תמונות בעמוד

" What o'clock is it, madame ?” she said * I did not carry off this young girl!” he Costerousse was silent. to the hostess.

exclaimed. “She came here of her own ac "I repeat my question.” “Half-past eleven, mademoiselle." cord."

“I don't know-that is-he may baie" And the carriage ?"

"Well, explain all that at Mende, my robbed some one else." “ It will soon be ready.”

friend, before the Judge of Instruction." “Wretch!” cried Perondi, doubling up “Then please serve breakfast, madame." Perondi grew a little pale. At the same his fist, “ you are a scoundrel!” The hostess left the room, and she was moment the hostess entered, saying:

The judge interposed, and directed Cos. alone with Perondi.

“ The carriage is ready, mademoiselle.” terousse to be taken back to prison. He "Susanne! Susanne!” he cried, " you “We shall not need it to-day, madame,” then turned to Perondi and said coldly: have come--you have kept your promise!” said Susanne, coolly. “This gentleman has “That man murdered Simon Vernon, and “I always keep my promises. I make one."

you were his accomplice !” myself some-these I do not tell.”

She pointed to the chief of police, who, Perondi staggered back, bis lips grew He looked at her keenly; there was some scenting a jest, began to laugh. He then di ashy, and he stammered out: thing strange in her voice. Her manner was rected Perondi to walk before him, and made ** It is not true! it is not true! the murnot less singular; she seemed to be listening. him enter an open vehicle with four seats, derer was tried and found guilty!" In ten minutes breakfast was served ; and standing in front of the inn. Susanne-hav The judge looked at him coldly, and Perondi sat down and ate ravenously; the ing paid the worthy hostess-took her seat said : girl declared that she had broken her fast, beside the chief of police; and the vehicle ** Observe that in any event you cannot and remained standing.

set out, the horses going at a steady trot, escape the galleys. Abduction and theft are When the Piedmontese had finished he toward Mende.

established against you. It will be best for rose, exclaiming :

you to confess. If you do not, I will pro“I hear the carriage !”

On the same day, and almost at the same pose this course to Anselme Costerousse, and In fact, the sound of wheels could be dis-hour, that Matteo Perondi was arrested at he will have the benefit of it.” tinguished in front of the inn. Susanne Chastagoier, Anselme Costerousse was ar Perondi hesitated—his frame shook-but made no reply; she was listening, and sud- rested at his farm-house. The arrest was he repeated : denly her face glowed.

made so quietly at the isolated grange that "I am innocent! the murderer was tried “Come!” cried the Piedmontese, “en | Anselme was in prison before anybody heard and found guilty !” route for Italy, Susanne!” of it.

M. de Ribière nodded his head and turned "I am not going to Italy!" was the reply At six in the evening he was sent for to to Susanne. of the girl.

appear before M. de Ribière, and, as he en “Mademoiselle," he said, "you can now “ Not going !"

tered, he saw before him Susanne and Matteo say any thing you wish.” “I am going to return to Villefort !” Perondi, who had arrived a few moments be Susanne took a step forward, and con“ You ? no! I am the master now. You fore.

fronted the Piedmontese. are going with me."

“ Anselme Costerousse," said the judge, “So you thought I was insane," she saić, “Yes, or you are going with me - it“ do you know of what you are accused ?” " and that I would go with you back to your amounts to the same thing,” she said.

Costerousse looked from Perondi to Su country—that I loved you?” Heavy steps were heard on the staircase sanne-the former turned away his eyes, the A low sound full of disgust issued from leading to the apartment.

latter returned his glance with one of impla her lips. What is the meaning of this ? " cried cable firmness.

"Loved you !-ah! I knew from the the Piedmontese, drawing his knife.

“No, sir," he said.

very first that you and this Costerousse had “ It means, Matteo Perondi,” said the “ You are charged with complicity in the murdered poor Simon Vernon! Yes, from girl, rising to her full height—"it means that abduction of Susanne Gervaz, an infant un the very first I knew it, or felt convinced of a poor girl is too cunning for you with all der age, by your hired man, Matteo Peron it, at least. Do you remember when you your cunning! It means that I have led you di.”

sneered at me that morning when poor into a trap to destroy you !--that my Jacques Costerousse drev a long breath. He was Jacques was examined? Your face made me will no longer undergo punishment for mur- as much relieved as Perondi had been, and reflect ! Do you remember in the courtdering Simon Vernon! It means, miserable in spite of his cunning could not conceal his room when the jury pronounced his fate? creature, that you are in the hands of the satisfaction.

