The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, July 22, 1898, Image 2

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II V M t.rSK M K
evidence of facts, in spite of the almost certainty
of my presentiments, appearances may deceive
us. I was the first who accused M. Rodin to you.
I thouM not forgive myself all the rest of my
life. did I accuse him wrongfully. Beyond
CHAPTER XL1I Contimku.
"I endeavored to pet Mrs. Grivois to talk of M.
Kodin; hut it wa9 in vain.
" She suspected you," said the workgirl. "It
was to he anticipated."
41 1 asked her," continued Florine, "if they had
seen M. Kodin at the hotel lately. She answered
evasively. Then, despairing of Retting anything
out of her," continued Florine, "I left Mr. Gri
vois, and that my visit might excite no suspicion,
I went to the pavilio when, as I turned down
the avenuewhom do I see? why, M. Hodin
himself; hastening towards the little garden-door,
wishing no douht to depart unnoticed hy that
"Madame, you hear," cried Mother Hunch,
clasping her hands with a supplicating air; " such
evidence should convince you."
" M. Rodin at the Princess do Saint-Dizier's 1 "
cried Mdlle. de Cardoville, whose glance, gener
ally so mild, now suddenly flashed with vehe-
nient indignation. Then she added, in a tone of
considerable emotion, "continue, Florine."
"At sight of M. Rodin, I stopped, proceeded
Florine, "and keeping a little on one side, I
gained the pavilion without being seen. Hooked
out into the- street, through the cloosed blinds,
and perceived a hackney-coach. It was waiting
for M. Rodin, for, a minute after, he got into it,
saying to the coachman, ' No. 39, Rue Blanche '
his custom, insisttd on seating himself in a
chair, notwithstanding all the persuasion of "the
Old Man with the Good Heart," as he always
called the jesuit.
"Really, your politeness troubles ine, my dear
doubt, it is painful, as you say, madame, to listen prince," said Rodin; "you are here at home in
to a conversation " Then, with a violent India; at least, we wish you to thiuk so."
eilbrt to console herself, she added, as she strove "Many things remind me of my father, and of
to repress her tears, "Yet, as vour safety is at him who was a father to me," added the Indian,
t..l- in iuhi mefor. if this be treachery, 'as he thought ot aurshai eimon, w nose arm aim
" The prince's ! " exclaimed Mdlle. de Cardo
ville. " Yes, madame."
"Yes, M. Rodin was to see him today," said
Adrienne, reflecting.
"No doubt he botrays you, madame, and the
prince also; the latter will be made his victim
more easily than you."
" Shame! shame I " cried Mdlle. de Cardoville,
on a sudden, as she rose, all her features con
tracted with painful anger. " After such a piece
of treachery, it is enough to make us doubt of
everything even of ourselves."
"Oh, madame! is it not dreadful?" said Moth
er Bunch, shuddering.
" But, then, why did he rescule me and mine,
and accuse the Abbe d'Aigrigny ? " wondered
Mdlle. de Cardoville. " Of a truth, it is enough
to make one lose one's reason. It is an abyss
hut, oh ! how frightful is doubt!"
"As I returned," said Florine, casting a look
of affectionate devotion on her mistress,
thought of a way to make all clear; but there is
not a mi nut" to lose."
"What do you mean?" said Adrienne, looking
at Florine with surprise.
"M. Rodin will soon be alone with the prince,"
said Florine.
" No doubt," replied Adrienne. " The prince
always sits in a little room that opens upon a
ereenhouse. It is there that he will receive M
"When then?" resumed Adrienne. "This
greenhouse, which I had arranged according to
your orders, has only one issue by a door
leading into a little lane. The gardener gets in
that way every morning, so as not to have to
pass through the apartments. Having finished
his work, he does not return thither during the
What do you mean? what is your project?
said Adrienne, looking at Florine with growing
" The plants are so disposed, that, I think, if
even the shade were not there, which screens
the glass that separates the saloon from the
greenhouse, one might get near enough to hear
what was passing in the room, without being
seen. When I was superintending the arrange
ments, I always entered by this greenhouse door.
The gardener had one key, and I another. Luck
ily, I have not yet parted with mine. Within an
hour, you may know how far to trust M. Rodin.
