brightened its gloom and dissipated its darkness. If the

Published on 2023-12-03 00:16:36 source:Spring Breeze and Summer Rain

"Why?" the King replied in some surprise--he was ever of so kind a nature that an appeal to his feelings displaced his judgment. "What should he be but what he seems?"

brightened its gloom and dissipated its darkness. If the

"Well, sire, I grant that he may be M. de Joyeuse, who has spent his life in passing in and out of monasteries, and has performed so many tricks of the kind that I could believe anything of him. But if it be not he--"

brightened its gloom and dissipated its darkness. If the

"It was not his voice," Henry said, positively.

brightened its gloom and dissipated its darkness. If the

"Then there is something here," I answered, "still unexplained. Consider the oddity of the conception, sire, the secrecy of the performance, the hour, the mode, all the surrounding circumstances! I can imagine a man currying favour with the basest and most dangerous class by such means. I can imagine a conspiracy recruited by such means. I can imagine this shibboleth of the shutter grown to a watchword as deadly as the 'TUEZ!' of '72. I can imagine all that, but I cannot imagine a man acting thus out of pure benevolence."

"No?" Henry said, thoughtfully. "Well, I think that I agree with you." and far from being displeased with my warmth (as is the manner of some sovereigns when their best friends differ from them), he came over to my opinion so completely as to halt and express his intention of returning and probing the matter to the bottom. Midnight had gone, however; it would take some little time to retrace our steps; and with some difficulty I succeeded in dissuading him, promising instead to make inquiries on the morrow, and having learned who lived in the house, to turn the whole affair into a report, which should be submitted to him.

This amused and satisfied him, and, expressing himself well content with the evening's diversion--though we had done nothing unworthy either of a King or a Minister--he parted from me at the Arsenal, and went home with his suite.

It did not occur to me at the time that I had promised to do anything difficult; but the news which my agents brought me next day--that the uppermost floor of the house in the Rue Pourpointerie was empty--put another face upon the matter. The landlord declared that he knew nothing of the tenant, who had rented the rooms, ready furnished, by the week; and as I had not seen the man's face, there remained only two sources whence I could get the information I needed--the child, and the cure of St. Marceau.

I did not know where to look for the former, however; and I had to depend on the cure. But here I carne to an obstacle I might easily have foreseen. I found him, though an honest man, obdurate in upholding his priest's privileges; to all my inquiries he replied that the matter touched the confessional, and was within his vows; and that he neither could, nor dared--to please anyone, or for any cause, however plausible--divulge the slightest detail of the affair. I had him summoned to the arsenal, and questioned him myself, and closely; but of all armour that of the Roman priesthood is the most difficult to penetrate, and I quickly gave up the attempt.

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