List Of Contents | Contents of The Wandering Jew, V6, by Eugene Sue
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courts?" inquired Dr. Baleinier, in a grave tone.

"Yes, sir, and you know that what I intend, I firmly carry out."

"Well! I can only conjure you not to follow out this idea," replied the
doctor, in a still more solemn tone; "I ask it as a favor, in the name of
your own interest."

"I think, sir, that you are a little too ready to confound your interest
with mine."

"Now come," said Dr. Baleinier, with a feigned impatience, as if quite
certain of convincing Mdlle. de Cardoville on the instant; "would you
have the melancholy courage to plunge into despair two persons full of
goodness and generosity?"

"Only two?  The jest would be complete, if you were to reckon three: you,
sir, and my aunt, and Abbe d'Aigrigny; for these are no doubt the
generous persons in whose name you implore my pity."

"No, madame; I speak neither of myself, nor of your aunt, nor of Abbe

"Of whom, then, sir?" asked Mdlle. de Cardoville with surprise.

"Of two poor fellows, who, no doubt sent by those whom you call your
friends, got into the neighboring convent the other night, and thence
into this garden.  The guns which you heard go off were fired at them."

"Alas! I thought so.  They refused to tell me if either of them was
wounded," said Adrienne, with painful emotion.

"One of them received a wound, but not very serious, since he was able to
fly and escape pursuit."

"Thank God!" cried Mdlle. de Cardoville, clasping her hands with fervor.

"It is quite natural that you should rejoice at their escape, but by what
strange contradiction do you now wish to put the officers of justice on
their track?  A singular manner, truly, of rewarding their devotion!"

"What do you say, sir?" asked Mdlle. de Cardoville.

"For if they should be arrested," resumed Dr. Baleinier, without
answering her, "as they have been guilty of housebreaking and attempted
burglary, they would be sent to the galleys."

"Heavens! and for my sake!"

"Yes; it would be for you, and what is worse, by you, that they would be

"By me, sir?"

"Certainly; that is, if you follow up your vengeance against your aunt
and Abbe d'Aigrigny--I do not speak of myself, for I am quite safe; in a
word, if you persist in laying your complaint before the magistrates,
that you have been unjustly confined in this house."

"I do not understand you, sir.  Explain yourself," said Adrienne, with
growing uneasiness.

"Child that you are!" cried the Jesuit of the short robe, with an air of
conviction; "do you think that if the law once takes cognizance of this
affair, you can stop short its action where and when you please?  When
you leave this house, you lodge a complaint against me and against your
family; well, what happens?  The law interferes, inquires, calls
witnesses, enters into the most minute investigations.  Then, what
follows?  Why, that this nocturnal escalade, which the superior of the
convent has some interest in hushing up, for fear of scandal--that this
nocturnal attempt, I say, which I also would keep quiet, is necessarily
divulged, and as it involves a serious crime, to which a heavy penalty is
attached, the law will ferret into it, and find out these unfortunate
men, and if, as is probable, they are detained in Paris by their duties
or occupations, or even by a false security, arising from the honorable
motives which they know to have actuated them, they will be arrested.
And who will be the cause of this arrest?  You, by your deposition
against us."

"Oh, sir! that would be horrible; but it is impossible."

"It is very possible, on the contrary," returned M. Baleinier: "so that,
while I and the superior of the convent, who alone are really entitled to
complain, only wish to keep quiet this unpleasant affair, it is you--you,
for whom these unfortunate men have risked the galleys--that will deliver
them up to justice."

Though Mdlle. de Cardoville was not completely duped by the lay Jesuit,
she guessed that the merciful intentions which he expressed with regard
to Dagobert and his son, would be absolutely subordinate to the course
she might take in pressing or abandoning the legitimate vengeance which
she meant to claim of authority.  Indeed, Rodin, whose instructions the
doctor was following without knowing it, was too cunning to have it said
to Mdlle. de Cardoville: "If you attempt any proceedings, we denounce
Dagobert and his son;" but he attained the same end, by inspiring
Adrienne with fears on the subject of her two liberators, so as to
prevent her taking any hostile measures.  Without knowing the exact law
on the subject, Mdlle. de Cardoville had too much good sense not to
understand that Dagobert and Agricola might be very seriously involved in
consequence of their nocturnal adventure, and might even find themselves
in a terrible position.  And yet, when she thought of all she had
suffered in that house, and of all the just resentment she entertained in
the bottom of her heart, Adrienne felt unwilling to renounce the stern
pleasure of exposing such odious machinations to the light of day.  Dr.
Baleinier watched with sullen attention her whom he considered his dupe,
for he thought he could divine the cause of the silence and hesitation of
Mdlle. de Cardoville.

