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it does now, and I came to you for advice. '

Then making a gesture of despair, he
proceeded with a savage laugh: "Advice?
It is from the blade of my kandjiar that I


should ask counsel! It would answer:
'Blood! blood!' "

Faringhea grasped convulsively the long
dagger attached to his girdle. There is a
sort of contagion in certain forms of pas-
sion. At sight of Faringhea's countenance,
agitated by jealous fury, Djalma shud-
dered for he remembered the fit of insane
rage with which he had been possessed,
when the Princess de Saint-Dizier 'had de-
fied Adrienne to contradict her, as to the
discovery of Agricola Baudoin in her bed-
chamber. But then, reassured by the
lady's proud and noble bearing, Djalma
had soon learned to despise the horrible
calumny which Adrienne had not even
thought worthy of an answer. Still, two
or three times, as the lightning will flash
suddenly across the clearest sky, the re-
membrance of that shameful accusation
had crossed the prince's mind, like a streak
of fire, but had almost instantly vanished,
in the serenity and happiness of his in-
effable confidence in Adrienne's heart.
These memories, however, while they sad-
dened the mind of Djalma, only made him
more compassionate with regard to Far-
inghea than he might have been without
this strange coincidence between the posi-
tion of the half -caste and his own. "Know-


ing, by his own experience, to what mad-
ness a blind fury may be carried, and wish-
ing to tame the half-caste by affectionate
kindness, Djalma said to him in a grave
and mild tone: "I offered you my friend-
ship. I will now act toward you as a

But Faringhea, seemingly a prey to a
dull and mute frenzy, stood with fixed and
haggard eyes, as though he did not hear

The latter laid his hand on his shoulder,
and resumed: "Faringhea, listen to me!"

"My lord," said the half-caste, starting
abruptly, as from a dream, * 'forgive me

"In the anguish occasioned by these
cruel suspicions, it is not of your kandjiar
that you must take counsel but of your

"My lord-"

"To this interview, which will prove the
innocence or the treachery of your beloved,
you will do well to go."

"Oh, yes!" said the half-caste, in a hol-
low voice, and with a bitter smile; "I shall
be there."

"But- you must not go alone."

"What do you mean, my lord?" cried
the half -caste. "Who will accompany me?"


' 'I Will.''

"You, my lord?"

"Yes perhaps, to save you from a
crime for I -know how blind and unjust
is the earliest outburst of rage."

"But that transport gives us revenge!"
cried the half-caste, with a cruel smile.

"Faringhea, this day is all my own. I
shall not leave you," said the prince, reso-
lutely. "Either you shall not go to this
interview, or I will accompany you."

The half-caste appeared conquered by
this generous perseverance. He fell at
the feet of Djalma, pressed the prince's
hand respectfully to his forehead and to
his lips, and said: "My lord, be generous
to the end! forgive me!"

"For what should I forgive you?"

"Before I spoke to you, I had the audac-
ity to think of asking for what you have
just freely offered. Not knowing to what
extent my fury might carry me, I had
thought of asking you this favor, which
you would not perhaps grant to an equal,
but I did not dare to do it. I shrunk even
from the avowal of the treachery I have
cause to fear, and I came only to tell you
of my misery because to you alone in all
the world I could tell it."

It is impossible to describe the almost


candid simplicity with which the half-breed
pronounced these words, and the soft tones,
mingled with tears, which had succeeded
his savage fury. Deeply affected, Djalrna
raised him from the ground, and said:
"Y"ou were entitled to ask of me a mark
of friendship. I am happy in having fore-
stalled you. Courage! be of good cheer!
I will accompany you to this interview,
and, if my hopes do. not deceive me, you
will find you have been deluded by false

When the night was come, the half-
breed and Djalma, wrapped in their cloaks,
got into a hackney - coach. Faringhea
ordered the coachman to drive to the house
inhabited by Sainte Colombe.



