The Wandering Jew — Complete eBook

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

The servant soon returned, and said:  “M.  Rodin is here, sir.”

“Beg him to walk in.”

Rodin entered, clad in his long black dressing-gown, and with his old silk cap in his hand.  The servant then withdrew.  The day was just closing.  Hardy rose to meet Rodin, whose features he did not at first distinguish.  But as the reverend father approached the window, Hardy looked narrowly at him for an instant, and then uttered an exclamation, wrung from him by surprise and painful remembrance.  But, recovering himself from this first movement, Hardy said to the Jesuit, in an agitated voice:  “You here, sir?  Oh, you are right!  It was indeed a very serious circumstance that first brought us together.”

“Oh, my dear sir!” said Rodin, in a kindly and unctuous tone; “I was sure you would not have forgotten me.”



It will doubtless be remembered that Rodin had gone (although a stranger to Hardy) to visit him at his factory, and inform him of De Blessac’s shameful treachery—­a dreadful blow, which had only preceded by a few moments a second no less horrible misfortune; for it was in the presence of Rodin that Hardy had learned the unexpected departure of the woman he adored.  Painful to him must have been the sudden appearance of Rodin.  Yes, thanks to the salutary influence of Gabriel’s counsels, he recovered himself by degrees, and the contraction of his features being succeeded by a melancholy calm, he said to Rodin:  “I did not indeed expect to meet you, sir, in this house.”

“Alas, sir!” answered Rodin, with a sigh, “I did not expect to come hither, probably to end my days beneath this roof, when I went, without being acquainted with you, but only as one honest man should serve another, to unveil to you a great infamy.”

“Indeed, sir, you then rendered me a true service; perhaps, in that painful moment, I did not fully express my gratitude; for, at the same moment in which you revealed to me the treachery of M. de Blessac—­”

“You were overwhelmed by another piece of painful intelligence,” said Rodin, interrupting M. Hardy; “I shall never forget the sudden arrival of that poor woman, who, pale and affrighted, and without considering my presence, came to inform you that a person who was exceedingly dear to you had quitted Paris abruptly.”

“Yes, sir; and, without stopping to thank you, I set out immediately,” answered Hardy, with a mournful air.

“Do you know, sir,” said Rodin, after a moment’s silence, “that there are sometimes very strange coincidences?”

“To what do you allude, sir?”

“While I went to inform you that you were betrayed in so infamous a manner—­I was myself—­”

Rodin paused, as if unable to control his deep emotion, and his countenance wore the expression of such overpowering grief that Hardy said to him, with interest:  “What ails you, sir?”

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