Then I reflected more still, and your two law! Do you still disbelieve in God ? "

“Ah! is that it, sir ?” he said; "but, faces said, “We are the true murderers' The door flew open, and the chief of po Mr. Judge, I know nothing about this affair. Then I began to think. If you had murlice entered, followed by his gendarmes. settled with Matteo Perondi yesterday, and dered Simon Vernon and robbed him of bis

“Matteo Perondi, you are my prisoner," he said nothing of it. If he had, I would money, you would part with it sooner or he said.

have dissuaded him. I would have come later, and it was my business to find when The Italian bounded, knife in hand, town right to you, judge-for I am a peaceable and where. Do you begin to understand ard Susanne, and would have stabbed her, and quiet man. I told him this girl would

now?" but a blow from the carbine of one of the fool him! I bis accomplice, sir ?—just the Perondi could not sustain her gaze. He gendarmes made him stagger back. He contrary! I was always telling him, "Take seemed to be dazzled, and turned away, rushed toward the window; a gendarme care ! this Susanne will bewitch you!' But “ You made your disgusting love to me, stood below. A moment afterward he was you can't make young men listen to reason!” and I told you that you were too poor and seized and bound.

M. de Ribière only said “ Humph!” and, dirty. You replied that you could buy Den “For what am I arrested ?” he cried. pointing to Perondi, said to an official: clothes at the fair of Vigan, and I went "For the crime provided for in the Penal “ Search this man."

thither, still as a crazy girl, to watch you! Code, article 354,” said the chief of police. Both Perondi and Costerousse turned As a crazy girl-and do you know why I

“What is the crime ?” he asked, in a suddenly pale. In the pockets of the Pied pretended to be insane-why I leaped from hoarse and trembling voice.

montese were found fifteen hundred francs. M. d'Estérae's carriage and fled singing, and “ Article 354 provides for the punishment “What wages did you pay Matteo Peron rambled about the fields till my condition of those who" di ?" said the judge to Costerousse.

was the talk of the country ?-To throw you Perondi held his breath.

He stammered something.

off your guard, you and Costerousse ! To “—who entice and carry off a minor from “It will be best for you to tell the truth.” | make you unsuspicious and thus betray your her parents or guardians," said the chief of "I paid him fifty crowns a year.” secret! To entrap you as you allowed my police.

“Well, he lived with you four years—he poor Jacques to be entrapped and to suffer. An immense load was lifted from the could not have saved more than six hundred wretch, in your places!” breast of the Piedmontese by these words- | francs ; where did he get the rest ? Did he Perondi uttered a low moan. that was apparent from his face. rob you of it?”

“So I went to the fair at Vigan. I knew

[ocr errors]

you would never dare to part with Simon's | ing, and, if you escaped to Italy, Jacques was “ Very well; and this, wliat do you say money near Mende or Villefort. Spanish ruined. So I laid another trap for you. I to this?" home-traders came to Vigan, and you would promised to fly with you, and meet you at a He read aloud the certificate of the paythere exchange this money; so I went, and spot agreed upon. It was necessary to bring / ment made to André Gervaz. As he listened watched, and saw you bargaining with Ma some charge against you to have you arrested. Costerousse seemed choked by something in rianno Bedares, and went the next day, when The charge fixed on was abduction, punish- his throat. you had bought his horse, and offered to able by the Penal Code. M. de Ribière “ Wretched man!” exclaimed the judge, exchange silver money for Spanish gold. He showed me the law, which my own father “that gold I showed you was taken from the consented readily, and gave me a quadruple, read to me one day—and here you are." dead body of Simon Vernon at the ‘Priest's two doubloons, and four piasters. Here they Perondi made no response.

Inclosure' on the morning when you murare! Go and return them to the heirs of “One word more," continued the young dered him. Then you sought to conceal Simon Vernon-or bury them in his grave!” girl. “You remember that last evening at your crime, you exchanged the money, you

She threw the coins in the face of Pe the farm. I was present, hid in the shrub-paid your debt to André Gervaz, you paid rondi, and went on with renewed passion : bery near the window, when you talked with your landlord M. Claudet, you paid Lamou

“You came back with new clothes— your master Costerousse. I heard all-all!” roux the stone-cutter for work done for you. with your gold chain and your rings. But The Piedmontese shuddered, and raised Where did you obtain this money if not by I was done with you—I knew your secret; his head quickly.

the murder? And why did you start when what I required was further proof. I soon “You were seated at a table; there was a Master Berard told you that André Gervaz had it. Your master, Costerousse, paid his bag of money between you; you were drink was your real creditor ? " rent, and began to improve his farm. Heing and quarreling."

“ Who saw me? His back was turned !" did more—he came to Master Berard, the Perondi listened, with eyes slowly dis-Costerousse cried. notary, to discharge an old debt of three hun- | tending.

