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Monsieur, but again, an insane timidity held me back, I did not believe the second prediction, it is realised; I have still waited some days, but the fear of again seeing this apparition and of course hearing another misfortune announced, has at length determined me to do my duty."

Alonsieur de M-listened seriously to this strange recital; the valet asked his permission to make himself certain by a sign, or otherwise, of the identity of the child, then to carry him off, to bring him to some remote part of Italy or Germany, and there to wait with him for better times.

The magistrate, notwithstanding the fervour that Saint Jean threw into his account, could not bring himself to take so extraordinary a step, and put off for several days a definite answer. He was, as I have said, a man of mind and sense, and found it difficult to believe that Heaven, for his sake, would make use of a valet as an agent, when a direct notice offered no greater inconvenience to the supernatural powers, and would better answer their purpose. Besides, not having spoken until after the affair, did he not seek to acquire an importance by a vision, which would make him the preponderating influence in the house, or was he not struck with a madness, very natural after so many misfortunes, and was it not still more delicate to give the charge of an infant to an insane person?

Meanwhile Madame d'Orgerel, sister of the counsellor, comes, in her turn, to say to her brother, that having to dread a violent death like the other members of the family, she wished not to be taken unawares, and to dispose before hand of her great wealth; she divided in equal portions between Exupére the orphan, and the young Ambroise, son of the virtuous widow of M de Vartelle, as being the only males of the name likely to perpetuate the race. Each of these two children, in case one died first, was substituted for the other. This determined the common grandfather to do like his sister, and after having arranged the fortunes of his daughters, he left all his property to the young son of Niore, with remainder to his first cousin, if he should survive. These two wills were confided to the interesting widow, who, well satisfied with the rich share that Madame d'Orgerel gave her son, and the magnificent chance which he had by the wills of the bishop and M. de Mswore before God, that she would be the tender, sincere, and devoted mother, of the unfortunate orphan.

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Two or three weeks after this last event, it might be midnight, and M. de Moccupied with an official document, which he must hasten, sat up in his study, when some one knocked lightly at a door which communicated with the interior of the house. The domestics did not make use of it, except for the morning attendance, or in extraordinary cases; the Magistrate surprised then, that any one came to him that way, rose and having approached it asked "who was there?" He thought the answer was, "Saint Jean," but he had hardly heard, when the door opened, and he saw this man come in having his hair on end, his figure disordered, and having no other garment on than his small clothes, his stockings, slippers, and shirt, he held a wax candle in his hand. "Ah Monsieur," he cried, "we are lost, I have not been able to prevail with you, and the death of your sister is near." "What do you say, unfortunate?" replied his master, much alarmed. "This that I have just heard. We were late in the common hall, where Rosette (the waiting woman of Madame d'Orgerel) came to announce to us in secret, what you Monsieur do not perhaps yet know, as she pretends."-"What! the departure of her mistress who retires to her chateau in Burgundy." (M. de Mwas in fact ignorant of it). "This set us to chat, so that midnight surprised us. We had taken our candles, here I was going up the little stair-case opposite, when at the third lobby, though I had my figure bent to see the steps, I saw my light grow pale, and it seemed as if a body stopped my passage. At once my heart beat violently, my blood congealed, I raised my head, it was my master, but this time irritated, furious, he called me knave, wretched, wicked valet, ill disposed to the house, commanded me to return to you, and to disobey you, if you would not permit me to save the orphan child. He struck me rudely with a stick, so that I was obliged to have my arms bandaged. For the rest he said before disappearing, the coming death of my aunt will announce to my father whether I be a false prophet.'

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M. de M― still more astonished at this revelation than the others, because it was accompanied by tokens of fact, raised quickly the sleeves of the servant, and with horror mingled with fright, recognised on the skin shocking marks, black, yellow, and livid, indubitable evidence of the fatal apparition. His incredulity received a strong check, still he did not give up at once from a remaining scruple of conscience; the mar

vellous acts more on us in grief. He remained alarmed, he reflected and dismissed Saint Jean, advising him to go to repose. "To-morrow," he said to him, "at eleven o'clock, on my return from the court, come here by the same staircase, I will give thee thy instructions and thou shall set out."

Accordingly on the following day Saint Jean, furnished with letters for various high personages, set out under the pretence of quitting the service and returning to his rustic home, but really authorized to carry off the infant to the most remote end of Basse Bretagne.

His departure astonished all the household, the virtuous widow more than any, although she represented to her father that this man could not be very trustworthy. Two days after the waiting woman of Madame d'Orgerel went out, and did not return. They waited for her until late, it was in vain, bat towards two o'clock in the morning a dreadful explosion, coming from the adjoining apartments of M. de M.and his sister, awoke the sleepers and made the others hasten to the place attacked. The effect of a train or infernal engine, by God's mercy not complete, had thrown down the walls, upset the partitions, started the floors, and broken the ceilings. A double attempt had threatened the life of the magistrate and Madame d'Orgerel. The latter had perished, but as they believed, from fright, for they found her thrown in a corner of the room without apparent wound, and no part of her person showed the least sign of violence. M. de M-. more for tunate, escaped with some bruises. In a stove in the apartment of Madame de Vartelle, was found a packet containing some powder, balls, combustibles, metal, and broken glass. Without doubt the miscreant had not had time to set fire to it likewise.