If he betrays the prince, he betrays you also."
"What say you?" cried Mdlle. de Cardoville.
"Set out instantly with me; we reach the side
door; I enter alone, for precaution's sake if all
is right, I return "
"You would have me turn spy?" said Mdlle.
de Cardoville, haughtily, interrupting Florine.
" You cannot think it "
" I beg your pardon, madame," said the girl,
casting down her eyes, with a confused and sor
rowful air; "you had suspicions, and meseems
'tis the only way to confirm or to destroy them."
" Stoop to listen to a conversation never! "
replied Adrienne.
"Madame," said Mother : Bunch, suddenly,
after some moments' thought, " permit me to tell
you that Mdlle. Florine is right. The plan pro
posed is a painful one, but it is the only way in
which you can clear up, perhaps forever, your
doubts as to M. Rodin. Notwithstanding the
the future prospect is dreadful I will go in
your place to "
"Not a word more, I entreat you," cried Mdlle.
e Cardoville, interrupting. "Let you, my poor
riend, do for me what I thought degrading to do
myself? Never!"
Then, turning to Florine, she added, "tell M.
de Bonneville to have the carriage got ready on
the instant."
" You consent, then ! " cried Florine, clasping
ler hands, and not seeking to conceal her joy;
and her eyes also became full of tears.
"Yes, I consent," answered Adrienne, with
emotion. "If it is to be war a war to the knife,
that they would wage with me I must be pre
pared for it; and, come to think of it, it would
only be weakness and folly not to put myself on
my guard. No doubt this step costs me much,
and is very repugnant to me, but it is the only
way to put an end to suspicions that would be a
continual torment to me, and perhaps to prevent
still greater evils. Yesl for many important
reasons, this interview of M. Rodin with Prince
)jalma may be doubly decisive with me as to
the confidence, or the inexorable hate, that I
must henceforth feel for M. Rodin. So, Florine,
quick! my cloak and bonnet, and the carriage.
You will go with me. As for you, my dear, pray
wait for me here," 6he added, turning to the
Half an hour after this conversation, Adri-
enno's carriage stopped, as we have before seen,
at the little garden-gate of the house of the Rue
Blanche. Florine entered the greenhouse, and
soon returned to her mistress. "The shade is
down, madame. M. Rodin has just entered the
prince's room." Mdlle. de Cardoville was, there
fore, present, though invisible, at the following
scene, which tootc Place between noam ana
Some minutes before the entrance of Mdlle. de
Cardoville into the greenhouse, Rodin had been
introduced by Faringhea into the presence of the
prince, who, still under the influence of the
burning excitement into which he had been
plunged by the words of the half-caste, did not
appear to perceive the Jesuit. The latter, sur
prised at the animated expression of Djalma s
countenance, and his almost frantic air, made a
sign of interrogation to Faringhea, who answered
him privately in the following symbolical man
ner: After laying his forefinger on his head and
heart, he pointed to the fire burning in the
chimney, signifying by his pantomimic action
that the head and heart of Djalma were both in
flames. No doubt Rodin understood him, for an
imperceptible smile of satisfaction played upon
his wan lips; then he said aloud to Faringhea, "I
wish to be alone with the prince. Let down
the shade, and see that we are not interrupted.'
The half-caste bowed, and touched a spring near
the sheet of plate-glass, which slid into the wal
as the blind descended; then, again bowing, Far
inghea left the room. It was shortly after that
Mdlle. de Cardoville and I lorine entered the
greenhouse, which was now only separated from
the room in which was Djalma, by the transpar
ent thickness of a shade of white silk, embroid
ered with large colored birds. The noise of the
door, which Faringhea closed as he went out
seemed to recall the young Indian to himself; hi
features, though still animated, recovered their
habitual expression of mildnesss and gentleness;
he started, drew his hand across his brow, looked
round him, as if waking up from a deep reverie,
and then, advancing towards Rodin, with an air
as respectful as confused, he said to him, using
the expression commonly applied to the old men
in his country, " Pardon me, father." Still fol
lowing the customs of his nation, so full of defer
ence towards age, he took Rodin's . hand to raise
it to his lins. but the iesuit drew back a step, and
W - A'
refused this homage.
