“Got angry? What about?”
“Because it is not very flattering to a woman to be able to entertain a man only by telling him about another one.”
“Oh, no, it isn’t that way at all,” he said, kissing her eyes tenderly.
“Let me go now,” she said, very low, “this enervates me, and I must get home. It’s late.”
She sighed and fled, leaving him amazed and wondering in what weird activities the life of that woman had been passed.
The day after that on which he had spewed such furious vituperation over the Tribunal, Gilles de Rais appeared again before his judges. He presented himself with bowed head and clasped hands. He had once more jumped from one extreme to the other. A few hours had sufficed to break the spirit of the energumen, who now declared that he recognized the authority of the magistrates and begged forgiveness for having insulted them.
They affirmed that for the love of Our Lord they forgot his imprecations, and, at his prayer, the Bishop and the Inquisitor revoked the sentence of excommunication which they had passed on him the day before.
This hearing was, in addition, taken up with the arraignment of Prelati and his accomplices. Then, authorized by the ecclesiastical text which says that a confession cannot be regarded as sufficient if it is “dubia, vaga, generalis illativa, jocosa,” the Prosecutor asserted that to certify the sincerity of his confessions Gilles must be subjected to the “canonic question,” that is, to torture.
The Marshal besought the Bishop to wait until the next day, and claiming the right of confessing immediately to such judges as the Tribunal were pleased to designate, he swore that he would thereafter repeat his confession before the public and the court.
Jean de Malestroit granted this request, and the Bishop of Saint Brieuc and Pierre de l’Hospital were appointed to hear Gilles in his cell. When he had finished the recital of his debauches and murders they ordered Prelati to be brought to them.
At sight of him Gilles burst into tears and when, after the interrogatory, preparations were made to conduct the Italian back to his dungeon, Gilles embraced him, saying, “Farewell, Francis my friend, we shall never see each other again in this world. I pray God to give you good patience and I hope in Him that we may meet again in great joy in Paradise. Pray God for me and I shall pray for you.”
And Gilles was left alone to meditate on his crimes which he was to confess publicly at the hearing next day. That day was the impressive day of the trial. The room in which the Tribunal sat was crammed, and there were multitudes sitting on the stairs, standing in the corridors, filling the neighbouring courts, blocking the streets and lanes. From twenty miles around the peasants were come to see the memorable beast whose very name, before his capture, had served to close the doors those evenings when in universal trembling the women dared not weep aloud.