The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,533 pages of information about The Wandering Jew Complete.

“You told us true,” cried the doctor, feeling his pulse; “the circulation is now full and regular, the lungs are free.  The reaction is complete.  You are saved.”

At this moment, the last shreds of cotton had burnt out.  The trivets were withdrawn, and on the skeleton trunk of Rodin were seen four large round blisters.  The skin still smoked, and the raw flesh was visible beneath.  In one of his sudden movements, a lamp had been misplaced, and one of these burns was larger than the other, presenting as it were to the eye a double circle.  Rodin looked down upon his wounds.  After some seconds of silent contemplation, a strange smile curled his lips.  Without changing his position, he glanced at Father d’Aigrigny with an expression impossible to describe, and said to him, as he slowly counted the wounds touching them with his flat and dirty nail:  “Father d’Aigrigny, what an omen!—­Look here! one Rennepont—­two Renneponts—­three Renneponts—­four Renneponts—­where is then the fifth!—­Ah! here—­this wound will count for two.  They are twins."[41] And he emitted a little dry, bitter laugh.  Father d’Aigrigny, the cardinal, and Dr. Baleinier, alone understood the sense of these mysterious and fatal words, which Rodin soon completed by a terrible allusion, as he exclaimed, with prophetic voice, and almost inspired air:  “Yes, I say it.  The impious race will be reduced to ashes, like the fragments of this poor flesh.  I say it, and it will be so.  I said I would live—­and I do live!”

[41] Jacques Rennepont being dead, and Gabriel out of the field, in consequence of his donation, there remained only five persons of the family—­Rose and Blanche, Djalma, Adrienne, and Hardy.

CHAPTER XXXI.

Vice and virtue.

Two days have elapsed since Rodin was miraculously restored to life.  The reader will not have forgotten the house in the Rue Clovis, where the reverend father had an apartment, and where also was the lodging of Philemon, inhabited by Rose-Pompon.  It is about three o’clock in the afternoon.  A bright ray of light, penetrating through a round hole in the door Mother Arsene’s subterraneous shop, forms a striking contrast with the darkness of this cavern.  The ray streams full upon a melancholy object.  In the midst of fagots and faded vegetables, and close to a great heap of charcoal, stands a wretched bed; beneath the sheet, which covers it, can be traced the stiff and angular proportions of a corpse.  It is the body of Mother Arsene herself, who died two days before, of the cholera.  The burials have been so numerous, that there has been no time to remove her remains.  The Rue Clovis is almost deserted.  A mournful silence reigns without, often broken by the sharp whistling of the north wind.  Between the squalls, one hears a sort of pattering.  It is the noise of the large rats, running to and fro across the heap of charcoal.

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