LEAVING Djalma and Faringhea in the
coach, on their way, a few words are in
dispensable before continuing this scene.
Ninny Moulin, ignorant of the real object
of the step he took at the instigation of
Rodin, had, on the evening before, accord-
ing to orders received from the latter,
offered a considerable sum to Sainte -Co-


lombe, to obtain from that creature (still
singularly rapacious) the use of her apart-
ments for a whole day. Sainte-Colombe,
having accepted this proposition, too ad-
vantageous to be refused, had set out that
morning with her servants, to whom she
wished, she said, in return for their good
services, to give a day's pleasure in the
country. Master of the house, Rodin, in
a black wig, blue spectacles, and a cloak,
and with his mouth and chin buried in a
worsted comforter in a word, perfectly
disguised had gone that 'morning to take
a look at the apartments, and to give his
instructions to the half-caste. The latter,
in two hours from the departure of the
Jesuit, had, thanks to his address and in-
telligence, completed the most v important
preparations, and returned in haste to
Djalma, to play with detestable hypocrisy
the scene at which we have just been pres-

During the ride from the Rue de Clichy
to the Rue de Richelieu, Faringhea ap-
peared plunged in a mournful reverie.
Suddenly, he said to Djalma in a quick
tone: "My lord, if I am betrayed, I must
have vengeance."

"Contempt is a terrible revenge," an-
swered Djalma.


"No, no," replied the half-caste, with
an accent of repressed rage. "It is not
enough. The nearer the moment ap-
proaches, the more I feel I must have

"Listen to me "

"My lord, have pity on me! I was a
coward to draw back from my revenge.
Let me leave you, my lord! I will go
alone to this interview."

So saying, Faringhea made a move-
ment, as if he would spring from the

Djalma held him by the arm, and said :
"Remain! I will not leave you. If you
are betrayed, you shall not shed blood.
Contempt will avenge and friendship will
console you."

"No, no, my lord ; I am resolved. When
I have killed then I will kill myself," cried
the half-caste, with savage excitement.
"This kandjiar for the false ones!" added
he, laying his hand on his dagger. "The
poison in the hilt for me."


"If I resist you, my lord, forgive mo!
My destiny must be accomplished."

Time pressed, and Djalma, despairing
to calm the other's ferocious rage, resolved
to have recourse to a stratagem.


After some minutes' silence, he said to
Faringhea: "I will not leave you. I will
do all I can to save you from a crime. If
I do not succeed, the blood you shed be on
your own head. This hand shall never
again be locked in yours."

These words appeared to make a deep
impression on Faringhea. He breathed a
long sigh, and, bowing his head upon his
breast, remained silent and full of thought.
Djalma prepared, by the faint light of the
lamps reflected in the interior of the coach,
ta throw himself suddenly on the half-
caste, and disarm him. But the latter,
who saw at a glance the intention of the
prince, drew his kandjiar abruptly from
his girdle, and holding it still in its sheath,
said to the prince in a half-solemn, half-
savage tone: "This dagger, in a strong
hand, is terrible; and in this vial is one of
the most subtle poisons of our country."

He touched a spring, and the knob at
the top of the hilt rose like a lid, discover-
ing the mouth of a small crystal vial con-
cealed in this murderous weapon.

"Two or three drops of this poison upon
the lips," resumed the half-caste, "and
death comes slowly and peacefully, in a
few hours, and without pain. Only, for
the first symptom, the nails turn blue.


But he who emptied this vial at a draught
would fall dead, as if struck by lightning. "

"Yes," replied Djalma; "I know that
our country produces such mysterious
poisons. But why lay such stress on the
murderous properties of this weapon?"

"To show you, my lord, that this kand-
jiar would insure the success and impunity
of my vengeance. "With the blade I could
destroy, and by the poison escape from
human justice. "Well, my lord ! this kaud-
jiar take it I give it up to you I re-
nounce my vengeance rather than render
myself unworthy to clasp again your

He presented the dagger to the prince,
who, as pleased as surprised at this unex-
pected determination, hastily secured the
terrible weapon beneath his own girdle,
while the half-breed continued,, in a voice
of emotion: "Keep this kandjiar, my lord
and when you have seen and heard all
that we go to hear and see you shall either
give me the dagger to strike a wretch or
the poison, to die without striking. You
shall command; I will obey."

Djalma was about to reply, when the
coach stopped at the house inhabited by
Sainte-Colombe. The prince and the half-
caste, well enveloped in their mantles, en-


tered a dark porch, and the door was closed
after them. Faringhea exchanged a few
words with the porter, and the latter gave
him a key. The two Orientals soon ar-
rived at Sainte - Colombo's apartments,
which had two doors opening upon the
landing-place, besides a private entrance
from the courtyard. As he put the key
into the lock, Faringhea said to Djalma,
in an agitated voice: "Pity my weakness,
my lord but, at this terrible moment, I
tremble and hesitate. It were perhaps
better to doubt or to forget!"