Confess, unhappy man-confess your dred francs. I lay in wait and listened-I “You threatened your master. If he did crime ! ” saw the man's guilt in his face-I found my not pay all you demanded, you would go “Confess what?" father was his real creditor; and here is a to the chief of police at Mende. You said “That, on the morning of the 28th of Nopaper I induced him to give me.”

you would say to him simply these words: vember, in the year 1825, you, Anselme CosShe drew a paper from her apron and Simon Vernon - Anselme Costerousse the terousse, in company with Matteo Perondi, read aloud: " Priest's Inclosure--the 28th of November, committed murder on the body of Simon

Vernon." “I certify that Anselme Costerousse,

1825. Do you deny that you said that?” who owed me three hundred francs, bor

The Piedmontese uttered no sound. A “Never, never!” cried Costerousse. “The rowed October 4, 1821, paid the amount on mortal pallor covered his cheeks; and, see crime was committed by Jacques Boucard, October 4th of the present year, both capi- ing that he was about to faint, the judge di- who was tried and condemned for it!” tal and two years' back interest.

rected that he should be removed from the “ Very well,” the judge said, coldly; and, « ANDRÉ GERVAZ. *** November 17, 1826.'

court-room. As he was conducted out, one turning to the officer in attendance, he add

of the officials holding him by the arm, and ed, " Take this man back to prison to await “Then I knew," she continued," that supporting him as he staggered along rather his trial." you and the worthy Costerousse had inher than walked, M. de Ribière, who was near M. ited all this money from-Simon Vernon! I d'Estérac, leaned over and made a sign to Three months afterward Costerousse and had long determined, you see, to entrap you, attract his attention. M. d'Estérac inclined | Perondi were arraigned before the Court of murderer that you are! And I allowed you his head to listen.

Assizes of the department for the murder of to make love to me--you to me-you!

“Look," said the judge, pointing toward Simon Vernon; and, as before, a great crowd Her tone of voice was so full of con- Susanne, “there is a better examining judge assembled to witness the proceedings in an tempt that it stung him to the quick. His than myself ! ”

affair which continued to excite the deepest eyes, which had glared sidewise, full of a Such had been the result of the exami- interest and curiosity throughout the entire sort of stupor, turned slowly, and darted a nation of the Piedmontese. It was now the region. livid flame at her.

turn of Costerousse, and on the following day The accused persons had obstinately per“ You were no better in my eyes than a he was sent for, and conducted before the sisted in declaring themselves innocent of the venemous reptile—a dirty farm-hand !” she judge.

crime, and, although public opinion was al. went on. Love you? I have never loved " Anselme Costerousse," said the judge, most universally against them, well-grounded any one but Jacques, my heart and my soul! "you were interrogated yesterday in refer- doubts were expressed as to the possibility He is in the galleys, but he is your master ence to the sum of money found on the per- of proving their guilt. At the appointed hour now as always."

son of Perondi at the time of his arrest." the court-room was closely packed with deepPerondi shuddered with rage. This avow Costerousse made no reply; he was evi-ly-interested auditors, and, the case having al of her love for Jacques seemed to pierce dently standing on his guard.

been called, the examination began. his very heart. He bent down and remained "You did not urge what is possible, after “Perondi," said the president of the tri. silent.

all—that the money was Susanne's, and that bunal,"stand up." " Then the days followed each other," Perondi took it from her."

The Piedmontese rose slowly. He held she went on. “I had the money you carried The face of Costerousse suddenly lit up, | his head down, but looked up at the presito Vigan, and the proof of Costerousse's pay- and he exclaimed:

dent with sullen and bloodshot eyes. The ments, but this was not proof sufficient. I “Yes, yes, that must have been the way latter looked over his notes, and then turned must alarm your conscience, and make you of it, Mr. Judge! Yes, certainly, the money again toward the accused. confess your crime—to me if not to others. was poor Susanne's beyond all doubt. She “The fact has been established," said the There was no time to lose-you were going sold flowers, you know—a franc here, a five- | judge," that, at the time of your arrest, you to leave the country. I swore you should sou piece there. A little at a time, but a lit- | had upon your person a sum of money three not, and kept my own counsel as to my tle often enough makes a pile in our good times as great as your wages for the time you plans. I could not induce you to confess. French money."

lived with your employer Costerousse could I dragged you, pale and trembling, to the The judge suddenly held up before Cos- have amounted to. Explain how you came house where my poor Jacques was arrested— terousse the foreign gold — the quadruple, to be possessed of this sum.” to the very spot where I dishonored my name, doubloons, and piasters—which Susanne had Perondi, acting by the advice of his counswearing falsely afterward to remain free to obtained from Marianno Bedares.