"But, sir," resumed the latter, unable to conceal her anxiety, "if I were
disposed, for whatever reason, to make no complaint, and to forget the
wrongs I have suffered, when should I leave this place?"

"I cannot tell; for I do not know when you will be radically cured," said
the doctor, benignantly.  "You are in a very good way, but--"

"Still this insolent and stupid acting!" broke forth Mdlle. de
Cardoville, interrupting the doctor with indignation.  "I ask, and if it
must be, I entreat you to tell me how long I am to be shut up in this
dreadful house, for I shall leave it some day, I suppose?"

"I hope so, certainly," said the Jesuit of the short robe, with unction;
"but when, I am unable to say.  Moreover, I must tell you frankly, that
every precaution is taken against such attempts as those of the other
night; and the most vigorous watch will be maintained, to prevent your
communicating with any one.  And all this in your own interest, that your
poor head may not again be dangerously excited."

"So, sir," said Adrienne, almost terrified, "compared with what awaits
me, the last few days have been days of liberty."

"Your interest before everything," answered the doctor, in a fervent

Mdlle. de Cardoville, feeling the impotence of her indignation and
despair, heaved a deep sigh, and hid her face in her hands.

At this moment, quick footsteps were heard in the passage, and one of the
nurses entered, after having knocked at the door.

"Sir," said she to the doctor, with a frightened air, "there are two
gentlemen below, who wish to see you instantly, and the lady also."

Adrienne raised her head hastily; her eyes were bathed in tears.

"What are the names of these persons?" said M. Baleinier, much

"One of them said to me," answered the nurse: "`Go and inform Dr.
Baleinier that I am a magistrate, and that I come on a duty regarding
Mdlle. de Cardoville.'"

"A magistrate!" exclaimed the Jesuit of the short robe, growing purple in
the face, and unable to hide his surprise and uneasiness.

"Heaven be praised!" cried Adrienne, rising with vivacity, her
countenance beaming through her tears with hope and joy; "my friends have
been informed in time, and the hour of justice is arrived!"

"Ask these persons to walk up," said Dr. Baleinier, after a moment's
reflection.  Then, with a still more agitated expression of countenance,
he approached Adrienne with a harsh, and almost menacing air, which
contrasted with the habitual placidity of his hypocritical smile, and
said to her in a low voice: "Take care, madame! do not rejoice too soon."

"I no longer fear you," answered Mdlle. de Cardoville, with a bright,
flashing eye.  "M. de Montbron is no doubt returned to Paris, and has
been informed in time.  He accompanies the magistrate, and comes to
deliver me.  I pity you, sir--both you and yours," added Adrienne, with
an accent of bitter irony.

"Madame," cried M. Baleinier, no longer able to dissemble his growing
alarm, "I repeat to you, take care!  Remember what I have told you.  Your
accusations would necessarily involve the discovery of what took place
the other night.  Beware! the fate of the soldier and his son is in your
hands.  Recollect they are in danger of the convict's chains."

"Oh! I am not your dupe, sir.  You are holding out a covert menace.  Have
at least the courage to say to me, that, if I complain to the
magistrates, you will denounce the soldier and his son."

"I repeat, that, if you make any complaint, those two people are lost,"
answered the doctor, ambiguously.

Startled by what was really dangerous in the doctor's threats, Adrienne
asked: "Sir, if this magistrate questions me, do you think I will tell
him a falsehood?"

"You will answer what is true," said M. Baleinier, hastily, in the hope
of still attaining his end.  "You will answer that you were in so excited
a state of mind a few days ago, that it was thought advisable, for your
own sake, to bring you hither, without your knowing it.  But you are now
so much better, that you acknowledge the utility of the measures taken
with regard to you.  I will confirm these words for, after all, it is the

"Never!" cried Mdlle. de Cardoville, with indignation, "never will I be
the accomplice of so infamous a falsehood; never will I be base enough to
justify the indignities that I have suffered!"

"Here is the magistrate," said M. Baleinier, as he caught the sound of
approaching footsteps.  "Beware!"

