“Easily explained!” cried Carhaix. “Satan is forgotten by the great majority. Now it was Father Ravignan, I believe, who proved that the wiliest thing the Devil can do is to get people to deny his existence.”
“Oh, God!” murmured Durtal forlornly, “what whirlwinds of ordure I see on the horizon!”
“No,” said Carhaix, “don’t say that. On earth all is dead and decomposed. But in heaven! Ah, I admit that the Paraclete is keeping us waiting. But the texts announcing his coming are inspired. The future is certain. There will be light,” and with bowed head he prayed fervently.
Des Hermies rose and paced the room. “All that is very well,” he groaned, “but this century laughs the glorified Christ to scorn. It contaminates the supernatural and vomits on the Beyond. Well, how can we hope that in the future the offspring of the fetid tradesmen of today will be decent? Brought up as they are, what will they do in Life?”
“They will do,” replied Durtal, “as their fathers and mothers do now. They will stuff their guts and crowd out their souls through their alimentary canals.”