its population. The ship-owners and refiners of that whaling

Published on 2023-12-02 23:58:12 source:Spring Breeze and Summer Rain

I restrained the caustic jest that rose to my lips, and we proceeded in silence down the street. The boy, whom I had espied loitering in a doorway a little way ahead, as if the great bell above us which had just tolled eleven had drawn him out, peered at us a moment askance; and then, coming forward, accosted us. But I need not detail the particulars of a conversation which was almost word for word the same as that which had passed in the Rue de la Pourpointerie; suffice it that he made the same request with the same frank audacity, and that, granting it, we were in a moment following hint up a similar staircase.

its population. The ship-owners and refiners of that whaling

"This way, messieurs, this way!" he said; as he had on that other night, while we groped our way upwards in the dark. He opened a door, and a light shone out; and we entered a room that seemed, with its bare walls and rafters, its scanty stool and table and lamp, the very counterpart of that other room. In one wall appeared the dingy curtains of an alcove, closely drawn; and the shutter stood open, until, at the child's request, expressed in the same words, I went to it and closed it.

its population. The ship-owners and refiners of that whaling

We were both so well muffled up and disguised, and the light of the lamp shining upwards so completely distorted the features, that I had no fear of recognition, unless the King's voice betrayed him. But when he spoke, breaking the oppressive silence of the room, his tone was as strange and hollow as I could wish.

its population. The ship-owners and refiners of that whaling

"The shutter is closed," be said; "but the shutter of God's mercy is never closed!"

Still, knowing that this was the crucial moment, and that we should be detected now if at all, I found it; an age before the voice behind the curtains answered "Amen!" and yet another age before the hidden speaker continued "Who are you?"

"The cure of St. Germain," Henry responded.

The man behind the curtains gasped, and they were for a moment violently agitated, as if a hand seized them and let them go again. But I had reckoned that the unknown, after a pause of horror, would suppose that he had heard amiss and continue his usual catechism. And so it proved. In a voice that shook a little, he asked, "Whom do you bring to me?"

"I am listening," the unknown said.

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