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o'clock in the morning, which is the hour of high tide, and, amongst others, the Vagraat, of Rotterdam.”
The justice of the quorum made a movement of his shoulder towards Ursus.
“ Be it so. Leave by the first ship-by the Vagraat.”
“Your worship, if I had, as formerly, only my little box on wheels, that might be done. A boat would contain that, but —”
“ But what?”
“But now I have the Green Box, which is a great caravan drawn by two horses, and however wide the ship might be, we could not get it into her."
“What is that to me?” said the justice. “The wolf will be killed.” Ursus shuddered, as if he were grasped by a hand of ice.
“ Monsters !” he thought. “Murdering people is their way of settling matters.”
The innkeeper smiled, and addressed Ursus.
“An offer for the caravan, an offer for the two horses, an offer for the two gipsy-women, an offer
“From whom ?” repeated Ursus.
“Your honour, the bargain can be completed to-day. The proprietor of the circus close by wishes to buy the caravan and the two horses."
“The proprietor of the circus is right,” said the justice ; “because he will soon require them. A caravan and horses will be useful to him. He also will depart to-day. The reverend gentlemen of the parish of Southwark have complained of the obscene hurly-burly of Tarrinzeau Field. The sheriff has taken his measures. This evening there will not be a single juggler's booth in the place. There will be an end of all these scandals. The honourable gentleman who has deigned to be here present-"
The justice of the quorum interrupted himself to salute Barkilphedro, who returned the bow.
Vol. IV., N. S. 1870.
“ The honourable gentleman who has deigned to be present, has arrived to night from Windsor. He brings orders. Her Majesty has said, “This must be swept away.'"
Ursus, during his long meditation in the night, had not failed to put some questions to himself. After all, he had only seen a bier. Could he be sure that it contained Gwynplaine? Other people might have died besides Gwynplaine. A coffin in passing does not announce the name of the corpse.
He had seen a funeral follow the arrest of Gwynplaine. That proved nothing. Post hoc, non propter hoc, &c. Ursus had begun to doubt.
Hope burns and glimmers over misery like naphtha over water. Its hovering flame ever floats over human sorrow. Ursus had come to this conclusion, “It is probable that it was Gwynplaine whom they buried, but it is not certain. Who knows?--perhaps Gwynplaine still lives."
Ursus bowed to the justice.
“Honourable judge, I will go away, we will go away, all will go away, by the Vagraat, for Rotterdam, to-day. I will sell the Green Box, the horses, the trumpets, the gipsies. But I have a comrade, whom I cannot leave behind-Gwynplaine.”
“Gwynplaine is dead," said a voice.
Ursus felt the sensation of cold produced by a reptile crawling over the skin. It was Barkilphedro who had just spoken.
The last gleam was extinguished. No more doubt now. Gwynplaine was dead. A person of authority ought to know. This one looked ill-favoured enough for that.
Ursus bowed to him.
Master Nicless was a good-hearted man enough, but a dreadful coward. Once terrified he became a brute. The greatest ferocity is inspired by fear.
He growled out,-
And he indulged behind Ursus in rubbing his hands, a peculiarity of egoists, signifying “I am well out of it,” and which is suggestive of Pontius Pilate washing his hands over his basin.
Ursus, overwhelmed, bent his head.
The sentence on Gwynplaine had been executed : Death. His sentence was pronounced : Exile. Nothing remained but to obey. He felt as in a dream.
He felt some one touch his neck. It was the other person, who was with the justice of the quorum. Ursus shuddered.
The voice which had said, “Gwynplaine is dead," whispered in his ear
“Here are ten pounds sterling, sent you by one who wishes you well."
And Barkilphedro placed a little purse on a table before Ursus You remember the casket that Barkilphedro had carried off.
Ten pounds out of two thousand! This was all that Barkilphedro could make up his mind to part with. In all conscience it was enough. If he had given more, he would have lost at the game.
He had taken the trouble of finding out a lord; and having sunk the shaft it was but fair that the first proceeds of the mine should belong to him. Those who see meanness in this are right, but they would be wrong to feel astonished. Barkilphedro loved money, especially that which had been stolen. An envious man is an avaricious man. Barkilphedro was not without his faults. The commission of crimes does not preclude the possession of vice. Tigers have their lice.
Besides, he belonged to the school of Bacon.
