“He smells a rat,” said Nicholas; “the rascal’s on his guard. He will not let me come near him. It’s no go.”
“You are an awkward fellow,” said Mrs. Grivois in a passion, as she threw a five-franc piece to Nicholas: “at all events, drive him away.”
“That will be easier than to kill him, madame,” said the porter. Indeed, finding himself pursued, and conscious probably that it would be useless to attempt an open resistance, Spoil-sport fled from the court-yard into the street; but once there, he felt himself, as it were, upon neutral ground, and notwithstanding all the threats of Nicholas, refused to withdraw an inch further than just sufficient to keep out of reach of the sledge-hammer. So that when Mrs. Grivois, pale with rage, again stepped into her hackney-coach, in which were My Lord’s lifeless remains, she saw with the utmost vexation that Spoil-sport was lying at a few steps from the gate, which Nicholas had just closed, having given up the chase in despair.
The Siberian dog, sure of finding his way back to the Rue Brise-Miche, had determined, with the sagacity peculiar to his race, to wait for the orphans on the spot where he then was.
Thus were the two sisters confined in St. Mary’s Convent, which, as we have already said, was next door to the lunatic asylum in which Adrienne de Cardoville was immured.
We now conduct the reader to the dwelling of Dagobert’s wife, who was waiting with dreadful anxiety for the return of her husband, knowing that he would call her to account for the disappearance of Marshal Simon’s daughters.
The influence of A confessor.
Hardly had the orphans quitted Dagobert’s wife, when the poor woman, kneeling down, began to pray with fervor. Her tears, long restrained, now flowed abundantly; notwithstanding her sincere conviction that she had performed a religious duty in delivering up the girl’s she waited with extreme fear her husband’s return. Though blinded by her pious zeal, she could not hide from herself, that Dagobert would have good reason to be angry; and then this poor mother had also, under these untoward circumstances, to tell him of Agricola’s arrest.
Every noise upon the stairs made Frances start with trembling anxiety; after which, she would resume her fervent prayers, supplicating strength to support this new and arduous trial. At length, she heard a step upon the landing-place below, and, feeling sure this time that it was Dagobert, she hastily seated herself, dried her tears, and taking a sack of coarse cloth upon her lap, appeared to be occupied with sewing—though her aged hands trembled so much, that she could hardly hold the needle.
After some minutes the door opened, and Dagobert appeared. The soldier’s rough countenance was stern and sad; as he entered, he flung his hat violently upon the table, so full of painful thought, that he did not at first perceive the absence of the orphans.