The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,953 pages of information about The Wandering Jew — Complete.

“Then how can it be the same man, who sixteen years before, had been with our father in the wars?”

“You are right,” said Dagobert, after a moment’s silence, and shrugging his shoulders:  “I may have been deceived by a chance likeness—­and yet—­”

“Or, if it were the same, he could not have got older all that while.”

“But did you ask him, if he had not formerly relieved our father?”

“At first I was so surprised that I did not think of it; and afterwards, he remained so short a time, that I had no opportunity.  Well, he asked me for the village of Milosk.  ‘You are there, sir,’ said I, ’but how do you know that I am a Frenchman?’ ‘I heard you singing as I passed,’ replied he; ‘could you tell me the house of Madame Simon, the general’s wife?’ ‘She lives here, sir.’  Then looking at me for some seconds in silence, he took me by the hand and said:  ’You are the friend of General Simon—­his best friend?’ Judge of my astonishment, as I answered:  ’But, sir, how do you know?’ ‘He has often spoken of you with gratitude.’  ’You have seen the general then?’ ’Yes, some time ago, in India.  I am also his friend:  I bring news of him to his wife, whom I knew to be exiled in Siberia.  At Tobolsk, whence I come, I learned that she inhabits this village.  Conduct me to her!’”

“The good traveller—­I love him already,” said Rose.

“Yes, being father’s friend.”

“I begged him to wait an instant, whilst I went to inform your mother, so that the surprise might not do her harm; five minutes after, he was beside her.”

“And what kind of man was this traveller, Dagobert?”

“He was very tall; he wore a dark pelisse, and a fur cap, and had long black hair.”

“Was he handsome?”

“Yes, my children—­very handsome; but with so mild and melancholy an air, that it pained my heart to see him.”

“Poor man! he had doubtless known some great sorrow.”

“Your mother had been closeted with him for some minutes, when she called me to her and said that she had just received good news of the general.  She was in tears, and had before her a large packet of papers; it was a kind of journal, which your father had written every evening to console himself; not being able to speak to her, he told the paper all that he would have told her.”

“Oh! where are these papers, Dagobert?”

“There, in the knapsack, with my cross and our purse.  One day I will give them to you:  but I have picked out a few leaves here and there for you to read presently.  You will see why.”

“Had our father been long in India?”

“I gathered from the few words which your mother said, that the general had gone to that country, after fighting for the Greeks against the Turks—­for he always liked to side with the weak against the strong.  In India he made fierce war against the English, they had murdered our prisoners in pontoons, and tortured the Emperor at St. Helena, and the war was a doubly good one, for in harming them he served a just cause.”

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The Wandering Jew — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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