“I will spare neither his wine nor his house,” replied the abbe, with a sneering laugh. “I have my plan, I tell you; leave me to set it in operation, and you shall see.”
“Where shall you be yourself?”
“And how shall I receive information?”
“By a courier whose horse shall be kept in the very same garden of your friend. A propos, the name of your friend?”
Fouquet looked again at Gourville. The latter came to the succor of his master, saying, ["The name is of no importance.”
Fouquet continued, “Accompany] monsieur l’abbe, for several reasons, but the house is easily to be known — the ‘Image-de-Notre-Dame’ in the front, a garden, the only one in the quarter, behind.”
[The text is corrupt at this point. The suggested reading, in brackets, is my own. — JB.]
“Good, good! I will go and give notice to my soldiers.”
“Accompany him, Gourville,” said Fouquet, “and count him down the money. One moment, abbe — one moment, Gourville — what name will be given to this carrying off?”
“A very natural one, monsieur — the Riot.”
“The riot on account of what? For, if ever the people of Paris are disposed to pay their court to the king, it is when he hangs financiers.”
“I will manage that,” said the abbe.
“Yes; but you may manage it badly, and people will guess.”
“Not at all, — not at all. I have another idea.”
“What is that?”
“My men shall cry out, ‘Colbert, vive Colbert!’ and shall throw themselves upon the prisoners as if they would tear them in pieces, and shall force them from the gibbets, as too mild a punishment.”
“Ah! that is an idea,” said Gourville. “Peste! monsieur l’abbe, what an imagination you have!”
“Monsieur, we are worthy of our family,” replied the abbe, proudly.
“Strange fellow,” murmured Fouquet. Then he added, “That is ingenious. Carry it out, but shed no blood.”
Gourville and the abbe set off together, with their heads full of the meditated riot. The superintendent laid himself down upon some cushions, half valiant with respect to the sinister projects of the morrow, half dreaming of love.
At two o’clock the next day fifty thousand spectators had taken their position upon the Place, around the two gibbets which had been elevated between the Quai de la Greve and the Quai Pelletier; one close to the other, with their backs to the embankment of the river. In the morning also, all the sworn criers of the good city of Paris had traversed the quarters of the city, particularly the halles and the faubourgs, announcing with their hoarse and indefatigable voices the great justice done by the king upon two speculators,