The door opened, and, to the indescribable amazement of the doctor, Rodin
appeared on the threshold, accompanied by a man dressed in black, with a
dignified and severe countenance.  In the interest of his projects, and
from motives of craft and prudence that will hereafter be known, Rodin
had not informed Father d'Aigrigny, and consequently the doctor, of the
unexpected visit he intended to pay to the asylum, accompanied by a
magistrate.  On the contrary, he had only the day before given orders to
M. Baleinier to confine Mdlle. de Cardoville still more strictly.
Therefore, imagine the stupor of the doctor when he saw the judicial
officer, whose unexpected presence and imposing aspect were otherwise
sufficiently alarming, enter the room, accompanied by Rodin, Abbe
d'Aigrigny's humble and obscure secretary.  From the door, Rodin, who was
very shabbily dressed, as usual, pointed out Mdlle. de Cardoville to the
magistrate, by a gesture at once respectful and compassionate.  Then,
while the latter, who had not been able to repress a movement of
admiration at sight of the rare beauty of Adrienne, seemed to examine her
with as much surprise as interest, the Jesuit modestly receded several

Dr. Baleinier in his extreme astonishment, hoping to be understood by
Rodin, made suddenly several private signals, as if to interrogate him on
the cause of the magistrate's visit.  But this was only productive of
fresh amazement to M. Baleinier; for Rodin did not appear to recognize
him, or to understand his expressive pantomime, and looked at him with
affected bewilderment.  At length, as the doctor, growing impatient,
redoubled his mute questionings, Rodin advanced with a stride, stretched
forward his crooked neck, and said, in a loud voice: "What is your
pleasure, doctor?"

These words, which completely disconcerted Baleinier, broke the silence
which had reigned for some seconds, and the magistrate turned round.
Rodin added, with imperturbable coolness: "Since our arrival, the doctor
has been making all sorts of mysterious signs to me.  I suppose he has
something private to communicate, but, as I have no secrets, I must beg
him to speak out loud."

This reply, so embarrassing for M.  Baleinier, uttered in a tone of
aggression, and with an air of icy coldness, plunged the doctor into such
new and deep amazement, that he remained for some moments without
answering.  No doubt the magistrate was struck with this incident, and
with the silence which followed it, for he cast a look of great severity
on the doctor.  Mdlle. de Cardoville, who had expected to have seen M. de
Montbron, was also singularly surprised.



Baleinier, disconcerted for a moment by the unexpected presence of a
magistrate, and by Rodin's inexplicable attitude, soon recovered his
presence of mind, and addressing his colleague of the longer robe, said
to him: "If I make signs to you, sir, it was that, while I wished to
respect the silence which this gentleman"--glancing at the magistrate--
"has preserved since his entrance, I desired to express my surprise at
the unexpected honor of this visit."

"It is to the lady that I will explain the reason for my silence, and beg
her to excuse it," replied the magistrate, as he made a half-bow to
Adrienne, whom he thus continued to address: "I have just received so
serious a declaration with regard to you, madame, that I could not
forbear looking at you for a moment in silence, to see if I could read in
your countenance or in your attitude, the truth or falsehood of the
accusation that has been placed in my hands; and I have every reason to
believe that it is but too well founded."

"May I at length be informed, sir," said Dr. Baleinier, in a polite but
firm tone, "to whom I have the honor of speaking?"

"Sir, I am juge d'instruction, and I have come to inform myself as to a
fact which has been pointed out to me--"

"Will you do me the honor to explain yourself, sir?" said the doctor,

"Sir," resumed the magistrate, M. de Gernande, a man of about fifty years
of age, full of firmness and straightforwardness, and knowing how to
unite the austere duties of his position with benevolent politeness, "you
are accused of having committed--a very great error, not to use a harsher
expression.  As for the nature of that error, I prefer believing, sir,
that you (a first rate man of science) may have been deceived in the
calculation of a medical case, rather than suspect you of having
forgotten all that is sacred in the exercise of a profession that is
almost a priesthood."

"When you specify the facts, sir," answered the Jesuit of the short robe,
with a degree of haughtiness, "it will be easy for me to prove that my
reputation as a man of science is no less free from reproach, than my
conscience as a man of honor."

"Madame," said M. de Gernande, addressing Adrienne, "is it true that you
were conveyed to this house by stratagem?"

"Sir," cried M. Baleinier, "permit me to observe, that the manner in
which you open this question is an insult to me."

"Sir, it is to the lady that I have the honor of addressing myself,"
replied M. de Gernande, sternly; "and I am the sole judge of the
propriety of my questions."

Adrienne was about to answer affirmatively to the magistrate, when an
expressive took from Dr. Baleinier reminded her that she would perhaps
expose Dagobert and his son to cruel dangers.  It was no base and vulgar

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