Libergent triumphantly glanced from Spoon to the audience.
At that moment, however, the man at his side rose up:—Ross de Bleury!
“If what Monsieur says is true,” he exclaimed to the Honorable, throwing out his clenched hand,—“if these letters are found upon those notes, then I understand it. I can prove that this infernal, greasy, treacherous devil,—be he friend or traitor, or whatever he chooses to be, to the Bleu party or myself,—committed that despicable larceny and has wronged that poor young man. I was on the steamboat. I saw it. I saw him do it to his friend. Talking to the purser, I saw the act, but could not believe it a reality. On the parole of all my ancestors, I would never go back on a common thief, I would keep faith inviolate with a parricide, I have a secret sympathy with every brigand, but I have no place out of l’enfer itself for a traitor, Dieu merci.”
“Swear the informant,” said the Magistrate.
The picture at this instant of the frightened face of Spoon who collapsed into a seat by the Bar, of the excitement of the crowd, which had been gradually brought to a climax, the disgust of Libergent, relief of Chrysler, satisfaction of the little Bonhomme and his wife, the cynical roll of Zotique’s eyes round the room, and serene, judicial face of the Honorable on the bench above, would have made the reputation of the greatest painter in Paris.
After all, Spoon was remanded for trial, and in due time, the Queen’s Bench Court condemned him to the fullest penalty of the law for his murderous assault and larceny.
Francois meanwhile recovered, and was taken, pale and weak, but indescribably happy, in a carriage one morning beside Josephte to church, where the young Cure made her his faithful bride.
As for Benoit, “il est tout en campagne,” they said. In less expressive terms, “his mind was hopelessly wandering.”
* * * * *
To return to our current day however; in the evening Chamilly came into the drawing room with some more manuscript, which he handed to Chrysler.
“Here is the rest of the story I have been writing,” said he, “take it sir and may it amuse you a little; it is the key to the rest. I am going out on the River.” And he went-out of the Manoir door into the storm.
The manuscript proceeded as follows:
“O, skyward-looking, fleet-winged
Earth hath no name for thine ideal flower!”
For a night and a day after my talk with my father; I was a fool. Swelling names of ancestors rang proudly in my ears, and I shudder to think how easily I might have ended in a genealogist.