Then, as the prince was about to an-
swer, the half-caste exclaimed: "No! we
must have no cowardice!" and, opening
the door precipitately, he entered, followed
by Djalma.

"When the door was again closed, the
prince and the half-caste found themselves
in a dark and narrow passage. "Your
hand, my lord let me guide you walk
lightly," said Faringhea, in a low whisper.

He extended his hand to the prince, who
took hold of it, and they both advanced si-
lently through the darkness. After lead-
.ing Djalma some distance, and opening
and closing several doors, the half-caste
stopped abruptly, and, abandoning the
hand which he had hitherto held, said


to the prince: "My lord, the decisive mo-
ment approaches; let us wait here for a
few seconds."

A profound silence followed these words
of the half-caste. The darkness was so
complete that Djalma could distinguish
nothing. In about a minute, he heard
Faringhea moving away from him; and
then a door was suddenly opened, and as
abruptly closed and locked. This circum-
stance made Djalma somewhat uneasy.
By a mechanical movement, he laid his
hand upon his dagger, and advanced cau-
tiously toward the side, where he supposed
the door to be.

Suddenly, the half-caste's voice struck
upon his ear, though it was impossible to
guess whence it came. "My lord," it
said, "you told me you were my friend.
I act as a friend. If I have employed
stratagem to bring you hither, it is be-
cause the blindness of your fatal passion
would otherwise have prevented your ac-
companying me. The Princess de Saint-
Dizier named to you Agricola Baudoin,
the lover of Adrienne de Cardoville. Listen
look judge!"

The voice ceased. It appeared to have
issued from one corner of the room. Djal-
ma, still in darkness, perceived too late


into what a snare he had fallen, and trem-
bled with rage almost with alarm.

' ' Faringhea ! " he exclaimed ; ' ' where
am I? where are you? Open the door
on your life! I would leave this place

Extending his arms, the prince advanced
hastily several steps, but he only touched
a tapestried wall; he followed it, hoping
to find the door, and he at length found
it; but it was locked, and resisted all his
efforts. He continued his researches, and
came to a fireplace with no fire in it, and
to a second door, equally fast. In a few
moments, he had thus made the circle of
the room, and found himself again at the
fireplace. The anxiety of the prince in-
creased more and more. He called Far-
inghea, hi a voice trembling with passion.
There was no answer. Profound silence
reigned without, and complete darkness
within. Ere long, a perfumed vapor, of
indescribable sweetness, but very subtle
and penetrating, spread itself insensibly
through the little room in which Djalma
was. It might be that the orifice of a
tube, passing through one of the doors of
the room, introduced this balmy current.
At the height of angry and terrible
thoughts, Djalma paid no attention to


this odor but soon the arteries of his
temples began to beat violently, a burn-
ing heat seemed to circulate rapidly through
his veins, he felt a sensation of pleasure,
his resentment died gradually away, and
a mild, ineffable torpor crept over him,
without his being fully conscious of the
mental transformation that was taking
place. Yet, by a last effort of the waver-
ing will, Djalma advanced once more to
try and open one of the doors ; he found it
indeed, but at this place the vapor was so
strong that its action redoubled, and, un-
able to move a step further, Djalma was
obliged to support himself by leaning
against the wall.*

Then a strange thing happened. A faint
light spread itself gradually through an
adjoining apartment, and Djalma now
perceived, for the first time, the existence
of a little round window, in the wall of the
room in which he was. On the side of the
prince, this opening was protected by a
slight but strong railing, which hardly in-

* See the strange effects of hasheesh. To the
effect of this is attributed the kind of hallucina-
tion which seized on those unhappy persons, whom
the Prince of the Assassins (the Old Man of the
Mountain) used as the instruments of his ven-


tercepted the view. On the other side a
thick piece of plate-glass was fixed at the
distance of two- or three inches from the
railing in question. The room, which
Djalma .saw through this window, and
through which the faint light was now
gradually spreading, was richly furnished.
Bet%veen two windows, hung with crimson
silk curtains, stood a kind of wardrobe,
with a looking-glass front; opposite the
fireplace, in which glowed the burning
coals, was a long, wide divan, furnished
with cushions.