'For what do you ask pardon, my dear prince?"
said he to Djalma.
" When you entered, I was in a dream; I did
not come to meet you. Once more, pardon me,
father ! "
" Once more, I forgive you with all my heart,
my dear prince. But let us have some talk.
Pray resume your place on the couch, and your
pipe, too, if you like it."
But Djalma, instead of adoping the suggestion,
and throwing himself on the divan, according to
Paris had been purposely concealed from him.
After a moment's silence, he resumed in atone
full of affectionate warmth, as he stretched out
his hand to Kodin, "You are come, and I am
happy ! "
I understand your joy, my dear prince, for 1
come to take you out of prison to open your
cage for you. I had begged you to submit to a
brief seclusion, entirely for your own interest."
"Can I go out to-morrow?" "To-day, my
dear prince, if you please."
The young Indian rtflected for a moment, and
then resumed, " I must have friends, since I am
here in a palace that does not belong to me."
" Certainly you have friends excellent friends,"
answered Rodin. At these words, Djalma's
countenance seemed to acquire fiesh beauty.
The most noble sentiments were expressed in
his fine features; his large black eyes became
slightly humid, and, after another interval of
silence, he rose and said to Rodin with emotion:
"Whither, dear prince?" said tl.e other, much
To thank my friends. I have waited three
days. It is long."
" Permit me, dear prince I have much to tell
you on this subject please to be seated."
Djalma resumed his seat with docility. Rodin
continued: "It is true, that you have friends; or
rather, you have a fiiend. Friends are rare."
"What are you?" "Well, then, you have
two friends, my dear prince myself, whom you
know, and one other, whom you do not know,
and who desires to remain unknown to you."
"Why?" "Why?" answered Rodin, after
a moment's embarrassment. " Because the hap
piness he feels in giving you these proofs of his
friendship and even his own tranquility, depend
upon preserving this mystery."
" Why should there be concealment when we
do good."
" Sometimes, to conceal the good we do, my
dear prince."
1 profit by his friendship; why should he con
ceal himself from me?" These repeated ques
tions of the young Indian appeared to puzzle
Rodin, who, however, replied: " I have told you,
my dear prince, that your secret friend would
perhaps have his tranquility compromised, if he
were known."
" If he w'ere known as my friend ?"
" Exactly so, dear prince."
The countenance of Djalma immediately as
sumed an appearance of sorrowful dignity; he
raised his head proudly, and said in a stern and
haughty voice: "Since this friend hides himsel
from me, he must either be ashamed of me, or
there is reason for me to be ashamed of him.
only accept hospitality from those who are
worthy of me, who think me worthy of them,
leave this house." So saying, Djalma rose with
such an air of determination, that Rodin ex
claimed: "Listen to me, my dear prince. Allow
me to tell you, that your petulance and touchi
ness are almost incredible. Though we have en
deavored to remind you of your beautiful coun
try, we are here in Europe, in France, in the
centre of Paris. This consideration may per
haps a little modify your views. Listen to me,
conjure you."
Notwithstanding his complete ignorance of
certain social conventionalisms, Djalma had too
much good sense and uprightness, not to appre
:i reason, when it appeared reasonable. Th
words of Rodin calmed him. With that ingenu
ous modesty, with which natures full of strengt
and generosity are almost always endowed, he
answered mildly: " You are right father. Iam
no longer in niv own country. Here the customs
o -
are different. I will reflect upon it."
Notwithstanding his craft and suppleness, Ro
din sometimes found himself perplexed by the
wild and unforseen ideas of the young Indian
Thus he saw, to his great surprise, that Djalma
now remained pensive for some minutes, after
which he resumed in a calm but firm tone
brave man ought to defy danger. True; but if it
should be you that the danger threatens, in case
this friendship were discovered, would not your
man of honor be excusable, even praiseworthy, to
persist in remaining unknown?" "I accept
nothing from a friend, who thinks ine capable of
denying him from cowardice."
"Dear prince listen to me."
" Adieu, father."
"Yet reflect!" "I have said it," replied
Djalma, in an abrupt and almost sovereign tone,
as he walked towards the door.
