“And I say, it is you that must indemnify me,” cried Morok, who had kept this stage-trick for the last, and who now exhibited his left hand all bloody, having hitherto concealed it beneath the sleeve of his pelisse. “I shall perhaps be disabled for life,” he added; “see what a wound the panther has made here!”
Without having the serious character that the Prophet ascribed to it, the wound was a pretty deep one. This last argument gained for him the general sympathy. Reckoning no doubt upon this incident, to secure the winning of a cause that he now regarded as his own, the host said to the hostler: “There is only one way to make a finish. It is to call up the burgomaster, and beg him to step here. He will decide who is right or wrong.”
“I was just going to propose it to you,” said the soldier, “for, after all, I cannot take the law into my own hands.”
“Fritz, run to the burgomaster’s!”—and the hustler started in all haste. His master, fearing to be compromised by the examination of the soldier, whose papers he had neglected to ask for on his arrival, said to him: “The burgomaster will be in a very bad humor, to be disturbed so late. I have no wish to suffer by it, and I must therefore beg you to go and fetch me your papers, to see if they are in rule. I ought to have made you show them, when you arrived here in the evening.”
“They are upstairs in my knapsack; you shall have them,” answered the soldier—and turning away his head, and putting his hand before his eyes, as he passed the dead body of Jovial, he went out to rejoin the sisters.
The Prophet followed him with a glance of triumph, and said to himself: “There he goes!—without horse, without money, without papers. I could not do more—for I was forbidden to do more—I was to act with as much cunning as possible and preserve appearances. Now every one will think this soldier in the wrong. I can at least answer for it, that he will not continue his journey for some days—since such great interests appear to depend on his arrest, and that of the young girls.”
A quarter of an hour after this reflection of the brute-tamer, Karl, Goliath’s comrade, left the hiding-place where his master had concealed him during the evening, and set out for Leipsic, with a letter which Morok had written in haste, and which Karl, on his arrival, was to put immediately into the post.
The address of this letter was as follows:
“A Monsieur Rodin, Rue du Milieu-des-Ursins, No, 11, A Paris, France.”
Dagobert’s anxiety increased every moment. Certain that his horse had not entered the shed of its own accord, he attributed the event which had taken place to the spite of the brute-tamer; but he sought in vain for the motive of this wretch’s animosity, and he reflected with dismay, that his cause, however just, would depend on the good or bad humor of a judge dragged from his slumbers and who might be ready to condemn upon fallacious appearances.