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his father, who much resembled him, died when he was ninety-eight years of age. He was also a terrible man; his three wives died of sorrow." “ Did


know him also ?” asked Monsieur de Gréoulx, surprised. Certainly,” replied Suzanne, dryly, and as if she were not inclined to reply to any other questions.

"I have strength and hope," continued the young man; “I have gained twenty years of independence and happiness. Miss Suzanne, Miss Veronique, at some future period I will open my heart to you; at present, I must first consider what I can do to gain my living honourably. I will go and serve in the king's army.''

Gabrielle changed colour at these words, and the Ravens exclaimed, at the same time:

“Do not think of doing so, monsieur ; war is a bad profession." " I must, however, do something ; upon a hundred louis, which I might get if I sold some superfluous jewels, one can't long live, even without a carriage or a servant."

“Do not worry yourself about that,” replied Veronique; "and, above all things, do not sell your jewels to some Jew, who will only give you half their value. Remain quietly at your hotel, the Silver Cock

• But," interrupted he, “ I cannot any longer live like a gentleman of fortune, and I will not wait until I am obliged to accept the offer which you so generously made me; I do not like to be in debt.”

“I say again, do not worry yourself about all this," repeated the Raven. * One of these days we will speak again about your affairs, and, by God's help, they may soon prosper better than you think. Is it not so, sister ?!

“ That is my opinion,” replied the other Raven.

“How I thank you for the interest you take in me," said Monsieur de Gréoulx, smiling at the confidence with which these two poor old women predicted his future good fortune, and deeply moved by the disinterestedness with which they placed at his disposal their small resources.

Gabrielle was silent, but at that moment she felt inclined to kiss those large wrinkled hands, from which the first day she had shrunk with horror.

When the chevalier had gone, and Veronique had shut all the doors, the young girl retired to the farther end of the room to say her prayers, at the side of the small bed which had been made for her at the back of the bed with green serge curtains. The Ravens remained before the fireplace, where, however, the fire had gone out, though the evenings were still cold.

“Sister,” said Veronique, “don't you think that Gaspard de Gréouls may yet make as great a figure in the world as if the baron had not disinherited him ?”

“Yes, indeed," replied Suzanne, calmly; " I thought of that this evening. We will go and see Monsieur Vincent, and then

“Hush !" interrupted Veronique, turning her head ; " that child may hear us.”

Monsieur de Gréoulx returned every day, and all went on as usual, only the game at cards sometimes lasted till ten o'clock, and the youth was so absent, that he lost many farthings, which the old Ravens put Gabrielle.

joyfully into their large purse. One morning the old women went out at an early hour to call upon Monsieur Vincent, of whom they sometimes spoke. When they returned to dinner, about twelve o'clock, they found the fire out, the table not spread, and Gabrielle in tears.

Holy Mother ! what has happened ?" exclaimed Veronique ; “why are you crying, my child?"

“He is lost, and I also! I will tell you all-Miss Veronique, Miss Suzanne, will you pardon me ?” replied Gabrielle, throwing herself entreatingly at their feet. "Oh! I am so unhappy

“For God's sake, speak, my child!" interrupted the Ravens ; " we pardon you, we pardon all, but what have you done ?” “ Alas! nothing, no evil

, and yet

but it does not relate to me, it is Monsieur de Gréoulx. He is in prison; he is in the Château d'If.”

“How! Why! what do you say?”
Yes, by order of the king : A lettre de cachet.”

“ It is the baron who has obtained it !” exclaimed the two Ravens. " What a misfortune !"

There was a long silence; the two old women were dismayed. Gabrielle, on her knees before them, clasped their hands with mute sobs.

“Calm yourself, my child," said Veronique, raising her. “Come, tell us how you learned this bad news ?”

“I heard it from some one who came here from the baron."

“Here, and why ?" interrupted the Ravens, with much surprise. “ What can they want with us?”

“ It was with me that they wished to speak.”
66 With


?” they exclaimed, more and more astonished. “And who was the person sent ?”

“ It was a servant,” replied the young girl, scornfully, “ but he obeyed his master's orders. It was his duty.”