In another second a woman entered this
apartment. Her face and figure were in-
visible, being wrapped in a long, hooded
mantle of peculiar form and a dark color.
The sight of this mantle made Djalma
start. To the pleasure he at first felt suc-
ceeded a feverish anxiety, like the growing
fumes of intoxication. There was that
strange buzzing in his ears which we ex-
perience when we plunge into deep waters.
It was in a kind of delirium that Djalma
looked on at what was passing in the next
room. The woman who had just appeared
entered with caution, almost with fear.
Drawing aside one of the window curtains,
she glanced through the closed blinds into
the street. Then she returned slowly to


the fireplace, where she stood for a mo-
ment pensive, still carefully enveloped in
her mantle. Completely yielding to the
influence of the vapor, which deprived
him of his presence of mind forgetting
Faringhea, and all the circumstances that
had accompanied his arrival at this 'house
Djalma concentrated all the powers of
his attention on the spectacle before him,
at which he seemed to be present as in a

Suddenly Djalma saw the woman leave
the fireplace and advance toward the look-
ing-glass. Turning her face toward it,
she allowed the mantle to glide down to
her feet. Djalma was thunderstruck. He
saw the face of Adrienne de Cardoville.
Yes, Adrienne, as he had seen her the
night before, attired as during her inter-
view with the Princess de Saint-Dizier
the light green dress, the rose-colored rib-
bons, the white head ornaments. A net-
work of white beads concealed her back
hair, and harmonized admirably with the
shining gold of her ringlets. Finally, as
far as the Hindoo could judge through the
railing and the thick glass, and in the faint
light, it was the figure of Adrieune, with
her marble shoulders and swan-like neck,
so proud and so graceful. In a word, he


could not, he did not doubt that it was
Adrienne de Cardoville. Djalma was
bathed in a burning dew, his dizzy excite-
ment increased, and, with bloodshot eye
and heaving bosom, he remained motion-
less, gazing almost without the power of
thought. The young lady, with her back
still turned toward Djalma; arranged her
hair with graceful art, took off the net-
work which formed her head-dress, placed
it on the chimney-piece, and began to un-
fasten her gown; then, withdrawing from
the looking-glass, she disappeared for an
instant from Djalma's view.

"She is expecting Agricola Baudoin, her
lover," said a voice, which seemed to pro-
ceed from the wall of the dark room in
which Djalma was.

Notwithstanding his bewilderment, these
terrible words, "She is expecting Agricola
Baudoin, her lover," passed like a stream
of fire through the brain and heart of the
prince. A cloud of blood came over his
eyes, he uttered a hollow : groan, which the
thickness of the glass prevented! from being
heard in the next room, and broke his nails
in attempting to tear down the iron railing
before the window.

Having reached this paroxysm of deli-
rious rage, Djalma saw the uncertain light


grow still fainter, as if it had been dis-
creetly obscured; and, through the vapory
shadow that hung before him, he perceived
the young lady returning, clad in a long
white dressing-gown, and with her golden
curls floating over her naked arms and
shoulders. She advanced cautiously in the
direction of a door which was hid from
Djalma's view. At this moment, one of
the doors of the apartment in which the
prince was concealed was gently opened by
an invisible hand. Djalma noticed it by
the click of the lock, and by the current of
fresh air which streamed upon his face,
for he could see nothing. This door, left
open for Djalma, like that of the next
room, to which the young lady had drawn
near, led to a sort of antechamber com-
municating with the stairs, which some
one now rapidly ascended, and, stopping
short, knocked twice at the outer door.

"Here comes Agricola Baudoin, Look
and listen!" said the same voice that the
prince had already heard.

Mad, intoxicated, but with the fixed idea
and reckless determination of a madman
or a drunkard, Djalma drew the dagger
which Faringhea had left in his possession,
and stood in motionless expectation.
Hardly were the two knocks heard before


The Wandering Jew. Vol. 5, p. 456.


the young lady quitted the apartment,
from which streamed a faint ray of light,
ran to the door of the staircase, so that
some faint glimmer reached the place
where Djalma stood watching, his dagger
in his hand. He saw the young lady pass
across the antechamber, and approach the
door of the staircase, where she said in a
whisper : " Who is there ? ' '

"It is I Agricola Baudoin," answered,
from without, a manly voice.