sel, made no response whatever. act for him. I dragged you on to the ‘Priest's “Do you kno these pieces of money?" “You refuse to explain this circumstance, Inclosure;' it was dark nearly, the cypresses Costerousse grew frightfully pale. then?” said the judge. waved--a grave was there: you would not “No, no!” he exclaimed. “I do not Perondi remained silent. confess. Worse still, you said you were go- | know them. I never saw them before.” “Very well,” the judge added, “ sit down

and let the witnesses be called. Call first this statement on his trial. Do you suppose administered to one condemned to the gal.
Marianno Bedares."
that he will deny it still?”

leys—what I require of you is a true stateThe horse-dealer promptly came forward "I do not think he will," said Susanne, ment to wbich the jury will attach whatever and took his place on the witness - stand. calmly.

importance they think proper." His presence at the trial was due to the en The judge turned to an usher and said: Jacques Boucard held up his head, lookergy of M. d'Estérac. This friend of Susanne "Call Jacques Boucard to come into | ing calmly and simply at the judge. had gone all the way to Spain, and repre-court."

“The witness, Susanne Gervaz," continsented the state of affairs so strongly to the At these words a prolonged murmur was ued the judge, “has retracted her former Castilian that they had returned in company, heard in the crowd, entirely ignorant of Bou- statement that she was not present at your arriving on the very evening before the trial. card's presence, and all eyes were fixed upon house with you when Simon Vernon was mur

The ordinary questions were first pro- the door through which the galley-slave was dered. It is now ascertained that she made pounded to Marianno Bedarės, as to his expected to enter. The character of the mur- the denial as a friend of your own. She now name, residence, and occupation. These murs and general agitation was unmistak- declares upon her oath that she was present having been answered, the judge proceeded able--the popular sympathy was obvious— at your bouse, and held an interview with you to the main examination.

and, in the midst of this general excitement, at the hour of the murder. Is this statement “Marianno Bedares," he said, " look at Jacques Boucard made his appearance. On true or false ?” the man on the bench-the younger one of his right walked his faithful friend, M. d'Es Jacques was silent. It was easy to see the two, with the swarthy face-do you know térac, and on his left the venerable Abbé that the trial would turn on his response, him?"

Vernier, chaplain of the galleys, who had The crowd, the jury, even Matteo Perondi, “Yes,” said Bedares, with his strong long been convinced of his innocence, and with his pale face and glowing eyes, bent forSpanish accent, “I know him, but he is much pow publicly gave bim the benefit and moral ward to listen. changed since I last saw him."

support of his presence and countenance. Suddenly Susanne went to his side, and “Where have you before met him ?” The appearance of Jacques at the trial may clasped his hand in her own. Her cheeks

“I met him at the last fair at Vigan. I be explained in a very few words. The judge were full of blushes, her eyes flashing through sold him a horse."

had sent a requisition for him to Toulon, stat- tears expressed the deepest tenderness, and "Did he pay you for the horse ?” ing that his presence was necessary in the she said to him : “He did."

interest of public justice; and this applica “You can speak now." “In French money ? "

tion had been promptly responded to by the The young man's face flushed, and he “No, in Spanish coin.”

authorities. The galley-slave was directed to looked up from Susanne to the judge. “State the circumstances of the sale of be relieved temporarily from the degrading Yes, sir," he said, “Susanne was at my the horse, and all connected with the trans ball and chain, but not divested of his prison- house. She came at the risk of losing ber action from the beginning to the end.” er's dress, and sent under guard to be present good name to beg me not to yield to the rio

Marianno Bedares, in obedience to this at the trial. He had wrapped himself during lence of my nature, and seek a quarrel with order, proceeded to give a full account of the his journey, owing to the inclemency of the Simon Vernon !” purchase of the horse, of the payment of the weather, in an old fisherman's cloak, but as “Is that the truth?" Spanish gold-coin, and of the subsequent ex. he entered the court - room he voluntarily “It is the truth, sir, as God sees me! I change of the coin with Susanne Gervaz for threw off the cloak, and appeared in bis dress swear it on my mother's grave !" French money. A cross-examination by the of a galley-slave-green cap, red coat, and As he spoke, Susanne, overcome with jos, counsel for the prisoner failed to cast any yellow pantaloons.

threw her arms around his neck, and buried discredit on his testimony, or elicit any At sight of this degrading dress, the im- her face in his breast, exclaiming: doubtful details.

pulsive crowd uttered a suppressed cry, and “My own Jacques !" “The witness will stand aside," said the it was easy to perceive that it was a cry of as. A cry and a sudden stir in the crowd foljudge. "Call Susanne Gervaz."