She wiped her eyes with her handkerchief, and continued :

“ The man came in, seated himself there, and said to me, while looking around him in an insolent manner, · Where are your aunts, your co

cousins, those women with whom you are living ?' And as I answered that you were out, he added, “So much the worse. I wish to speak to you, and I would not have been sorry if they had been present. For about two months past the Chevalier de Gréoulx has been coming here every day, you

can't deny it, I have seen him myself. The Baron de Gréoulx, his grandfather, annoyed at these visits, has solicited a “ lettre de cachet,” through which the chevalier has been arrested this morning. As to you, my darling, the baron, in whose service I have the honour to be, sends me to let you know his intentions,

A loud knock at the door interrupted Gabrielle.

“ It is that man who is coming back !" she exclaimed. “ No doubt he is going to repeat before you his abominable threats

She took refuge, trembling, at the back of the room. Veronique went quickly to open the door, while Suzanne, who had not quite understood all that was going on, said :

“Fear nothing, my child; we will see on what account they dare threaten you."

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five years

The person who entered was a tall fellow in livery; he appeared like the impertinent footman in some grand house.

“Let us see, old gossips, if there is any way of settling matters with you," said he, in a familiar manner, seating himself in front of the Ravens. “A little while ago this young girl almost turned me out of the house. I did not say anything very particular to her either."

“Well, what do you want with us?" interrupted Suzanne, in the dry, short manner which was peculiar to her.

“In the first place, it is not on my own account I come, it is by order of the Baron de Gréoulx. He has sent me to inquire how the chevalier, his grandson, passes his time, and I have reported faithfully to him what has been going on. From that, the baron understood at once whence came the chevalier's opposition to his wishes, and he has ordered me to seek you, and to tell you his intentions. I have been in his service for “ Go on-go on; we don't want



your certificates," again interrupted Suzanne. “ Come to the point. What is the baron's business with us?”

“ He desires that this girl shall leave the country, and never again see his grandson. If not, he will have her imprisoned in the convent of the * Bon-Pasteur.' As my master is aware that it is necessary to have money to travel, he has sent by me fifty crowns for her. Here they are. You have therefore no reason to complain.”

Gabrielle had approached them, her countenance animated, and blushing deeply, she no longer wept.

Well,” said she, turning towards the Ravens, “ you hear !" " Is this all that you have to say?" asked Suzanne, turning towards the servant.

No; I wish to suggest, from my master, another thing to you," replied he, with a patronising and self-conceited air. “All this story may wind

in another way;

An idea has struck me; that little girl there pleases me mightily. By Jove ! I am a fine-looking fellow enough, and

, have saved something. What does the baron desire-to remove this fancy from his grandson's head? Well! he will be satisfied if I marry the chevalier's mistress.”

On hearing these words, Suzanne drew herself up with a gesture indicative of indignation and pride. Her old face assumed an expression of extreme hauteur, and, in a voice of authority, she exclaimed, pointing to the door:

“Out of the house, scoundrel-out of the house! You come here to insult Mademoiselle de Lescale. I forbid you ever again to appear in her presence. Out of the house, I command

The servant obeyed without replying to this imperious order ; the name of Lescale, this anger as haughty as that of a lady, had thrown him into extreme confusion. He made his exit, walking backwards and bowing. Gabrielle sat down and hid her face in her hands.

“This is why you were crying, my child !” said Suzanne ; “ but I can't understand why you asked our pardon.”

The young girl shook her head, and replied with much emotion :

“ I asked your pardon because there is some truth in what that man has just said. I love the chevalier, and he loves me also




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“ Is it possible !” exclaimed the Ravens, much astonished. “Yes, we have loved each other,” continued the young girl, more calmly; we have loved each other against our will, without being aware of it, without dreaming what might come of it

“ I see now. .... I understand this love must be put an end to. ... I will go into a convent. They will receive me without a dowry as a lay sister. .... Oh! Suzanne, Veronique, I shall never forget your kindness! I will pray God for you every day. . . . . You alone have been good to me in this world. . . . . Monsieur de Gréoulx will obey; he must, or else he will remain in prison. .... May he be happy. I must go. ... What should I do in the world, where the wicked despise and insult me? To-morrow you will take me to · La Visitation, and


will inform the baron that I shall never again see Monsieur de Gréoulx; that I am, as it were, dead; that I am a nun!”.

This despair, this pride, these resolutions, touched the two old women's hearts; for the first time for many years tears came into their eyes.