Barkilphedro turned towards the justice of the quorum, and said to him—
“Sir, be so good as to conclude this. I am in haste. A carriage, and horses belonging to her Majesty, awaits me. I must go full gallop to Windsor that I may be there within two hours. I have intelligence to give and orders to take."
The justice of the quorum arose.
He went to the door, which was only latched, opened it, and, looking silently towards the police, beckoned to them authoritatively. All entered with that silence which heralds severity of action.
Master Nicless-satisfied with the rapid dénouement which cut short his difficulties-charmed to be out of the entangled skein, feared, when he saw the muster of officers, that they were going to apprehend Ursus in his house. Two arrests—one after the other-in his house, first that of Gwynplaine, then that of Ursus, might be injurious to his inn. Customers dislike police raids.
Here then was a time for a respectful appeal, suppliant and generous. Monsieur Nicless turned toward the justice of the quorum a smiling face, in which confidence was tempered by respect.
“Your honour, I venture to observe to your honour, that these honourable gentlemen, the police officers, are not indispensable now that the wolf is about to be carried out of England; and that this man, Ursus, makes no resistance; and since that your honour's orders are being punctually carried out, your honour will consider that the respectable business of the police, so necessary to the good of the kingdom, does great harm to an establishment, and that my house is
innocent. The merryandrews of the Green Box, having been swept away, as her Majesty says, there is no longer any criminal here, as I do not imagine that the blind girl and the two women are delinquents; therefore, I implore your honour to deign to shorten your august visit, and to dismiss these worthy gentlemen who have just entered, because there is nothing for them to do in my house; and, if your honour will permit me to prove the justice of my speech under the form of a humble question, I will prove the inutility of these revered gentlemen's presence by asking your honour, if the man, Ursus, obeys orders, and departs, whom can there be to arrest here?”
“You," said the justice.
A man does not argue with a sword which runs him through and through. Master Nicless subsided-he cared not on what, on a table, on a form, on anything that happened to be there—prostrate.
The justice raised his voice, so that if there were people outside, they might hear.
“Master Nicless Plumptree, keeper of this tavern, this is the last point to be settled. This mountebank and the wolf are vagabonds. They are driven away. But the person most in fault is yourself. It is in your house and with your consent that the law has been violated; and you, a man licensed, invested with a public responsibility, have installed this scandal here. Master Nicless, your license is taken away; you must pay the penalty, and go to prison."
The policemen surrounded the innkeeper.
“Arrest that boy as an accomplice." The hand of an officer fell upon the collar of Govicum, who looked at him with curiosity. The boy was not much alarmed, scarcely understanding the occurrence; having already observed some things out of the way, he wondered if this were the end of the comedy.
The justice of the quorum forced his hat down on his head, crossed his two hands on his stomach, which is the height of majesty, and added,
“It is decided, Master Nicless, you will be taken to prison, and put into jail, you and the boy; and this house, the Tadcaster Inn, will remain shut up, condemned and closed. For the sake of example. Upon which, you will follow us.”
PART II.-BOOK THE SEVENTH.
THE AWAKENING. AND Dea!
It seemed to Gwynplaine, as he watched the break of day at Corleone Lodge, while the things we have related were occurring at Tadcaster Inn, that this cry came from without—but it came from within him.
Who has not heard the deep clamours of the soul?
Of what use is the sun if not to re-awaken that sombre sleeperconscience ?
Light and virtue are akin.
Whether the god is called Christ or Love, there is at times an hour when he is forgotten, even by the best. All of us, even the saints, require a voice to remind us, and the dawn speaks to us as a sublime monitor. Conscience cries before duty, as the cock crows before the dawn of day.
That chaos, the human heart, hears the Fiat lux !
Gwynplaine—we will continue thus to call him—Clancharlie is a lord, Gwynplaine is a man, Gwynplaine felt as if resuscitated. It was time that the artery should be bound up.
For awhile his virtue had spread its wings and fled from him. “And Dea!” he said.
Then he felt through his veins a generous transfusion. Some thing healthy and tumultuous rushed upon him. The violent irruption of good thoughts is like the return home of a man who has not his key, and who forces his own lock honestly. It is an escalade ; but an escalade of good. It is a breach ; but a breach in evil.
“Dea! Dea! Dea !” repeated he.
He strove to assure himself of his heart's strength. And he put the question with a loud voice—“Where art thou ? "
He almost wondered that no one answered him.