List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V6, by Eugene Sue
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of his scrape."

"Oh, sir! only do that, only get Jacques out of prison," cried Rose-
Pompon, warmly, "and we will both give you a kiss--me and Cephyse!"

"It would be throwing kisses away, dear little madcap!" said Rodin,
smiling.  "But be satisfied, I want no reward to induce me to do good
when I can."

"Then you hope to get Jacques out of prison?"

Rodin shook his head, and answered with a grieved and disappointed air.
"I did hope it.  Certainly, I did hope it; but now all is changed."

"How's that?" asked Rose-Pompon, with surprise.

"That foolish joke of calling me M. Rodin may appear very amusing to you,
my dear child.  I understand it, you being only an echo.  Some one has
said to you: `Go and tell M. Charlemagne that he is one M. Rodin.  That
will be very funny.'"

"Certainly, I should never myself have thought of calling you M. Rodin.
One does not invent such names," answered Rose-Pompon.

"Well! that person with his foolish jokes, has done, without knowing it,
a great injury to Jacques Rennepont."

"What! because I called you Rodin instead of Charlemagne?" cried Rose-
Pompon, much regretting the pleasantry which she had carried on at the
instigation of Ninny Moulin.  "But really, sir," she added, "what can
this joke have to do with the service that you were, about to render

"I am not at liberty to tell you, my child.  In truth, I am very sorry
for poor Jacques.  Believe me, I am; but do let me pass.

"Listen to me, sir, I beg," said Rose-Pompon; "if I told you the name of
the person who told me to call you Rodin, would you interest yourself
again for Jacques?"

"I do not wish to know any one's secrets, my dear child.  In all this,
you have been the echo of persons who are, perhaps, very dangerous; and,
notwithstanding the interest I feel for Jacques Rennepont, I do not wish,
you understand, to make myself enemies.  Heaven forbid!"

Rose-Pompon did not at all comprehend Rodin's fears, and upon this he had
counted; for after a second's reflection, the young girl resumed: "Well,
sir--this is too deep for me; I do not understand it.  All I know is,
that I am truly sorry if I have injured a good young man by a mere joke.
I will tell you exactly how it happened.  My frankness may be of some

"Frankness will often clear up the most obscure matters," said Rodin,

"After all," said Rose-Pompon, "it's Ninny's fault.  Why does he tell me
nonsense, that might injure poor Cephyse's lover?  You see, sir, it
happened in this way.  Ninny Moulin who is fond of a joke, saw you just
now in the street.  The portress told him that your name was Charlemagne.
He said to me: 'No; his name is Rodin.  We must play him a trick.  Go to
his room, Rose-Pompon, knock at the door, and call him M. Rodin.  You
will see what a rum face he will make.' I promised Ninny Moulin not to
name him; but I do it, rather than run the risk of injuring Jacques."

At Ninny Moulin's name Rodin had not been able to repress a movement of
surprise.  This pamphleteer, whom he had employed to edit the "Neighborly
Love," was not personally formidable; but, being fond of talking in his
drink, he might become troublesome, particularly if Rodin, as was
probable, had often to visit this house, to execute his project upon
Sleepinbuff, through the medium of the Bacchanal Queen.  The socius
resolved, therefore, to provide against this inconvenience.

"So, my dear child," said he to Rose-Pompon, "it is a M. Desmoulins that
persuaded you to play off this silly joke?"

"Not Desmoulins, but Dumoulin," corrected Rose.  "He writes in the
pewholders' papers, and defends the saints for money; for, if Ninny
Moulin is a saint, his patrons are Saint Drinkard and Saint Flashette, as
he himself declares."

"This gentleman appears to be very gay."

"Oh! a very good fellow."

"But stop," resumed Rodin, appearing to recollect himself; "ain't he a
man about thirty-six or forty, fat, with a ruddy complexion?"

"Ruddy as a glass of red wine," said Rose-Pompon, "and with a pimpled
nose like a mulberry."

"That's the man--M. Dumoulin.  Oh! in that case, I am quite satisfied, my
dear child.  The jest no longer makes me uneasy; for M. Dumoulin is a
very worthy man--only perhaps a little too fond of his joke."

"Then, sir, you will try to be useful to Jacques?  The stupid pleasantry
of Ninny Moulin will not prevent you?"

"I hope not."

"But I must not tell Ninny Moulin that you know it was he who sent me to
call you M. Rodin--eh, sir?"

"Why not?  In every case, my dear child, it is always better to speak
frankly the truth."

"But, sir, Ninny Moulin so strongly recommended me not to name him to

"If you have named him, it is from a very good motive; why not avow it?
However, my dear child, this concerns you, not me.  Do as you think

"And may I tell Cephyse of your good intentions towards Jacques?"