tonishment and distress. Publio opinion had lowed the words. The origin of this confoA stir took place in the crowd, and Su turned completely in favor of Jacques by this sion was soon apparent to all. Matteo Pesanne came forward to the witness - stand. time, and there was no disposition in any per- rondi, drawing a knife which he had managed She had never appeared so beautiful, and son in the audience to offer him any indigni- to conceal, had stabbed himself; and, when what attracted universal attention in the ty, far from it. The presence of M. d'Esté- the good Abbé Vernier made his way through crowd, adoring her now as their own heroine, rac anů the good abbé as his friends was the crowd to his side, he was already dying. was the fact that she had thrown aside her wholly unnecessary.

"Poor, unhappy man,” cried the good abmourning. In her simple dress, with her The judge turned toward the jury. bé, “confess your sins!” glowing cheeks and proud attitude, she was “It must be plain to all," he said, “ that “My-sins ?” he gasped. superb.

the only real question which the jury is now “Who murdered Simon Vernon?"
She gave her evidence in a calm, distinct called upon to decide is the truth or the "-and-Anselme Costerousse!"
voice, unmoved by the least tremor. When- falsehood of the defense set up on the former These words came in gasps. Having ut-
ever, during the progress of it, she was trial—that Jacques Boucard was present at tered them, Matteo Perondi fell back and ex-
obliged to speak of Matteo Perondi, her face his own house on the morning and at the pired.
assumed an expression of unspeakable con hour when Simon Vernon is known to have A month afterward, Costerousse, who had
tempt and disgust. Her glance, gestures, been murdered. Boucard, when interrogated, confessed his participation in the assassina-
and very accent, seemed to say that she re declared that he was, but Susanne Gervaz tion, expiated his crime upon the gallows.
garded him as something even viler than an was not present in his house at that hour; A year from that time, Jacques Boucard,
assassin. Women, in every class of society, ! but there is good reason to believe that in so long reinstated in his post of game-keeper,
possess the secret of these insulting glances, testifying he aimed to protect the good name on his release from the galleys, was married
which seem to degrade the man who is their of a person beloved by him. It is to clear to Susanne Gervaz, to whom he owed tbe
object beneath the level of a beast.

up all doubt upon this one main question proofs of his innocence.
She repeated her former testimony-Pe that he is now sent for, and I shall interro-
rondi glancing at her from time to time, and

listening like one in a dream to the murmurs It was perfectly plain that this decision
of the great crowd.
was in accordance with public sentiment,

“So you were really," said the judge,“ in which has its effect even in a court-room;
Jacques Boucard's home at the hour of seven
in the morning on the 28th of November, said :

out the nineteenth century, and to 1825 ?"

“Jacques Boucard, you have been sent find himself so freed from the surroundings “Yes, sir.”

for to appear at this trial, not to give your of modern improvement and culture that he “ Jacques Boucard denied the truth of testimony on oath, since an oath cannot be is inclined to rub his eyes to make sure be

[ocr errors]

gate him.”

and the judge, addressing himself to Boucard, IP any one wants to get on en student lite

is not dreaming, let him take the express coarse faces that stared at us from under | lane on the right, we came to a flight of train from Paris to Auray, in Brittany, and the faded black hoods of the women, or the old stone steps. These led into a square next day find his way to St. - Nicodème-matted locks of the men. On the right a inclosure paved with broken flag-stones, and always remembering that this next day must path led to the church, and, as this was surrounded by ruined walls, overgrown ferns be the first Saturday of August.

locked, we seated ourselves at the foot of springing everywhere from the joints of the There is no very direct access to the fine a wooden calvary outside, while a woman stone-work, with trees and ivy. In the cenold solitary church of St.-Nicodème.

fetched the key. A good-natured-looking tre stood a grand old fountain going fast to The nearest station on the Auray and peasant, with her child and distaff, came up decay ; brambles flaunted great red arms from Pontivy line of railway is at St.-Nicolas- shyly and seated herself beside us. She the top, and between them showed a richlydes-Eaux, but even from here there is a tir. could not speak much French, and the child, crocheted canopy, which surmounted the ing walk of some kilometres along the dusty who learned it at school, was too shy to empty niche of the saint of the fountain. high-road, and, for reasons which will appear, talk. But the woman was anxious to know While we stood wondering whether this it is not pleasant to drive from St.-Nicolas. what had brought us to St.-Nicolas. We had not in former years been the home of It is really more direct, although less inter- asked about St.-Nicodème. “But yes, there some celebrated pilgrimage, a woman came esting, to go from Auray to Baud or Pontivy, is a fair and a pardon there to-morrow; the down the steps, carrying a huge pail in one and take a carriage from one or other of angel will come down and light the bonfire; hand, and bearing a large brown pitcher on these places to St.-Nicodème.

