The Wandering Jew — Volume 03 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 215 pages of information about The Wandering Jew — Volume 03.

“Come, come!  I see how it is,” said the doctor, shaking his head sorrowfully; “you are very much displeased with me—­is it not so?  Well!  I expected it, my dear child.”

These words, pronounced with the most hypocritical effrontery, made Adrienne start up.  Her pale cheek flushed, her large eyes sparkled, she lifted proudly her beautiful head, whilst her upper lip curled slightly with a smile of disdainful bitterness; then, passing in angry silence before M. Baleinier, who retained his seat, she directed her swift and firm steps towards the door.  This door, in which was a little wicket, was fastened on the outside.  Adrienne turned towards the doctor, and said to him, with an imperious gesture; “Open that door for me!”

“Come, my dear Mdlle.  Adrienne,” said the physician, “be calm.  Let us talk like good friends—­for you know I am your friend.”  And he inhaled slowly a pinch of snuff.

“It appears, sir,” said Adrienne, in a voice trembling with indignation, “I am not to leave this place to-day?”

“Alas! no.  In such a state of excitement—­if you knew how inflamed your face is, and your eyes so feverish, your pulse must be at least eighty to the minute—­I conjure you, my dear child, not to aggravate your symptoms by this fatal agitation.”

After looking fixedly at the doctor, Adrienne returned with a slow step, and again took her seat on the edge of the bed.  “That is right,” resumed M. Baleinier:  only be reasonable; and, as I said before, let us talk together like good friends.”

“You say well, sir,” replied Adrienne, in a collected and perfectly calm voice; “let us talk like friends.  You wish to make me pass for mad—­is it not so?”

“I wish, my dear child, that one day you may feel towards me as much gratitude as you now do aversion.  The latter I had fully foreseen—­but, however painful may be the performance of certain duties, we must resign ourselves to it.”

M. Baleinier sighed, as he said this, with such a natural air of conviction, that for a moment Adrienne could not repress a movement of surprise; then, while her lip curled with a bitter laugh, she answered:  “Oh, it’s very clear, you have done all this for my good?”

“Really, my dear young lady—­have I ever had any other design than to be useful to you?”

“I do not know, sir, if your impudence be not still more odious than your cowardly treachery!”

“Treachery!” said M. Baleinier, shrugging his shoulders with a grieved air; “treachery, indeed!  Only reflect, my poor child—­do you think, if I were not acting with good faith, conscientiously, in your interest, I should return this morning to meet your indignation, for which I was fully prepared?  I am the head physician of this asylum, which belongs to me—­but I have two of my pupils here, doctors, like myself—­and might have left them to take care of you but, no—­I could not consent to it—­I knew your character, your nature, your previous history, and (leaving out of the question the interest I feel for you) I can treat your case better than any one.”

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The Wandering Jew — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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