“What is your full name?”
“Angelique-Louise de Guerchi.”
“Go on! ’I, Angelique-Louise de Guerchi, was visited, in the rooms which—I occupy, in the mansion of the Duchesse d’Etampes, corner of the streets Git-le-Coeur and du Hurepoix, about half-past seven o’clock in the evening, in the first place, by Messire Jeannin de Castille, King’s Treasurer; in the second place, by Commander de Jars, who was accompanied by a young man, his nephew, the Chevalier de Moranges; in the third place, after the departure of Commander de Jars, and while I was alone with the Chevalier de Moranges, by the Duc de Vitry, who drew his sword upon the said chevalier and forced him to take flight.’
“Now put in a line by itself, and use capitals
“’Description of the chevalier de Moranges.”
“But I only saw him for an instant,” said Angelique, “and I can’t recall——
“Write, and don’t talk. I can recall everything, and that is all that is wanted.”
“‘Height about five feet.’ The chevalier,” said Quennebert, interrupting himself, “is four feet eleven inches three lines and a half, but I don’t need absolute exactness.” Angelique gazed at him in utter stupefaction.
“Do you know him, then?” she asked.
“I saw him this evening for the first time, but my eye is very accurate.
“’Height about five feet; hair black, eyes ditto, nose aquiline, mouth large, lips compressed, forehead high, face oval, complexion pale, no beard.’
“Now another line, and in capitals:
“’A small mole on the neck behind the right ear, a smaller mole on the left hand.’
“Have you written that? Now sign it with your full name.”
“What use are you going to make of this paper?”
“I should have told you before, if I had desired you to know. Any questions are quite useless. I don’t enjoin secrecy on you, however,” added the notary, as he folded the paper and put it into his doublet pocket. “You are quite free to tell anyone you like that you have written the description of the Chevalier de Moranges at the dictation of an unknown man, who got into your room you don’t know how, by the chimney or through the ceiling perhaps, but who was determined to leave it by a more convenient road. Is there not a secret staircase? Show me where it is. I don’t want to meet anyone on my way out.”
Angelique pointed out a door to him hidden by a damask curtain, and Quennebert saluting her, opened it and disappeared, leaving Angelique convinced that she had seen the devil in person. Not until the next day did the sight of the displaced partition explain the apparition, but even then so great was her fright, so deep was the terror which the recollection of the mysterious man inspired, that despite the permission to tell what had happened she mentioned her adventure to no one, and did not even complain to her neighbour, Madame Rapally, of the inquisitiveness which had led the widow to spy on her actions.