he has gold wings, the angel. Ah, that is in her head, to get water. She was dressed just At Auray they seemed to know nothing deed worth coming to see !” We asked if we like the rest of the villagers, and had the about St.-Nicodème or its fete, and even when could sleep at St.-Nicolas; but our friend same awkward, half-savage ways. She glared we reached Baud and asked for information, shook her head. “There is the cabaret be at us for an instant from under her hood, and the station-master shook his head: “Yes, side the river,” she said. But we had al then knelt down and filled her pail and her yes, there is a pardon, but when it occurs, ready had a glimpse of this, and had decided pitcher so clumsily, and with such waste of -ma foi, some time in August, that is all I not even to eat there.

water, that she must have soaked her heavy know."

The clumsy woman, who bad gone to blue skirt, and filled her sabots with the splashThis was discouraging, but, as on the fetch the key, came back with a red, swollen ings--certainly she wore no stockings to sufmap St.-Nicolas-des-Eaux looked close to St.- | face and large tears rolling down her cheeks. fer by the wetting. It was strange not to Nicodème, we decided to go on there in Her Breton was unintelligible, but we learned find a trace of the adroit deftness of the search of more definite tidings.

that she had a dying sister, who had sud- Frenchwomen in these large-eyed, sad-faced, We crossed the Blauet-a broad river denly grown worse. It was touching to see clumsy village Bretonnes. Coquetry and here running through a wooded valley. A the sympathy created among the neighbors grace seem equally unknown to them, cerlittle way from the station, up the côte on the as the poor woman went back sobbing to tainly, as a Frenchman said, “Il n'y a pas left bank of the stream, we came upon the her cottage, but they said the sister would l'ombre de séduction chez ces femmes." quaint old village of St.-Nicolas. It looks linger yet some time.

Coming down through the pretty little so primitive, so sequestered, that doubtless A group had now collected before the village again, we found several women standit is rarely visited; even Bretons seem to church, almost all dressed alike in black or 1 ing knitting at the cottage-doors, evidently know nothing of it; and yet its position be- blue gowns; the square opening of the un. watching for our reappearance, but not one side the lovely, winding river, its struggling, der body was trimmed with broad black rib- could speak French; a shake of the head and irregular line of granite cottages shaded by bon velvet, velvet also round the cuffs of a grin, showing the long front-teeth, and “Ja huge spreading chestnut - boughs that cross the tight-fitting black sleeves. Down each / ja," proved to be the universal answer to one another overhead, the quaint costumes of front of the corset, worn over the body, was our questions. its people nearly all the women have disc a row of silver buttons set so close that the Now that we were sure about the fête, we taffs in their hands and the utter isolation edges overlapped one another; the arm resolved to go on to Baud, and return next in which they seem to live, give it a power- holes of this corset were also trimmed with morning, for it was evidently impossible to get ful attraction to the traveler.

very broad black velvet—the square open- a lodging at St.-Nicolas, and one could not These massive granite dwellings are built ing in front of the body, filled by a white even have eaten a meal in the dirty cabaret. in twos and threes, with circular - headed neckerchief

, fastened at the throat by a gilt A huge pile of loaves on the filthy floor were, doorways, and sometimes only one small, pin. This relieved the otherwise sombre the mistress said, in readiness for to-morrow. square window. Half the door is kept open garb, for, except the apron and the silver We asked about a voiture, and the mistress to admit light, the lower half is usually kept buttons, all the rest was black or dark blue, called a sulky-looking boy to answer us. He closed and bolted. Looking over this, we unless the wind or any other accident dis came, gnawing a straw. saw that half the space within was given to played the colored lining of the hood. The “A voiture ?he said, contemptuously. the family, the other half to the cow-stable, apron was of coarse, striped woollen. The Dame, oui! I should think so. If monand the floor as usual was uneven earth, on women seemed surprised that we should visit sieur et dame will come with me, I will arwhich stood handsome-looking armoires. the church.

