He let not M. Hardy escape. A friend whom the latter treated as a brother, had been shown up to him as a mere spy of the Jesuits; the woman whom he adored, a wedded woman, alas! who had loved him in spite of her vows, had been betrayed. Her mother had compelled her to hide her shame in America, and, as she had often said—“Much as you are endeared to me, I cannot waver between you and my mother!” so she had obeyed, without one farewell word to him. Confess, Rodin was a more dextrous man than his late master! In the pages that ensue farther proofs of his superiority in baseness and satanic heartlessness will not be wanting.
On M. Hardy’s learning from the confidential go-between of the lovers, that his mistress had been taken away by her mother, he turned from Rodin and dashed away in a post carriage. At the same moment, as loud as the rattle of the wheels, there arose the shouts of a band of workmen and rioters, hired by the Jesuit’s emissaries, coming to attack Hardy’s operatives. An old grudge long existing between them and a rival manufacturer’s—Baron Tripeaud—laborers, fanned the flames. When M. Hardy had left the factory, Rodin, who was not prepared for this sudden departure, returned slowly to his hackney-coach; but he stopped suddenly, and started with pleasure and surprise, when he saw, at some distance, Marshall Simon and his father advancing towards one of the wings of the Common Dwelling-house; for an accidental circumstance had so far delayed the interview of the father and son.
“Very well!” said Rodin. “Better and better! Now, only let my man have found out and persuaded little Rose-Pompon!”
And Rodin hastened towards his hackney-coach. At this moment, the wind, which continued to rise, brought to the ear of the Jesuit the war song of the approaching Wolves.