Such an attempt filled all Paris with horror, and put the police on the alert; the waiting woman of the sister not being returned, and being no more forthcoming, notwithstanding all the searches they made, it was concluded that among the family of Mshe had been the instrument of the most abominable vengeance.

The whole court and city came to visit M. de Mand his daughter-in-law, they congratulated them on having escaped this conspiracy. Alas! their lot was sad, this father deprived of all his own, isolated, obliged to hide his rightful heir, dragged on a miserable existence. At last, he waited with impatience

for news from his servant, when his daughter-in-law entering in a state of extreme grief, announced to him, that her agent wrote from her estate, in Berry, that an unknown person had come to take away the young Exupère, and that they had vainly followed to recover him. M. de M,from an excess of prudence of which he was ashamed, hesitated at first to confide to his daughter-in-law the part he had taken in this event, the faithful valet had demanded of him, in the name of the Holy Spirit, this discretion towards the nearest of his relatives, a circumstance I have not mentioned, but which I now recall to mind; meanwhile, ashamed to act thus to a woman so virtuous, so devoted, he confided to her all that was past. Madame de Vartelie received with delight this confidence, she approved this excessive precaution; then she observed to her father-in-law, that he was wrong in wishing to keep to himself such a secret; might he not perish, the victim of their implacable enemy? then the heir of so great a fortune would remain in the power of a low person. The daughters of M. de M-, his sons-in-law, would they not be justified in contesting the identity of a child, who had nothing to recoinmend it but the word of Saint Jean? The magistrate replied to his daughter-in-law, that she was right, and that he would go instantly and take as his confidant in this affair, his brother, the Lieutenant-colonel, the first president of the Parliament. "I should have thought," replied Madame de Vartelle, "to have merited more trust on the part of my father."

"My daughter, your sex is the only obstacle to this, you know that in law, the declaration of Monsieur the president, would have altogether more weight than yours, I ought to prevent future contests as you have so well said."

Madame de Vartelle retired, not very well satisfied; the reasons that the magistrate gave her, were too sincere for her to insist longer. One evening the house porter came to warn M. de M with mystery, that Saint Jean returned home, asked to speak with him; the magistrate made him come in, and this man told him, that he could find no better place to conceal bis charge than in Paris itself. He had placed him with one of his sisters living in good air, in the mountain of Saint Genevieve; there he himself might better watch over him, than at a long distance out, and still in the name of the Holy Spirit, he forbade M. de M to take into his confidence any of the members of his family. Saint Jean, to whom

his master dared not to own the almost total revelation just made to his daughter-in-law, returned to his service. Several weeks passed, when one morning, this domestic made his appearance, when M. de M. was rising, but pale, and his body racked with cruel pains.

"In the name of God," he cried, "send to seek Monsieur the Attorney General of the Parliament, M. the civil Lieutenant. and the Lieutenant-General of police, I have to make before them a declaration of great importance. Hasten, I am rapidly dying, a strong antidote suspends, but cannot destroy the horrible venom which kills me.'

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These words astonished M. de M, he went out himself, whilst his brother watched by Saint Jean at the request of the latter, who conjured him not to leave him alone with any person, no matter who it might be, Saint Jean asks "where is Madame de Vartelle ?"

"At the church" they say to him, "it is her sacrament day, she communicates." Saint Jean at this answer had two or three bursts of sardonic laughter. The magistrate, too anxious to explain the mystery that surrounds him, brings not only the high persons named, but also Monsieur le President and two of the gentlemen whom he had found with the Attorney General. It is before this grave tribunal that Saint Jean relates the following facts. Madame de Vartelle, who hated her husband, wished at the same time to augment her fortune immensely, and to become a widow, in order to get married again to a duke, who loved her in secret, but who still would not consent to be united to her, unless she became exceedingly rich. To accomplish this double object she should manœuvre to combine in her son's person all the successions of his progenitors, and to rid herself of her husband. In consequence she applied herself to the study of poisons, and first of all, to cast off the suspicions that might be thrown on the interior of the house, she got written for the sum of five louis, by a clerk of the cemeteries des Innocens, whom Saint Jean named, and who too late was brought forward and confronted with the culprit, the letter which puzzled M. de M so much. Then having gained over Saint Jean, it was easy for them both to dispose in turn of all their victims. It was she who, taking advantage of the circumstance, poisoned the figs bought by her husband in the time the former took to go to his father. Then

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