" But suppose a woman were concerned," cried
Rodin, driven to extremity, and hastening after
the young Indian, for he really feared that Djal
ma might rush from the house, and thus over
throw all his projects.
At the last words of Rodin, the Indian stopped
abruptly. " A woman ! " said he, with a start,
and turning red. " A woman is concerned ? '.'
" Why, yes! suppose it were a woman," resumed
Rodin, " would you not then understand her re
serve, and the secrecy with which she is obliged
to surround the mark3 of affection she wishes to
give you?"
" A woman 1 " repeated Djalma, in trembling
voice, clasping his hands iu adoration; and his
beautiful countenance was expressive of the
deepest emotion. " A woman ! " said he again.
" A Parisian ? "
"Yes, my dear prince, as you force me to this
indiscretion, I will confess to you that your
friend is a real Parisian a noble matron, en- -dowed
with the highest virtues whose age alone
merits all your respect."
"She is very old, then?" cried poor Djalma,
hose charming dream was thu3 abruptly dis
She may be a few years older than I am,"
answered Rodin, with an ironical smile, expect
ing to see the young man express a sort of comi
cal disappointment or angry regret.
But it was not so. To the passionate enthus
iasm of love, which had for a moment lighted up
the pricne's features, there now succeeded a re-
pectful and touching expression. lie looked at
cdin with emotion, and said to him in a broken
, . rr a t i t a nti
voice: " This woman is, men, a motner 10 mer ¬
it is impossible to describe with what a pious,
melancholy, and tender charm the Indian uttered
the word mother.
"You have it, my dear prince; this respectable
ady wishes to be a mother to you. But I may
not reveal to you the cause of the affection she
eels for you. Only, believe me this affection is
sincere, and the cause honorable. If I do not tell
you her secret, it is that, with us, the secrets of
women, young or old, are equally sacred."
That is right, and I will respect it. Without
seeing her, I will love her as I love God, with
out seeing Him."
"And now, my dear prince, let me tell you
what are the intentions of your maternal friend.
This house will remain at your disposal, as long
as you like it; French servants, a carriage, and
torses, will be at you orders; the charges of your
lousekeeping will be paid for you. Then, as the
son of a king should live royally, I have left in
the next room a casket containing five hundred
ouis; every month a similar sum will be provid
ed; if it should not be found 'sufficient for your
little amusements, you will tell me, and it shall
be augmented."
At a movement of Djalma, Rodin hastened to
add: "I must tell you at once, my dear prince,
that your delicacy may be quite at ease. First of
all, you may accept anything from a' mother;
next, as in about three months you will come in
to possession of an immense inheritance, it will
be easy for you, if you feel the obligation a bur
den and the sum cannot exceed, at the most,
four or five thousand louls to repay these ad
vances. Spare nothing, then, but satisfy all your
fancies. You are expected to appear in the frrent
A o "
world of Paris, in a style becoming the son of a
king who was called the Father of the Generous.
So once again I conjure you not to be restrained
by a false delicacy; if this sum should not be
sufficient "
" I will ask for more. My mother is right; the
son of a monarch ought to live royally.
Such was the answer of the Indian, made with
perfect simplicity, and without any appearance
of astonishment at these magnificent offers. This
was natural. Djalma would have done for others
what they were doing for him, for the traditions
of the prodigal magnificence and splendid hospi-
j 1 i T 1 ....
have obeyed youfather: I have reflected." tality of Indian princes are well known. Djalma
had heen as moved as grateful, on hearing that a
woman loved him with maternal affection. As
for the luxury with which she sought to sur
round him, he accepted it without astonishment
and without scruple. This resignation, again,
somewhat disconcerted Rodin, who had prepared
many excellent arguments to persuade the Indian
to accept his offers.
" Well, then, it's all agreed, my dear prince,'
"Well, my dear prince?"
" In no country in the world, under no pretext,
should a man of honor conceal his friendship for
another man of honor."
" But suppose there should be danger in avow
ing this friendship?" said Rodm, very uneasy at
the turn the conversation was taking. Djalma
eyed the jesuit with contemptuous astonishment,
and made no reply.
" I understand your silence, my dear prince; a resumed the jesuit. " Now, as you must see the