“My girl,” exclaimed Suzanne, suddenly, “ leave it to us. You have been insulted, you shall have satisfaction. The chevalier is a prisoner; he shall soon be free! To-morrow I set out with my sister for the Château de Gréoulx."

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VIII. The Château de Gréoulx is an ancient building, situated among the mountains of Upper Provence. It was built by the Templars at the beginning of the thirteenth century; and, at the time of the breaking up of the order, this manor passed into the family of which Gaspard de Gréoulx was the last descendant. The château resembled in its outward appearance all the fortresses of the middle

ages. Its ramparts, which overlooked the mean houses of the town, were connected at each angle by embattled turrets, and in the middle of these irregular buildings rose the donjon, where the records and treasures were kept. But the lords of Gréoulx had arranged the interior of this ancient dwelling with more modern luxury. The whole had the religious character of the primitive buildings; the cloister still remained round the wide court-yard where the Templars walked of old, but above the dark vaults were large windows with sculptured cornices, and behind these hung heavy silk curtains. The first story, entirely rebuilt under Louis the Fourteenth, was furnished with all the magnificence of that period, and for fifty years nothing had been changed.

On arriving at Gréoulx, the two Ravens stopped at the only inn in the village, in order to set to rights their serge dresses and large carefully plaited white caps; then they walked slowly along the road to the château. As they clambered up the steep hill, lined by stunted old elms, they recognised with emotion each spot, each path, each tree, each stone.

“Do you see down there the large walnut-tree, which was struck by lightning the day of the Assumption of Notre Dame, at the hour of vespers?” asked Veronique ; "it still affords a fine shade."

“And here is the holy Virgin in the stone niche concealed under the grating, where we used to fasten such beautiful white bouquets ?"

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“ And the little garden between the towers ? How luxuriant the vines are which cover the walls ! What roses ! what fine flowers ! Just the same as in former days.”

“And down there, the woods, the meadows. How green everything is, how fresh and beautiful still!"

They looked at each other, and, sighing, said, at the same moment, " And wer!"

At the entrance of the château was a porter in livery, to whom Veronique addressed herself; he did not condescend to rise in replying to these two women who came on foot, and crossing his arms, said, morosely,

“ You are come begging, I suppose ? Every day the baron is annoyed in this way. It is a regular thing at holiday-time. I don't know if you can speak to my lord. Go up the grand staircase ; there are people in the ante-chamber, they will tell you.'

“ He takes us for beggars !" whispered Suzanne, with a kind of smile, and taking a good look around her.

“ The grand staircase is down there at the end of the cloisters," added

the porter.



“We know where it is,” said Suzanne, coldly. “Come, sister.”

They fortunately arrived after dinner, at the time when the baron gave his audiences. A valet ushered them into the principal chamber, after receiving his master's orders. The formidable old man was seated in a large arin-chair, with the coat of arms carved at the back. He was dressed, according to the fashion of the day, in a laced doublet, and over it a waistcoat turned back in front with a fall of lace. A large wig of slanting curls, formed, by its symmetrical ringlets, a frame for a face, the principal features of which reminded one of those of Louis the Fourteenth in his youth ; he had the same black eye covered by large eyelids, the same drawn-in mouth, the same manner of holding the head, but there was wanting in the baron's countenance that expression of dignity and goodness that the late king possessed. There was a gloomy pride in his attitude, and a kind of irritability in every action. At the first glance one could perceive that he was a man before whom all gave way. The Ravens walked firmly up, and made a curtsey, while glancing round the room.

“Who are you, and what do you want?" demanded the baron, looking at them scornfully, for he thought them frightfully old and ugly.

“My name is Suzanne.”
“ And mine Veronique,” replied the old women.

The baron started, then recovering himself like one returning, after a moment's reflection, from an imaginary fright, he said, abruptly,

“Well, what have you to say to me?"

" It is a long history, which on account of the honour of the family of Gréoulx, ought to be told before you alone, my lord,” replied Suzanne ; 6 let the doors be shut, that no one may listen to or interrupt us."

He looked at them without replying, and as if awed by some terrible apparition. Suzanne took the bell which was on the table and rung. A valet appeared.

“Permit no one to enter here," said the baron to him ; " and go yourself into the farthest ante-room.”

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