"The truth, my dear child, always the truth.  One need never hesitate to
say what is."

"Poor Cephyse! how happy she will be!" cried Rose-Pompon, cheerfully;
"and the news will come just in time."

"Only you must not exaggerate; I do not promise positively to get this
good fellow out of prison; I say, that I will do what I can.  But what I
promise positively is--for, since the imprisonment of poor Jacques, your
friend must be very much straitened--"

"Alas, sir!"

"What I promise positively is some little assistance which your friend
will receive to-day, to enable her to live honestly; and if she behaves
well--hereafter--why, hereafter, we shall see."

"Oh, sir! you do not know how welcome will be your assistance to poor
Cephyse!  One might fancy you were her actual good angel.  Faith! you may
call yourself Rodin, or Charlemagne; all I know is, that you are a nice,

"Come, come, do not exaggerate," said Rodin; "say a good sort of old
fellow; nothing more, my dear child.  But see how things fall out,
sometimes!  Who could have told me, when I heard you knock at my door--
which, I must say, vexed me a great deal--that it was a pretty little
neighbor of mine, who under the pretext of playing off a joke, was to put
me in the way of doing a good action?  Go and comfort your friend; this
evening she will receive some assistance; and let us have hope and
confidence.  Thanks be, there are still some good people in the world!"

"Oh, sir! you prove it yourself."

"Not at all!  The happiness of the old is to see the young happy."

This was said by Rodin with so much apparent kindness, that Rose-Pompon
felt the tears well up to her eyes, and answered with much emotion: "Sir,
Cephyse and me are only poor girls; there are many more virtuous in the
world; but I venture to say, we have good hearts.  Now, if ever you
should be ill, only send for us; there are no Sisters of Charity that
will take better care of you.  It is all that we can offer you, without
reckoning Philemon, who shall go through fire and water for you, I give
you my word for it--and Cephyse, I am sure, will answer for Jacques also,
that he will be yours in life and death."

"You see, my dear child, that I was right in saying--a fitful head and a
good heart.  Adieu, till we meet again."

Thereupon Rodin, taking up the basket, which he had placed on the ground
by the side of his umbrella, prepared to descend the stairs.

"First of all, you must give me this basket; it will be in your way going
down," said Rose-Pompon, taking the basket from the hands of Rodin,
notwithstanding his resistance.  Then she added: "Lean upon my arm.  The
stairs are so dark.  You might slip."

"I will accept your offer, my dear child, for I am not very courageous."
Leaning paternally on the right arm of Rose-Pompon, who held the basket
in her left hand, Rodin descended the stairs, and crossed the court-yard.

"Up there, on the third story, do you see that big face close to the
window-frame?" said Rose-Pompon suddenly to Rodin, stopping in the centre
of the little court.  "That is my Ninny Moulin.  Do you know him?  Is he
the same as yours?"

"The same as mine," said Rodin, raising his head, and waving his hand
very affectionately to Jacques Dumoulin, who, stupefied thereat, retired
abruptly from the window.

"The poor fellow!  I am sure he is afraid of me since his foolish joke,"
said Rodin, smiling.  "He is very wrong."

And he accompanied these last words with a sinister nipping of the lips,
not perceived by Rose-Pompon.

"And now, my dear child," said he, as they both entered the passage, "I
no longer need you assistance; return to your friend, and tell her the
good news you have heard."

"Yes, sir, you are right.  I burn with impatience to tell her what a good
man you are."  And Rose-Pompon sprung towards the stairs.

"Stop, stop! how about my basket that the little madcap carries off with
her?" said Rodin.

"Oh true!  I beg your pardon, sir.  Poor Cephyse! how pleased she will
be.  Adieu, sir!"  And Rose-Pompon's pretty figure disappeared in the
darkness of the staircase, which she mounted with an alert and impatient

Rodin issued from the entry.  "Here is your basket, my good lady, said
he, stopping at the threshold of Mother Arsene's shop.  "I give you my
humble thanks for your kindness."

"For nothing, my dear sir, for nothing.  It is all at your service.
Well, was the radish good?"

"Succulent, my dear madame, and excellent."

"Oh! I am glad of it.  Shall we soon see you again?"

"I hope so.  But could you tell me where is the nearest post-office?"

"Turn to the left, the third house, at the grocer's."

"A thousand thanks."

"I wager it's a love letter for your sweetheart," said Mother Arsene,
enlivened probably by Rose Pompon's and Ninny Moulin's proximity.

