent of influence."

After a moment's silence, during which Rodin looked first at Adrienne and
then at Dagobert, with a kind of pity, he resumed.  "How could the Abbe
d'Aigrigny have your cross in his possession, if he had no connection
with Morok?"

"That is true, sir," said Dagobert; "joy prevented me from reflecting.
But how indeed, did my cross come into your hands?"

"By means of the Abbe d'Aigrigny's having precisely those relations with
Leipsic, of which you and the young lady seem to doubt."

"But how did my cross get to Paris?"

"Tell me; you were arrested at Leipsic for want of papers--is it not so?"

"Yes; but I could never understand how my passports and money disappeared
from my knapsack.  I thought I must have had the misfortune to lose

Rodin shrugged his shoulders, and replied: "You were robbed of them at
the White Falcon Inn, by Goliath, one of Morok's servants, and the latter
sent the papers and the cross to the Abbe d'Aigrigny, to prove that he
had succeeded in executing his orders with respect to the orphans and
yourself.  It was the day before yesterday, that I obtained the key of
that dark machination.  Cross and papers were amongst the stores of Abbe
d'Aigrigny; the papers formed a considerable bundle, and he might have
missed them; but, hoping to see you this morning, and knowing how a
soldier of the Empire values his cross, his sacred relic, as you call it,
my good friend--I did not hesitate.  I put the relic into my pocket.
`After all,' said I, `it is only restitution, and my delicacy perhaps
exaggerates this breach of trust.'"

"You could not have done a better action," said Adrienne; "and, for my
part, because of the interest I feel for M. Dagobert--I take it as a
personal favor.  But, sir," after a moment's silence, she resumed with
anxiety: "What terrible power must be at the command of M. d'Aigrigny,
for him to have such extensive and formidable relations in a foreign

"Silence!" said Rodin, in a low voice, and looking round him with an air
of alarm.  "Silence! In heaven's name do not ask me about it!"



Mdlle. de Cardoville, much astonished at the alarm displayed by Rodin,
when she had asked him for some explanation of the formidable and far-
reaching power of the Abby d'Aigrigny, said to him: "Why, sir, what is
there so strange in the question that I have just asked you?"

After a moment's silence, Rodin cast his looks all around, with well-
feigned uneasiness, and replied in a whisper: "Once more, madame, do not
question me on so fearful a subject.  The walls of this house may have

Adrienne and Dagobert looked at each other with growing surprise.  Mother
Bunch, by an instinct of incredible force, continued to regard Rodin with
invincible suspicion.  Sometimes she stole a glance at him, as if trying
to penetrate the mask of this man, who filled her with fear.  At one
moment, the Jesuit encountered her anxious gaze, obstinately fixed upon
him; immediately he nodded to her with the greatest amenity.  The young
girl, alarmed at finding herself observed, turned away with a shudder.

"No, no, my dear young lady," resumed Rodin, with a sigh, as he saw
Mdlle. de Cardoville astonished at his silence; "do not question me on
the subject of the Abbe d'Aigrigny's power!"

"But, to persist, sir," said Adrienne; "why this hesitation to answer?
What do you fear?"

"Ah, my dear young lady," said Rodin, shuddering, "those people are so
powerful! their animosity is so terrible!"

"Be satisfied, sir; I owe you too much, for my support ever to fail you."

"Ah, my dear young lady," cried Rodin, as if hurt by the supposition;
"think better of me, I entreat you.  Is it for myself that I fear?--No,
no; I am too obscure, too inoffensive; but it is for you, for Marshal
Simon, for the other members of your family, that all is to be feared.
Oh, my dear young lady! let me beg you to ask no questions.  There are
secrets which are fatal to those who possess them."

"But, sir, is it not better to know the perils with which one is

"When you know the manoeuvres of your enemy, you may at least defend
yourself," said Dagobert.  "I prefer an attack in broad daylight to an

"And I assure you," resumed Adrienne, "the few words you have spoken
cause me a vague uneasiness."

"Well, if I must, my dear young lady," replied the Jesuit, appearing to
make a great effort, "since you do not understand my hints, I will be
more explicit; but remember," added he, in a deeply serious tone, "that
you have persevered in forcing me to tell you what you had perhaps better
not have known."

"Speak, Sir, I pray you speak," said Adrienne.

Drawing about him Adrienne, Dagobert, and Mother Bunch, Rodin said to
them in a low voce, and with a mysterious air: "Have you never heard of a
powerful association, which extends its net over all the earth, and
counts its disciples, agents, and fanatics in every class of society
which has had, and often has still, the ear of kings and nobles--which,
in a word, can raise its creatures to the highest positions, and with a
word can reduce them again to the nothingness from which it alone could
uplift them?"

"Good heaven, sir!" said Adrienne, "what formidable association?  Until
now I never heard of it."

"I believe you; and yet your ignorance on this subject greatly astonishes
me, my dear young lady."

"And why should it astonish you?"