range for them with Jean Jacques.” The sun was so bright overhead that the It is an ancient chapel of the priory of We followed him up the road a few yards. inside of the cottages looked very dark, and St.-Gildas. There are still ruins of this pri- At the door of a cottage sat an old beggar, the absence of white caps increased this ory on the other side of the Blauet, but the dressed in a ragged shirt, drab trousers, and gloom—the universal head-gear being a rusty interior is very curious. Projecting from gaiters. His long gray hair streamed over black-velvet or blue-cloth hood, fitting the four columns in the centre are four praying his shoulders, and his bare chest showed head closely, and coming down on the should figures. A richly-carved wooden frieze runs through his open shirt-front. ders in a pointed cape lined with scarlet, all round the wagon-headed roof, and in one A colloquy in Breton, and then, to our yellow, or green. Under one's feet the of the transepts this carving is remarkable; dismay, we learned that this dirty old bundle ground showed that corn had lately been grotesque heads and faces are united by a of rags was the Jean Jacques who would thrashed there; long-legged white pigs and waving border of serpents and dragons; the drive us to Baud, and that he promised to be lean fowls were eagerly picking up the stray whitewashed beams are also carved, the ends ready directly. grains scattered about, gleaming like gold as fixed into huge dragon-heads that project from "But is there no other vehicle ?" the sun found its way down to them through the wing. There is a huge bell in one corner Our sulky lad's contempt was beyond enthe fan-like leaves of the chestnut-trees above of the wainscot. There was not a seat of any durance.

Exquisite yellow-green vine-sprays clung kind to be seen in the church; the white “No, there is no other, and monsieur et about some of the cottages, and flung them washed walls were green with damp, and the sa dame may think themselves lucky to get selves on the thatch as if they meant to floor was of uneven clay. There was no sign this one. Dame, oui! it is quite possible reach the chimneys, and these wreaths in of daily use about it. It felt so damp that that other travelers may arrive who will their grace and beauty were in strange con we were glad to get into sunshine again. want Jean Jacques and his white horse, and trast to the clumsy-bodied, large-featured, Beyond the church, down a narrow green then what becomes of monsieur ? "

After this harangue he ran away; and, we reached it. At last we came to a road or | baby-child stretching up its hand and crying having settled the bargain with Jean Jacques, lane on the right, shaded by spreading chest. for it. The interior of the church had eriwho spoke execrable French, we walked dis nut-trees. These Breton side-roads have a dently been so recently whitewashed that consolately down to the river, Jean Jacques, character peculiarly their own. In the north there had been no time to wash the stains in a very cracked voice, calling out some they are deeply sunk between high furze and and splashes from the dirty pavement; and, thing in Breton, which a woman told us sig. brake-covered banks, along the top of which as there were no chairs, this was covered by nified that he would be ready in five min. is often concealed a foot-path; but in the kneeling worshipers. On the ceiling the stautes.

south these banks are lowered, and, as at St.- tions of the cross were painted in very gaudy We sauntered on to the bridge, and en Nicodème, huge trees grow behind them, and colors. The high altar was one blaze of joyed the lovely view up and down the river, send their branches across from side to side lighted candles; grouped round it were some but the five minutes grew into thirty at least. so near the road that certainly the lofty- | really rich crimson and white banners workei

At last we heard a shout, and, turning hooded wagons of Normandy would find no in gold, and at a side-altar a priest was sayround to look up the road, we saw our ve room to pass under the leafy roof.

ing a litany. There were most picturesque hicle.

Our driver stopped and told us this road figures among the kneeling worshipers, and On inspection, it proved to be a miserable led to the church; and, indeed, without this in and out among them two girls wandered little cart, without any springs ; two sacks information, we should have guessed this, as up and down with lighters for the votive canstuffed with bean-straw were laid across the people were hastening into it from all direc- dles ; several old women, too, carried about seats, and a little white horse stood between tions. Our driver said the road was too bundles of these candles. the shafts.

rough for his vehicle to go over, so we dis Some of the kneelers pulled my skirts to Our driver was sweeping the inside of the mounted.

attract attention to a leg or aru, or to incart most vigorously with a huge broom The lane was full of people, all hurrying form me in a whisper that they were ready to made of the green broom-plant.

toward the church. We found it necessary pray the Blessed Virgin to give me a safe He had washed himself, and had wonder- to walk heedfully, for the road was channeled journey if I had a few centimes to give fully smartened his appearance. He wore a with deep cart-ruts, and these were filled with away. white-flannel jacket, trimmed with black vel. mud and water. At the end of the lane we It was so cool inside the church that the vet and small brass buttons, and a large, flat found ourselves in a bewildering throng of air felt oven-like when we came out again

, alblack hat, also trimmed with black velvet. carts, horses, cows, pigs, and people, crowded though the gray old building was surrounded by But the horse was deplorably small, with in front of and against the low stone-wall huge, spreading chestnut-trees. Close to the drooping head, and looking as if his bones that fences in the church and its celebrated church, ranged under the green, fan-like leares, were unset, and he was only kept together fountain. At the moment a man quite were booths full of strings of rosaries, crostes, by his dirty-white skin.

