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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Volume 04.

The Bacchanal Queen grew pale, uttered a piercing scream, and rushed out of the room without a word, leaving her guests in stupefaction.

[11] These atrocious words were actually spoken during the Lyons Riots.

CHAPTER IV.

THE FAREWELL

The Bacchanal Queen, following the waiter, arrived at the bottom of the staircase.  A coach was standing before the door of the house.  In it she saw Sleepinbuff, with one of the men who, two hours before, had been waiting on the Place du Chatelet.

On the arrival of Cephyse, the man got down, and said to Jacques, as he drew out his watch:  “I give you a quarter of an hour; it is all that I can do for you, my good fellow; after that we must start.  Do not try to escape, for we’ll be watching at the coach doors.”

With one spring, Cephyse was in the coach.  Too much overcome to speak before, she now exclaimed, as she took her seat by Jacques, and remarked the paleness of his countenance:  “What is it?  What do they want with you?”

“I am arrested for debt,” said Jacques, in a mournful voice.

“You!” exclaimed Cephyse, with a heart-rending sob.

“Yes, for that bill, or guarantee, they made me sign.  And yet the man said it was only a form—­the rascal!”

“But you have money in his hands; let him take that on account.”

“I have not a copper; he sends me word by the bailiff, that not having paid the bill, I shall not have the last thousand francs.”

“Then let us go to him, and entreat him to leave you at liberty.  It was he who came to propose to lend you this money.  I know it well, as he first addressed himself to me.  He will have pity on you.”

“Pity?—­a money broker pity?  No! no!”

“Is there then no hope? none?” cried Cephyse clasping her hands in anguish.  “But there must be something done,” she resumed.  “He promised you”

“You can see how he keeps his promises,” answered Jacques, with bitterness.  “I signed, without even knowing what I signed.  The bill is over-due; everything is in order, it would be vain to resist.  They have just explained all that to me.”

“But they cannot keep you long in prison.  It is impossible.”

“Five years, if I do not pay.  As I’ll never be able to do so, my fate is certain.”

“Oh! what a misfortune! and not to be able to do anything!” said Cephyse, hiding her face in her hands.

“Listen to me, Cephyse,” resumed Jacques, in a voice of mournful emotion; “since I am here, I have thought only of one thing—­what is to become of you?”

“Never mind me!”

“Not mind you?—­art mad?  What will you do?  The furniture of our two rooms is not worth two hundred francs.  We have squandered our money so foolishly, that we have not even paid our rent.  We owe three quarters, and we must not therefore count upon the furniture.  I leave you without a coin.  At least I shall be fed in prison—­but how will you manage to live?

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