"Because you lived some time with your aunt, and must have often seen the
Abbe d'Aigrigny."

"I lived at the princess's, but not with her; for a thousand reasons she
had inspired me with warrantable aversion."

"In truth, my dear young lady, my remark was ill-judged.  It was there,
above all, and particularly in your presence, that they would keep
silence with regard to this association--and yet to it alone did the
Princess de Saint-Dizier owe her formidable influence in the world,
during the last reign.  Well, then; know this--it is the aid of that
association which renders the Abbe d'Aigrigny so dangerous a man.

By it he was enabled to follow and to reach divers members of your
family, some in Siberia, some in India, others on the heights of the
American mountains; but, as I have told you, it was only the day before
yesterday, and by chance, that, examining the papers of Abbe d'Aigrigny,
I found the trace of his connection with this Company, of which he is the
most active and able chief."

"But the name, sir, the name of this Company?" said Adrienne.

"Well! it is--" but Rodin stopped short.

"It is," repeated Adrienne, who was now as much interested as Dagobert
and the sempstress; "it is--"

Rodin looked round him, beckoned all the actors in this scene to draw
nearer, and said in a whisper, laying great stress upon the words: "It
is--the Society of Jesus!" and he again shuddered.

"The Jesuits!" cried Mdlle. de Cardoville, unable to restrain a burst of
laughter, which was the more buoyant, as, from the mysterious precautions
of Rodin, she had expected some very different revelation.  "The
Jesuits!" she resumed, still laughing.  "They have no existence, except
in books; they are frightful historical personages, certainly; but why
should you put forward Madame de Saint-Dizier and M. d'Aigrigny in that
character?  Such as they are, they have done quite enough to justify my
aversion and disdain."

After listening in silence to Mdlle. de Cardoville Rodin continued, with
a grave and agitated air: "Your blindness frightens me, my dear, young
lady; the past should have given you some anxiety for the future, since,
more than any one, you have already suffered from the fatal influence of
this Company, whose existence you regard as a dream!"

"I, sir?" said Adrienne, with a smile, although a little surprised.


"Under what circumstances?"

"You ask me this question! my dear young lady! you ask me this question!-
-and yet you have been confined here as a mad person!  Is it not enough
to tell you that the master of this house is one of the most devoted lay
members of the Company, and therefore the blind instrument of the Abbe

"So," said Adrienne, this time without smiling, "Dr. Baleinier"

"Obeyed the Abbe d'Aigrigny, the most formidable chief of that formidable
society.  He employs his genius for evil; but I must confess he is a man
of genius.  Therefore, it is upon him that you and yours must fix all
your doubts and suspicions; it is against him that you must be upon your
guard.  For, believe me, I know him, and he does not look upon the game
as lost.  You must be prepared for new attacks, doubtless of another
kind, but only the more dangerous on that account--"

"Luckily, you give us notice," said Dagobert, "and you will be on our

"I can do very little, my good friends; but that little is at the service
of honest people," said Rodin.

"Now," said Adrienne, with a thoughtful air, completely persuaded by
Rodin's air of conviction, "I can explain the inconceivable influence
that my aunt exercised in the world.  I ascribed it chiefly to her
relations with persons in power; I thought that she, like the Abbe
d'Aigrigny, was concerned in dark intrigues, for which religion served as
a veil--but I was far from believing what you tell me."

"How many things you have got to learn!" resumed Rodin.  "If you knew, my
dear young lady, with what art these people surround you, without your
being aware of it, by agents devoted to themselves!  Every one of your
steps is known to them, when they have any interest in such knowledge.
Thus, little by little, they act upon you--slowly, cautiously, darkly.
They circumvent you by every possible means, from flattery to terror--
seduce or frighten, in order at last to rule you, without your being
conscious of their authority.  Such is their object, and I must confess
they pursue it with detestable ability."

Rodin had spoken with so much sincerity, that Adrienne trembled; then,
reproaching herself with these fears, she resumed: "And yet, no--I can
never believe in so infernal a power; the might of priestly ambition
belongs to another age.  Heaven be praised, it has disappeared forever!"

"Yes, certainly, it is out of sight; for they now know how to disperse
and disappear, when circumstances require it.  But then are they the most
dangerous; for suspicion is laid asleep, and they keep watch in the dark.
Oh! my dear young lady, if you knew their frightful ability!  In my
hatred of all that is oppressive, cowardly, and hypocritical, I had
studied the history of that terrible society, before I knew that the Abbe
d'Aigrigny belonged to it.  Oh! it is dreadful.  If you knew what means
they employ!  When I tell you that, thanks to their diabolical devices,
the most pure and devoted appearances often conceal the most horrible
snares."  Rodin's eye rested, as if by chance, on the hunchback; but,
seeing that Adrienne did not take the hint, the Jesuit continued: "In a
word--are you not exposed to their pursuits?--have they any interest in
gaining you over?--oh! from that moment, suspect all that surround you,

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