"Ha! ha! ha! the good lady!" said Rodin, with a titter.  Then, suddenly
resuming his serious aspect, he made a low bow to the greengrocer,
adding: "Your most obedient humble servant!" and walked out into the

We now usher the reader into Dr. Baleinier's asylum, in which Mdlle. de
Cardoville was confined.



Adrienne de Cardoville had been still more strictly confined in Dr.
Baleinier's house, since the double nocturnal attempt of Agricola and
Dagobert, in which the soldier, though severely wounded, had succeeded,
thanks to the intrepid devotion of his son, seconded by the heroic Spoil-
sport, in gaining the little garden gate of the convent, and escaping by
way of the boulevard, along with the young smith.  Four o'clock had just
struck.  Adrienne, since the previous day, had been removed to a chamber
on the second story of the asylum.  The grated window, with closed
shutters, only admitted a faint light to this apartment.  The young lady,
since her interview with Mother Bunch, expected to be delivered any day
by the intervention of her friends.  But she felt painful uneasiness on
the subject of Agricola and Dagobert, being absolutely ignorant of the
issue of the struggle in which her intended liberators had been engaged
with the people of the asylum and convent.  She had in vain questioned
her keepers on the subject; they had remained perfectly mute.  These new
incidents had augmented the bitter resentment of Adrienne against the
Princess de Saint Dizier, Father d'Aigrigny, and their creatures.  The
slight paleness of Mdlle. de Cardoville's charming face, and her fine
eyes a little drooping, betrayed her recent sufferings; seated before a
little table, with her forehead resting upon one of her hands, half
veiled by the long curls of her golden hair, she was turning over the
leaves of a book.  Suddenly, the door opened, and M. Baleinier entered.
The doctor, a Jesuit, in lay attire, a docile and passive instrument of
the will of his Order, was only half in the confidence of Father
d'Aigrigny and the Princess de Saint-Dizier.  He was ignorant of the
object of the imprisonment of Mdlle. de Cardoville; he was ignorant also
of the sudden change which had taken place in the relative position of
Father d'Aigrigny and Rodin, after the reading of the testament of Marius
de Rennepont.  The doctor had, only the day before, received orders from
Father d'Aigrigny (now acting under the directions of Rodin) to confine
Mdlle. de Cardoville still more strictly, to act towards her with
redoubled severity, and to endeavor to force her, it will be seen by what
expedients, to renounce the judicial proceedings, which she promised
herself to take hereafter against her persecutors.  At sight of the
doctor, Mdlle. de Cardoville could not hide the aversion and disdain with
which this man inspired her.  M. Baleinier, on the contrary, always
smiling, always courteous, approached Adrienne with perfect ease and
confidence, stopped a few steps from her, as if to study her features
more attentively, and then added like a man who is satisfied with the
observations he had made: "Come! the unfortunate events of the night
before last have had a less injurious influence than I feared.  There is
some improvement; the complexion is less flushed, the look calmer, the
eyes still somewhat too bright, but no longer shining with such unnatural
fire.  You are getting on so well!  Now the cure must be prolonged--for
this unfortunate night affair threw you into a state of excitement, that
was only the more dangerous from your not being conscious of it.
Happily, with care, your recovery will not, I hope, be very much
delayed."  Accustomed though she was to the audacity of this tool of the
Congregation, Mdlle. de Cardoville could not forbear saying to him, with
a smile of bitter disdain: "What impudence, sir, there is in your
probity!  What effrontery in your zeal to earn your hire!  Never for a
moment do you lay aside your mask; craft and falsehood are ever on your
lips.  Really, if this shameful comedy causes you as much fatigue as it
does me disgust and contempt, they can never pay you enough."

"Alas!" said the doctor, in a sorrowful tone; "always this unfortunate
delusion, that you are not in want of our care!--that I am playing a
part, when I talk to you of the sad state in which you were when we were
obliged to bring you hither by stratagem.  Still, with the exception of
this little sign of rebellious insanity, your condition has marvellously
improved.  You are on the high-road to a complete cure.  By-and-by, your
excellent heart will render me the justice that is due to me; and, one
day, I shall be judged as I deserve."

"I, believe it, sir; the day approaches, in which you will be judged as
you deserve," said Adrienne, laying great stress upon the two words.

"Always that other fixed idea," said the doctor with a sort of
commiseration.  "Come, be reasonable.  Do not think of this

"What! renounce my intention to demand at the hands of justice reparation
for myself, and disgrace for you and your accomplices?  Never, sir--

"Well!" said the doctor, shrugging his shoulders; "once at liberty, thank
heaven, you will have many other things to think of, my fair enemy."

"You forget piously the evil that you do; but I, sir, have a better

"Let us talk seriously.  Have you really the intention of applying to the

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