blocked up further passage by calmly plaiting medals, badges, and other jewelry, especials We clambered into the vehicle with heavy the cream-colored tail of his horse, so long ornamental pieces for fastening the chemihearts, but no anticipation could justify the that it reached across the road, which had settes and shawls of the peasant-women. Silver reality. Directly we started, the jolting widened out as it neared the church. rings bearing the image of St.-Nicodème were was dreadful, and besides this the horse had St.-Nicodème is a handsome stone build- selling rapidly at a fabulously low price. In a perpetual zigzag movement, which sent using of the sixteenth century, with a fine tower other booths (or ranged against the low stonefrom side to side of the cart, and doubled the and spire ; but it is its situation that is so wall at the right side of the church) were set length of our journey; one felt just like a charming. It stands in a sort of bollow; the forth a store of large, gaudily-colored prints shuttlecock, the sides of the cart represent- ground rising from it on three sides is planted of various saints and sacred subjects. Chief ing the battledoor.

with huge chestnut-trees. Under the shade among them was a gorgeous full-length of St. We tried to speak to our driver, but he of these, beyond and beside the church, we Nicodème wearing the papal tiara, a violet shook his head imperiously, and answered in saw a great crowd of people, all seemingly cassock, green chasuble, and scarlet mantle. Breton. One might have taken him for a peasants. There appeared no mixture of Over his head, in a golden nimbus, was a hideous old wizard, with his gleaming eyes bourgeois element, but before going into this bright-green dove descending on the saint

, and flowing gray hair, but for his religious crowd we turned aside to see the fountain. who stood between a tall poplar-tree and 3 reverence. At every church and every cal A visit to this is evidently an important palm bursting into blossoms of various colors. vary we passed he slackened his pace, un part of the duty of the day. Three or four There were hymns on each side of the paper. covered, and mumbled a long prayer, after old women came toward us at once with jugs A carter with his whip under his arm, the which he always whipped his horse riolent- and cups of the holy-water to drink and wash heavy lash twisted round his neck, knel

: ly, and jolted us worse thun ever.

our faces in, for which they expect a few down reverently to look at this wonderful That drive was certainly like a “ hideous centimes. The fountain is of later date than print; and a withered old man leaned ore: dream,” though it lay through a picturesque, the church, and is sufficiently picturesque. him to explain the words of the hymns, which hilly country, the road on each side constant- In one of the three compartments into which were in French. ly bordered by tall silver-birch-trees, through it is divided is the figure of St.- Nicodème. Farther on, the open glen behind the which we got glimpses of the Montagnes On one side of him a man and a woman are church is thick with people buying, selling. Noires.

kneeling; they offer him an ox. In the oth-eating, and drinking. Here are booths for Next morning was full of sunshine, and, er niches are St.-Abilon, with two men, one clothes, crockery, etc., and open stands for having secured an easy carriage, we started on horseback, the other kneeling; and St.- eatables and drinkables. An old man is sel? at an early hour from the hotel for St.-Nico Gamaliel between two pilgrims, one of whom ing sieves and wooden bowls and boxes

, dème. We soon overtook carts of all kinds offers him a pig. These saints are all Jews. heaped up over the grass. Sieves are in great going in the same direction, chiefly long carts, Men and women, too, were bathing their demand at their barvest-season. with three or four benches or planks set faces and eyes in the fountain, and also eager Hard by the church, against the trunk of across, and these were crammed with men, ly drinking the water. It is said to have an an enormous chestnut-tree, several men Fere women, and children, in holiday costume- tiseptic properties. Standing and lying about seated with lathered faces; two were being the salient points in which were the white were dirty, picturesque beggars intent on ex- shaved, the others patiently waiting their jackets and huge black hats of the men, and hibiting their twisted and withered limbs and turn. The rapidity of the barbers was mo! the long, white coiffes of the women, black incurable wounds to passers-by.

amusing; two used the soap-brush, and two being the prevailing color of their jackets The finely-sculptured portal of the church the razor. It is customary to let the beard and skirts. There were also numbers of men was thronged with these sufferers, some of grow some weeks before the festival of S. and women on foot, trudging along the road, them eating their poor breakfasts out of little Nicodème, and then to be clean shared it many of them driving their animals to the basins. One ragged child held out a scallop the early morning. We came upon many of fair.

shell for alms, keeping up a chorus of whin these al-fresco barber-shops under the trees The fine gray spire of the church of St.- ing supplication. Among these squalid ob- in different parts of the fair. Nicodème was visible for some time before ! jects a beautiful butterfly was hovering-a As we walked through the crowd, Te ob

« הקודםהמשך »