What followed was rapid as lightning,
and must be conceived rather than de-
scribed. Hardly had the young lady drawn
the bolt of the door, hardly had Agricola
Baudoin stepped across the threshold, than
Djalma, with the bound of a tiger, stabbed
as it were at once, so rapid were the strokes,
both the young lady, who fell dead on the
floor, and Agricola, who sunk, dangerously
wounded, by the side of the unfortunate
victim. This scene of murder, rapid .as
thought, took place in the midst of a half
obscurity. Suddenly the faint light from
the chamber was completely extinguished,
and a second after, Djalma felt his arm
seized in the darkness by an iron grasp,
and the voice of Faringhea whispered;
"You are avenged. Come; we can secure
our retreat." Inert, stupefied at what he
'/OL. 5 T


had done, Djalma offered no resistance,
and let himself be dragged by the half-
caste into the inner apartment, from which
there was another way out.

When Rodin had exclaimed, in his ad-
miration of the generative power of thought,
thrifc the word NECKLACE had been the
germ of the infernal project he then con-
templated, it was, that chance had brought
to his mind the remembrance of the too
famous affair of the diamond necklace, in
which a woman, thanks to her vague re-
semblance to Queen Marie Antoinette, be-
ing dressed like that princess, and favored
by the uncertainty of a twilight, had played
so skillfully the part of her unfortunate
sovereign as to make the Cardinal de
Rohan, though familiar with the court,
the complete dupe of the illusion. Having
once determined on his execrable design,
Rodin had sent Jacques Dumoulin to
Sainte-Colombe, without telling him tbe
real object of his mission, to ask this ex-
perienced woman to procure a fine young
girl, tall, and with red hair. Once found,
a costume exactly resembling that worn
by Adrienne, and of which the Princess de
Saint-Dizier gave the description to Rodin
(though herself ignorant of this new plot),


was to complete the deception. The rest
is known, or may be guessed. The un-
fortunate girl, who acted as Adrienne's
double, believed she was only aiding in a
jest. As for Agricola, he had received a
letter, in which he was invited to a meet-
ing that might be of the greatest impor-
tance to Mdlle. de Cardoville.



THE mild light of a circular lamp of
oriental alabaster, suspended from the ceil-
ing by three silver chains, spreads a faint
luster through 'the bed-chamber of Adri-
enne de Cardoville. The large ivory bed-
stead, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, is not
at present occupied, and almost disappears
beneath snowy curtains of lace and muslin,
transparent and vapory as clouds. On the
white marble mantel-piece, from beneath
which the fire throws ruddy beams on the
ermine carpet, is the usual basket fijled
with a bush of red camellias, in the midst
of their shining green leaves. A pleasant
aromatic odor, rising from a warm and
perfumed bath in the next room, penetrates
every corner of the bed-chamber. All
without is calm and silent. It is hardly


eleven o'clock. The ivory door, opposite
to that which, leads to the bath- room, opens
slowly. Djalma appears. Two hours
have elapsed since he committed a double
murder, and believed that he had killed
Adrienne in a fit of jealous fury,

The servants of Mdlle. de Cardoville, ac-
customed to Djalma's daily visits, no longer
announced his arrival, and admitted him
without difficulty, having received no or-
ders to the contrary from their mistress.
He had never before, entered the bed-cham-
ber; but, knowing that the apartment the
lady occupied was on the first floor of the
house, he easily found it. As he entered
that virgin sanctuary his countenance was
pretty calm, so well did he control his feel-
ings; only a slight paleness tarnished the
brilliant amber of his complexion. He
wore that day a robe of purple cashmere,
striped with silver a color which did not
show the stains of blood upon it. Djalma
closed the door after him, and tore off his
white turban, for it seemed to him as if a
band of hot iron encircled his brow. His
dark hair streamed around his handsome
face. He crossed his arms upon his bosom
and looked slowly about him. When his
eyes rested on Adrienne's bed, he started
suddenly, and his cheek grew purple.


Then he drew his hand across his brow,
hung down his head, and remained stand-
ing for some moments in a dream, motion-
less as a statue.

After a mournful silence of a few sec-
onds' duration, Djalma fell upon his knees
and raised his eyes to Heaven. The Asi-
atic's countenance was bathed in tears,
and no longer expressed any violent pas-
sion. On his features was no longer the
stamp of hate, or despair, or the ferocious
joy of vengeance gratified. It was rather
the expression of a grief at once simple and

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Online LibraryEugène SueThe wandering Jew ; (Volume 5) → online text (page 22 of 26)